The Journalism BA Program | Academic Requirements | Student Learning Outcomes | Minor in Journalism | Courses | Faculty | Facilities

The Journalism Program: Courses

1000–2999 (lower level, freshman–sophomore)
3000–3999 (upper level, junior)
4000–4999 (upper level, senior)


Introduction to Media
JOU 1500
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Today’s media are placed in historical, cultural and economic context. Students explore the concept of media literacy, and then delve into specific media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, the Internet, radio, TV, and movies. The class also examines the spin-off industries of advertising and public relations.

History of Journalism
JOU 2150
/ 3 credits / Spring
Covers the history of journalism with an emphasis on American journalism after 1900. Students examine the objectives of journalism, styles of writing and coverage, and the shape and impact of the industry in various periods. Recent developments are studied with an eye toward how they fit into historical contexts.

Journalism I
JOU 2515
/ 4 credits / Every semester
In this introductory course, students learn the fundamentals of reporting and writing news stories, focusing on the skills that form the basis for newspaper, magazines, broadcast, and Web-based journalism. Students also learn AP (Associated Press) style and proofreading and examine broader issues, such as ethics, the impact of the media, and libel.

The Art of the Essay
WRI 2770
Refer to Expository Writing Courses for description.

Journalism II
JOU 2915
/ 4 credits / Every semester
Students build on skills developed in JOU 2515 and delve into more specific areas of coverage called “beats.” Students who complete JOU 2515 and 2915 may be eligible for semester-long internships at local publications.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C+ in JOU 2515

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Reporting the Region
JOU 3020
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly, summer, in France)
Students explore the region to produce journalistic reports that include writing and photography. Assignments include stories on challenges facing a French family, implications of a French political issue, a social issue, and a travel piece. The goal is for students to write as a foreign correspondent, conveying the community’s views, struggles, sights, and sensations to an audience back home.

Through the Lens: Photo in France
JOU 3025
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly, summer, in France)
Students are introduced to documentary techniques as they explore the region through their digital cameras. Topics include environmental portraiture, landscape, and feature photography, among others. France’s rich contributions to documentary photography and the “decisive moment” are discussed. Students shoot and produce a photo story on the community, culture, and environment of the region. Open to beginning and advanced photography students.

Race, Gender, and the Media
JOU 3040
/ 4 credits / Every year
Examines the relationship between the media and social constructions of race, gender, and class, both in the U.S. and within a global context. Topics include biases and assumptions in print and visual media; representations of masculinity and femininity; and the media’s role in creating and reinforcing ideas, symbols, and ideologies within cultures. Text analysis includes newspapers, magazine articles, cartoons, television, movies, and advertising.

Freedom and the Media
JOU 3080
/ 4 credits / Every year
Examines the historical, philosophical, and legal bases for freedom of speech and of the press in the U.S. and the practical application of these principles to print, broadcast, and online media today. Topics include the First Amendment, libel, privacy, government regulation, news gathering, and journalism ethics. Not recommended for freshmen or sophomores.

PHI 3085
Refer to Philosophy Courses for description.

The Art of the Interview
JOU 3090
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students build on skills acquired in previous journalism classes as they explore in depth the various interviewing techniques for print, broadcast, and online media. Students critique each other’s work and critically dissect published articles and broadcast interviews. They report and write their own in-depth profiles with an eye toward publication in professional or student publications or broadcast outlets.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

JOU 3100
/ 4 credits / Every year
A basic course in the use of photography for journalistic purposes. Topics include how to shoot news events, feature photo shoots, cropping, and the use of computer technology.

First-Person Reporting
JOU 3120
/ 4 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
Students build on the skills acquired in JOU 2515 and 2915 as they discuss, critique, write, revise, and edit first-person reporting. This is a writing-intensive course; students work on developing a point of view and voice and craft material that resonates with the reader. They are also expected to be active peer-editors of their classmates’ work.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

Broadcast News I
JOU 3160
/ 4 credits / Every semester
Building on the foundations of JOU 2515 and 2915, this hands-on course enables students to make the transition from reporting for print and online publications to reporting for radio and television news broadcasts. Students gain experience shooting, writing, and editing television news stories and are introduced to the basics of live television studio production.
Prerequisite: JOU 2915 or permission of instructor
Recommended prior course: JOU 3500

Broadcast News II
JOU 3170
/ 4 credits / Every semester
Students further their development as broadcast journalists through class exercises, field assignments, and in-studio productions, serving as reporters, anchors, producers, and directors for a campus television news and feature program. Strengthening broadcast writing skills and polishing on-air delivery are emphasized.
Prerequisite: JOU 3160 (formerly 3150)

Feature Writing
JOU 3200
/ 4 credits / Every year
An advanced course focusing on longer and more complex reporting and writing techniques for newspapers, magazines, and other types of publications.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

