Classes | School of Journalism

Classes

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.

Audio I

This course teaches fundamental and advanced techniques of field reporting and writing in audio or radio media. Emphasis is on writing clearly and conversationally, with integration of recorded voices and natural sound. Students will pitch, report, write and produce compelling, public radio style pieces, including newscasts, news stories, features and interviews. They will be trained in state-of-the-industry recording equipment and editing software. Students will receive detailed, one-on-one editing and will publish their work in on-demand digital audio formats. The writing and technical skills taught in this course are intended to serve students well in any medium.

This class (or Audio II for students with prior experience) is a prerequisite for those interested in pitching a full audio master’s project.

Multiple instructors teach sections of this class.

Radio Workshop

This course is intended to provide mastery of the most important skills needed in a high-quality radio news organization. Students develop advanced radio writing and production techniques through the broadcast of a weekly radio news program, Uptown Radio News. The program is webcast live every Friday at 4 p.m. and is also available as an on-demand podcast. The class functions as a working newsroom where students learn the full range of radio reporting and writing techniques, including newscasts, spot news, feature stories, creative commentary and longer narrative pieces using documentary methods. On the production side, students rotate through roles such as executive producer, managing editor, senior producer and various technical positions to ensure a timely broadcast that offers high value to its listeners. The course develops student’s writing and reporting skills (irrespective of media) by emphasizing descriptive writing, narrative and scene-building techniques, and long-form documentary techniques. There are no prerequisites for this course.

 

Telling Stories in Sound

The goal of this course is to teach the skills of long-form audio journalism, and the techniques of nonfiction storytelling used in established public radio programs like This American Life, Radiolab, or Snap Judgment, as well as newer podcasts like Reply All, Invisibilia, or Embedded. The style of storytelling used in the public radio style podcasts is a combination of in-depth reporting and long-form storytelling. This course will prepare students to tell complex stories using strong character-driven narrative. 

The workshop will be run as a newsroom. We'll have pitch meetings, where each student will have workshop edits (modeled on This American Life) and welcome guests from significant team members at WNYC Studios, Gimlet, This American Life, Radiolab, as well as NPR shows like Code Switch, Planet Money and Radio Ambulante. We'll experiment with the Radiolab style “Brain Dump”, where in lieu of a script, the reporter comes into the studio and tells the story to another producer. This recording then becomes the basis of the script.

More broadly, w'll stay up to date on the changing landscape of audio journalism - the impact of podcasts on legacy media like NPR, emerging for-profit business models, and responses to shifting audience demographics - with readings and criticism.

As our final project, we will produce a live show, exploring how multimedia elements can complement audio storytelling, and how the presence of audience can inform the creation of compelling narrative journalism.