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.

City Newsroom

The students in City Newsroom will cover all of New York City. They'll operate, manage, edit and contribute to a live news site: NYCityLens.com. The course is set up to give students hands-on experience running a news site and to hone their skills in reporting and producing ambitious stories in all formats. Students will cover breaking news, develop features, dig into deeper stories and shoot and edit videos. Its goal: to let students cover stories in the medium best suited to tell a particular story. We will focus on five areas: breaking news, crime and justice, culture and art, New York’s immigrant population and politics and policy. Students will pitch stories every week to perfect their pitching skills. We expect everyone in the newsroom to produce a specific number of stories: eight print stories, five videos or a to-be-determined combination of both. The instructors are skilled in video storytelling, digital and print. The course runs over two days: Thursday and Friday. Story meetings and screenings of class work are held during the afternoons of those days and attendance is mandatory. If you love covering news, want to improve your storytelling skills in multiple formats and welcome the challenge of reporting on this city in depth, this is the class for you.

Students who wish to do video in this class will be charged a $275 lab fee.

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.

Video Newsroom

Video Newsroom will combine elements of Nightly News, Reinventing TV News and Audience & Engagement, giving students intensive, frequent video reporting opportunities while publishing in real time on the web and social media. We will, to the greatest extent possible, cover news and developing stories and publish them within 24 hours. 

Students will be expected to shoot and edit stories at least once per week, concentrating on dynamic changes in NYC, including themes such as Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Emerging Politics, Race, Gender and Identity, Changing Demographics and Grass Roots New York. This will give the typical student at least a dozen stories (some will have more) to show prospective employers, demonstrating several different approaches to field reporting.

A staff of instructors from diverse video-producing organizations such as ABC News, WNBC, Vice News, HBO, CBS News and The Guardian will enable students to experiment with various styles and formats of field reporting, preparing them for careers across a spectrum of video reporting opportunities. We will also experiment with “live” streaming from the field, and will produce several integrated newscasts in the television studio, though field reporting will be our emphasis throughout.

 

In addition, the course will include a 7-week seminar based on Professor Klatell’s popular Reinventing TV News, exposing students to new business models for video production companies, such as those of NowThis, Buzzfeed, Twitter and Vine, re-designed legacy organizations including CNN Money and Politics, as well as the planned Vice News Tonight evening program, to be launched in collaboration with HBO.

Finally, we will embed a specialized 7-week section of Audience & Engagement, to be built around the video reporting and web publication that is integral to Video Newsroom, rather than materials developed especially for Audience & Engagement. This will enable students not only to publish frequently throughout the semester, but to identify and engage target audiences and online communities over many weeks, thereby gathering more relevant data and better metrics than is often the case.

Whether your goal is to work in local or network television news, for an online publication, an international organization or as a freelance video journalist, your career will likely begin with the ability to find, report, produce and distribute news stories in various video formats. Video Newsroom aspires to create opportunities for ambitious students to achieve that goal.

Prerequisite: 7-week video module

Students who enroll in this class will be charged a $275 lab fee.

Video Newsroom

Tuesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

So you want to be a globetrotting, foreign correspondent? A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times? An Emmy Award-winning producer for Vice or CNN? A feature writer for Vanity Fair? No matter what your aspirations, you will have to work efficiently under deadlines. With practice, practice and more practice, this class will teach you techniques and cultivate a mindset that will enable you to succeed when reporting, writing and/or producing under tight deadlines. You will learn to turn your deadline anxiety into adrenaline – and to enjoy the process.

You will pitch stories every Monday night for coverage the next day. On Tuesday mornings you will head to the field to report and/or shoot your story. These assignments replicate what you would be likely to cover for a mainstream media organization: breaking news, local and state politics, press conferences, follow-ups to news stories as well as short features. You will file your story on Tuesday and begin editing with one-on-one help from the professors. On Wednesday mornings we will meet as a class for a seminar. You will learn the techniques and strategies necessary for reporting, producing, shooting, editing and writing under deadline. In the afternoon you will work with the professors to bring your story to broadcast or printable quality.

Students who wish to do video in this class will be charged a $275 lab fee.