Tell stories in video.
Documentary classes are hands-on and immersive. Student work has impact and wins awards. Students in all M.S. programs can take courses in video storytelling, while the three-semester M.S. Documentary specialization allows students to focus in-depth on a story.
The Journalism School is deeply engaged with the burgeoning world of journalistic documentaries. The faculty of working filmmakers trains students to report and produce short and long-form documentaries. The entire school community has the opportunity to encounter some of the most acclaimed documentarians of the day with the Film Fridays series, which brings first‐run films and their directors to the Journalism School to screen and discuss their latest work. Recent visitors include Alex Gibney, Kirsten Johnson, Matthew Heinemann, Betsy West & Julie Cohen, and Josh Oppenheimer. You can listen to some of these conversations on the On Assignment podcast.
During the spring semester, students in the regular M.S. Program have several choices to explore longer-form video including Video for the Web, Multimedia, and our new Data and Animation course. Cinematographer, Duy Linh Tu regularly partners with professors in a subject area like science and education.
For students who want further immersion and a chance to produce a longer documentary, the school offers a Documentary Program concentration. Students stay a third semester, and work over the summer in teams of two to report, shoot and edit a 20-30 minute film. Projects from recent Documentary classes have screened at festivals across the country, including Tribeca and DOC NYC, and have been licensed by distributors like Netflix, The New York Times video, PBS and Fusion. Student documentaries are featured a DocFest, an all‐school screening event in December.
Our classes allow students to gain the technical and storytelling skills needed to report and produce award-winning documentaries that have impact.
Please note: The classes listed here represent recent offerings at the Journalism School. 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.
She's Not a Boy by '18 M.S. Documentary students Yuhong Pang and Robert Tokanel follows Tatenda Ngwaru, an asylum-seeking intersex woman from Zimbabwe as she tries to make a home in New York City. The film was published by The Atlantic.
M.S. Documentary students Ingrid Holmquist and Sana A. Malik won the 2019 Best Documentary at the BAFTA Student Film Award for Guanajuato Norte about a man from Guanajuato, Mexico working on a Connecticut farm and contending with being away from his family and home for years in order to support their dreams and build them a new life.
Diana Chan and Christina Kelso, both '19 M.S. Documentary, highlight the struggle of a student and principal at a unique Brooklyn school that teaches students to counsel each other through their mistakes.In Circles
With ninety days left before he ages out of foster care, Alex has to get it together, or risk going back to the world he’s trying to escape. A film by Christina Shaman and Anakha Arikara, both '19 M.S. Documentary.Aged and Confused
CBS Assistant Professor of International Journalism
Professor of Journalism; Director, Documentary Journalism Program
Duy Linh Tu
Professor of Professional Practice
Eléonore (Léo) Hamelin
Adjunct Faculty; Director, Video Journalism
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Fred W. Friendly Professor of Professional Practice in Media Society Emeritus