201-1 Reporting & Writing
Taught by Prof. Karen Springen
This course builds a strong foundation for all Medill classes to follow by introducing students to the essentials of accurate journalism necessary for any platform or storytelling format. This includes news judgment, news and information gathering (including sourcing, discovering and covering different kinds of news, interviewing techniques, practices of inclusion and sensitivity); constructing stories (including leads, story structure, using quotes, using data to tell a story, assessing information); editing and presentation (grammar, punctuation, AP style, voice, tone, clarity, brevity); avoiding libel and other legal pitfalls; and visual literacy and presentation. This course emphasizes the critical practices of ethical journalism and deadline reporting and writing.
Please contact Daniel MacKenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for potential registration
343-0 The Googlization of America
Taught by Prof. Owen Youngman
Led by Google, technology companies are taking a more central role in the American media landscape each and every day. In this course students use recent scholarship, news stories, magazine articles, blogs, and other reportage to understand how Google and its competitors are continuing to change journalism, the media business, and US culture. Readings, research and writing assignments, group exercises in and outside class, and guest speakers.
372-0 International Journalism: South Africa
Taught by Prof. Ava Greenwell
South Africa anchors the poorest continent on the globe. Its history, not to mention contemporary social upheavals, makes it a rich environment for considering the role of media, business, politics and public health in an emerging democracy. Just 25 years since the end of Apartheid, an extreme form of racial segregation and oppression, the country is in swift transition culturally, politically, and economically. This is so partly because democracy and globalization, not to mention HIV, arrived there more or less simultaneously. This course covers the contemporary history of South Africa, with a special focus on the country’s newspapers, magazines, and broadcast outlets. It prepares journalism students for the Residency Program, and global public health students headed for South Africa in spring, but is not limited to them. The course is designed, too, for any student interested in international reporting and/or health reporting. Assignments mimic the steps any journalist might take in preparing to cover stories across lines of geography, language, culture, race, class and ethnicity.
373-0 Investigative Journalism
Taught by Prof. Alec Klein
The president of the United States is forced to resign. Evidence of genocide is unearthed. Secret prisons are discovered. In each case, investigative reporting has played a key role, and over the years, it has proven to be one of the highest forms of journalism: shedding light on wrongdoing, exposing corruption at the highest levels and taking on powerful people and institutions that have abused their power and the disenfranchised. In this course, we will focus on an important facet of journalism: investigating potentially wrongful convictions. This class isn’t about theory; it’s about pursuing the truth about real murder cases, interviewing skittish sources in often tough neighborhoods and prisoners serving time—sometimes decades—for crimes they say they didn’t commit. Students will be introduced to a variety of investigative techniques, interviewing skills, approaches to developing sources and employing public documents and databases. Of paramount importance in this class: student safety and adhering to the highest ethical standards in journalism. This is a two-unit course in which students are expected to devote a tremendous amount of time in the field—weekdays and weekends—doing real shoe-leather journalism, knocking on doors, digging for information and determining whether there has been a miscarriage of justice. Keep in mind: Investigative reporting is hard. Expect to confront roadblocks. Anticipate spinning your wheels. There will be frustrations and setbacks. And along the way, hopefully, you will learn to think like an investigative reporter, you will learn by doing and you will do it by the most honorable methods and, so, come closer to discovering the truth—whatever that truth is. For more information, please see The Medill Justice Project, which supports this class, at www.medilljusticeproject.org. Registration Requirements Registration is by application and permission of the instructor only. Junior standing; instructor consent
383-0 Health & Science Reporting
Taught by Prof. Patti Wolter
Health and Science Reporting teaches students both how to think about science writing and how to write about science and medicine. In this combination writing workshop and seminar we will read some of the best of the best science and health journalism; meet with expert scientists on campus; and meet the editors and writers from leading scientific journals and publications. Students will learn what makes good science writing, how to find sources, how to evaluate information and how to sort out science from pseudo-science. Assignments will include student debates, critiques of science coverage in newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the Web, science/health/medicine journal rewrites, news briefs, an in-depth narrative story on a science topic of students’ own choosing, and an opportunity to write live copy for a science magazine or website.
390-0 Sports Commentary
Taught by Prof. J. A. Adande
The goal for each student in this course is to develop a distinctive voice that stands out from the cacophony of opinions in the sporting world, to create commentary that is informative, thought-provoking and entertaining and to adapt those messages for delivery across multiple media platforms: the written word, television, radio, podcasts and social media.
Sports are more than just home runs and touchdowns. Collectively, they’re part of a $200 billion industry. And within this realm all of the elements of our society are displayed: heroism and failure, racial harmony and discrimination, drugs, religion and crime. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of and capable of weighing in on all current issues, not just the latest sports results.
Students will learn to coalesce their observations, opinions and experiences into compelling arguments that reflect the essence of the sports column: “I’m right, and this is why.”