Classes | Columbia Journalism School


Please note: The classes listed here represent recent offerings at the Journalism School. These include M.S., M.S. in Data Journalism and M.A. courses. Choices vary each semester depending on faculty availability and other considerations. Classes described now may change or be dropped to make room for new additions. We cannot promise that students will gain a seat in any specific class.

Gender and Migration

The symbol of the country’s immigration story stands in New York Harbor, surrounded by modern-day examples of resilience. The Southern Border may be the epicenter of a migration crisis reverberating throughout the world, but New York is the place to report on its effects. In this course, students will examine national and international issues through the prism of local reporting. 

Women and children have been the most vulnerable under the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration, from the newest restrictions on asylum laws to family separation, to the drastic reduction of refugees in the coming year. We will examine the push and pull factors for migration, not only from Central America, but from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, which have led to a record number of 26 million refugees today. 

In New York, advocacy groups and lawyers are uniting to help undocumented youth and women at risk, and local religious communities are assisting the resettlement of refugee families. Guest speakers from these groups — as well as city officials — will speak to the students and help them form a network of sources. At the beginning, students will choose a specific local beat and track developments weekly. The weekly lectures will focus on these topics, so that all students can build on their areas of expertise. During the semester, students will publish at least one story in cooperation with Documented, a leading immigration website publishing New York-focused news. By tackling local angles of national issues, reporters can break news that can ultimately lead to policy change in Washington: a rarity in these times. 

Journalism is ultimately about people. For immigration reporters, finding and telling those compelling stories, however, can be complicated by politics, language and fear. Students will learn how to report with sensitivity and nuance, and yet not be swayed by sentiment. That means knowing the laws and history of immigration policy from the Chinese Exclusion Act to Migration Protection Protocols, and also adhering to ethical guidelines amid a polarized climate for media.