The Art of Sportswriting
JOU 3220
/ 4 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
In this overview of national sports journalism, the craft is explored through extensive reading of eminent sports writers and the history of the art, as well as intensive writing. Special emphasis is placed on thorough reporting, the craft of interviewing, writing on deadline, and producing prose written in a distinctive voice.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

The Beat of Music Journalism
JOU 3230
/ 4 credits / Alternate years (Fall)
Explores the craft of journalistic writing about various musical genres, including rock, hip-hop, punk, heavy metal, classical, R&B, and jazz. Readings include notable works of music journalism in print and on the Web. Students write articles on the genres of particular interest to them. This course is suitable for both specialized (journalism and music) and general audiences.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

Environmental Journalism
JOU 3260
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this introduction to the issues associated with reporting on the environment, students gain an understanding of the science behind local and global environmental issues and the journalistic approaches necessary to illuminate those issues. The course grapples with the difficulties inherent in translating scientific information for mass audiences.
Prerequisite: Junior standing and either ENV 1500 or JOU 2515 and 2915

Community Reporting
JOU 3350
/ 4 credits / Spring
Students report on communities surrounding the college, with an emphasis on Port Chester, in collaboration with Casa Purchase. Includes résumé-building opportunities to get work published in local news outlets on such topics as immigration, social justice, public safety, sports, housing, education, politics, business, volunteerism, lifestyles, and college issues.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

The Literature of Journalism
JOU 3374
/ 4 credits / Spring
Students look at the evolution of long-form journalism of postwar America, roughly defined as 1946–1980. Works include Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, John Hersey’s Hiroshima, and the magazine writing of Lillian Ross, Alex Haley, Joan Didion, and Gay Talese. The class also explores more recent authors, such as Isabel Wilkerson and Rachel Aviv, and the influences of the digital age.

Multimedia Tools
JOU 3500
/ 3 credits / Spring
An introduction to issues and developments in multimedia journalism. Students critique and create stories for publication online, learning how to assemble story packages that combine media elements, including text, video, audio, and images. Includes some exploration of the use of social media and other techniques to promote stories. May be taken concurrently with JOU 2515 or 2915. Completion of JOU 3500 is strongly recommended before taking JOU 3160.

News Editing
JOU 3600
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
Covers the art of editing, from breaking news to features in special styles. Students work intensively on improving writing, expanding knowledge of word crafting, and producing tight prose. The relationship between reporters, editors, and decisions about news judgment is examined. An essential course for writing-based careers.
Prerequisite: JOU 2915

Reviewing the Contemporary Novel
LIT 3635
Refer to Literature Courses: 3000–3999 for description.

Criticism/Reviewing Workshop
JOU 3780
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
An introduction to styles of criticism and a practical course in writing short, critical essays (reviews) on the performing and visual arts. On-campus plays and films are assigned; students write about theatre, film, music, dance, painting, and other art forms.

Junior Seminar in Journalism
JOU 3880
/ 2 credits / Spring
The goal of this seminar is to equip students with the skills needed to complete a successful senior project, and guide them in choosing a topic and format to research and report in depth. Students look at career options in journalism, do a résumé and job-hunting workshop, and discuss internships. Required for journalism majors.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

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Covering the Arts
JOU 4010
/ 4 credits / Alternate years (Fall)
Using the college’s wide array of cultural activities as material, students learn to bring immediacy and depth to their reporting on entertainment and the arts. The course begins with a study of the form and function of various disciplines as a basis for this reporting.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

International Issues Reporting
JOU 4020
/ 4 credits / Alternate years (Fall)
Examines the methods of international affairs journalism, how international issues and organizations are covered, and the innovative ways in which local reporters can reach out to bring the world closer to their readers. Students produce stories that illuminate connections between nearby neighborhoods and faraway lands. Limited to students who have declared a major or minor in journalism.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

Investigative Reporting
JOU 4150
/ 4 credits / Fall
Student reporters learn to develop the investigative state of mind needed to change public opinion and influence policy making. Working individually and in teams, students use documents, databases, official records, and human sources to probe social justice issues, expose official hypocrisy, and ferret out corruption, waste, and inefficiency in government and other institutions.
Prerequisite: JOU 2915

Broadcast Writing
JOU 4320
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Writing for broadcast requires advanced producing skills. This advanced course focuses on the graphics, rolling visuals, and sound structure that illuminate the scripted language written for radio and television. Class exercises and field assignments provide opportunities to develop and practice these skills, and current events frame classroom discussions.
Prerequisite: JOU 2515 and 2915

Senior Project I and II
SPJ 4990
and 4991 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every year
Required for journalism majors in the senior year. Two semesters (8 credits total).

Updated April 6, 2016

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