Cross Registration | Columbia Journalism School

Cross Registration

The Fall 2019 classes listed below (only these) are available for cross registration by graduate students from other divisions of Columbia. 

To request admission to a class students must submit this form. The form is open from August 19, 2019 at 10 a.m. to September 13, 2019 at 10 a.m.

Please make note of the dates associated with these classes as they do not match those of other Columbia schools.


Class Offerings for Fall 2019

Opinion Writing
Instructor: Sally Kohn
Day/Time: Tuesdays,10 a.m.-1 p.m., Oct. 29-Dec. 10
3 points
Opinion is the language of modern discourse.  Opinion has come to dominate not only politics and pubs but mainstream media — the lines between reporting and opinion are increasingly blurring, and even the lines between opinion and fact increasingly subject to debate.   And yet opinion — and especially opinion writing — has always been a fundamental journalistic tool for shaping public opinion. In new forms such as on-air commentary, blogging and even social media, those fundamentals remain the same — the key elements that make an argument both persuasive and poetic.  Effective opinion writing is more than spouting off. Even as the terrain shifts, there’s a core form and function to this craft. We’ll explore the origins of the op-ed and its evolution, the history and psychology of persuasion, and the best (and worst) .


Environmental Writing
Instructor: Marguerite Holloway
Day/Time: Thursdays, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Oct. 24-Dec. 12
3 points
Writing compelling environment stories—whether about social justice, ecology, or the many facets of climate change—requires an ability to construct narrative out of close observation and deep reporting about complex issues. Using the city as your field site, you will identify an issue that engages you and learn how to find a story and characters within it. By workshopping and rewriting, you will learn how to craft a well-structured, flowing story. You will also learn how to write in a clear, engaging way about scientific material that may seem, at first glance, non-intuitive. Along the way, you will read many examples of exceptional environmental story-telling and nature writing, and see how central poetry, people, and place are to bringing a topic to life. Near the end of the class, you will work on a pitch for your story.


Journalism & Society
Andie Tucher
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 4:10pm-6:00pm, Sept. 4-Dec. 14
3 points
An exploration of the central role of journalism in public life. We'll explore its historical roots, social role, and cultural contexts, and consider how it works in a democracy and what happens if it doesn't. Topics include the evolution of journalistic conventions; the rise and fall of objectivity; the ideal, and the reality, of the adversarial press; the impacts of new technologies and economic structures; journalism and storytelling; and, yes, of course, fake news. Although the focus is on US institutions and practices, we'll be placing them in a global context.  


Disinformation, Fake News, and Democracy 

Instructor: Todd Gitlin
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 2:10 p.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 4-Dec. 14
3 points
Description: A seminar on the operations of propaganda in American history and more generally. How polarized is the American public? How new is polarization about the nature of reality? What are the new elements in the age of Trump and what are the continuities? What are the roles of right-wing and social media? Students will give class presentations and write research papers encompassing original research.


Stories & Society
Instructor: Michael Schudson
Day/Time: Mondays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Sept 3 - Dec. 14
3 points
Description: People tell stories -- in private life, in organizational life, in relation to career trajectories, in relation to myths and identities as groups and nations, in relation to hopes and dreams in social movements. Why do stories seem to work so well to connect some larger narrative to individual listeners? Why do some stories seem to be retold endlessly (fairy tales, for instance)? Why do other stories seem to wear out?  This seminar will explore these and other questions from a sociological rather than a literary standpoint: (after a quick review of some standard understandings of narrative in literary studies), trying to get at the social role of and social support for telling stories.


Investigative Techniques (2 sections) - Both sections are waitlist only


Section 1: Instructor: Kendall Taggart

Day/Time: Mondays, 6-9 p.m.., September 23- November 4

Section 5: Instructor: Ellen Gabler

Day/Time: Mondays, 6-9 p.m.., September 9- October 21

3 points

Description: Deep, compelling stories are built on a foundation of solid research and reporting. The goal of this course is to inspire you to dig deep, to find multiple sources of information and to explore different ways of gathering, verifying and evaluating facts and putting them in context. This class also will challenge you to think critically about the questions that drive your work and introduce you to a wide range of research and verification tools. More specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Use advanced internet search techniques
  • Obtain and analyze public records and data, including how to compose thorough FOIA requests
  • Get information about individuals and groups using a variety of sources
  • Work with, and incorporate, data and numbers in your reporting and writing
  • Use social media for reporting and verification
  • Evaluate scholarly literature

This course also will help you to sharpen your ability to critically assess the information you have obtained so you can create unique and accurate works of journalism. You will consider tactics for overcoming common obstacles, such as verifying information from interviews, being aware of cognitive bias and navigating informational roadblocks. You will apply what you’ve learned through assignments and drills, and you’ll be required, at the end of the course, to submit a research memo on a topic of your choosing.



Registration Details

For the most part, spots in J-School classes are assigned to non-Journalism graduate students on a space available basis (with top priority given to IMC SIPA students).

To request cross-registration in a Journalism School course, please complete this form.

The form will be active as of Monday, August 19, at 10 a.m.

Please note that this is only a REQUEST and we cannot guarantee your request will be accommodated.

Cross-registration request forms are processed on a first come, first served basis.

If your form is submitted correctly you will receive a request confirmation e-mail within 24 hours. Please remember to include the after your UNI.

You will NOT receive an e-mail from my office saying that your request was granted or not granted.

To learn if your request was granted, you must keep checking your class schedule on the web. All requests remain on file during the cross-registration period (August 19 - September 13 at 10 a.m.).

You do not need to submit multiple forms for the same cross-registration request. If I am able to grant requests I do it as soon as possible but sometimes it takes days for a space to open in a class. Sometimes the space never opens up.

Please remember that you are submitting a cross-registration REQUEST. There is no guarantee that I will be able to approve your request. Until you see a change reflected on your class schedule on STUDENT SERVICES ONLINE, your request has not been approved.

If you have more than one course for which you want to be considered, please submit a separate form for each class.

Also, please be certain that you are not requesting a class that conflicts with any of your other classes.

Direct any questions to Melanie Huff.