Fall 2014 Journalism Course Descriptions

JOU 270A. Introduction to Journalism (Professor Hunt) – M 6:30-9:00

JOU 270B. Introduction to Journalism (Professor Catanoso) – MW 12:30-1:45  

Introduction to Journalism is your gateway course to a minor in journalism. This course is a full immersion into new ways to think about gathering information and communicating it -- fairly and accurately -- in a variety of forms and formats. Throughout the semester, we will discuss, evaluate and practice the craft of journalism through clear and concise writing.  You will write news, features and opinion. You will write stories of varying length. You will post to a blog. You will tweet news. You will practice multi-media reporting using audio, video and/or digital photography. You will be creative, but work only from verified facts and information. Ultimately, you will learn communication skills that will impress potential employers, whether you plan to work as a journalist (writer or editor), a PR professional, an attorney, a business person or in any field where writing cleanly and communicating clearly are vital. There will be more than a dozen graded assignments, many of them on deadline.

JOU 276A. Niche Reporting: Community News (Professor Zerwick) – TR 12:30-1:45

This course offers students the opportunity to learn first-hand why so many news organizations across the country, from newspapers to start-up blogs, focus on stories about community. The course sends students off campus to explore Winston-Salem – its neighborhoods, its schools, its cultural institutions and its people -- and teaches them to tell the compelling human stories that make local news the heart and soul of journalism. Students will also hone their digital journalism skills by learning to tell stories in print, sound and video. The class will publish a regular community news report on the class blog.

JOU 276B. Niche Reporting: Sports (Professor Catanoso)  - W 3:30-6:00

This course will survey the art and craft of sports writing in all forms, across all mediums. Students will cover players, teams, issues and the business of sports. The emphasis will be on storytelling -- in short and longer form -- that goes beyond play-by-play and the final score of a contest. Students will write, blog and tweet, often on deadline, as well as produce podcasts and videos. Students will write breaking news, features and columns. Students will be required to read daily sports journalism in newspapers, magazines and sports web sites and follow the work of specific sports journalists. Developing sources, identifying story ideas and covering a sport through a season will be central to the course. Some class time may meet off campus; some class time will be shifted so that we can attend a sporting event as a group. Several professional sports journalists will meet with the class either in person or on Skype.

JOU 278.  News Literacy (Professor Henson) – TR 11:00-12:15

This course examines the practice of American journalism, focusing on how journalism is defined, how the news business functions, its antecedents in history and its role as a counterweight to power in a democracy. It explores the difference between news and propaganda; news and opinion; and bias and fairness with a goal of training more discriminating and thoughtful producers and consumers of news.  Requirements: An oral project, mid-term and final exam.  


JOU 282.  Beat Reporting (Professor Catanoso) – T 3:30-6:00

This class is ideal for students interested in learning more about and practicing the twin skills of reporting and journalistic writing in its varied forms: traditional news and feature stories, blog and Twitter posts, and short videos. The class meets one night a week where interactive discussions focus on developing sources, interviewing skills, the new modes of journalistic communication and how best to write news and feature stories both short and long. Part of each class is also devoted to progress students make between classes on the real meat of the course: cultivating sources and developing story ideas. Students select a beat on campus, like covering covering student government or study abroad programs. They reach out to sources on that beat week by week. They come up with story ideas. They write stories designed to fit a range of assignments. Most stories are offered to the OGB or The Student for publication. Guest speakers provide real-world insight into professional journalism.

JOU 284/WRI 392. Magazine Writing (Professor Goodson) W 6:30-9:00

An advanced feature writing course designed to evaluate, discuss and practice the skills needed to produce magazine stories for publication. Students are encouraged to write creatively and often, specifically for print media. The focus is on clear writing with substance, personality and a point of view.  Magazine pieces are crafted for specific readerships.

JOU 286.  Writing for Public Relations and Advertising (Professor Mitchell) T 5:00-7:30

Writing for advertising and public relations provides hands-on experience in a variety of communications areas that will help prepare students for careers in marketing communications, advertising, digital media and public relations. Areas of focus include media releases, print/broadcast advertising, digital communications and marketing strategy. The class covers the purpose, style and structure of writing for each of these different forms of media. Students will also be part of a team that produces a brand campaign and marketing plan incorporating all materials covered in class. This class will benefit students who have demonstrated a serious interest in pursuing careers in advertising and/or public relations

JOU 287.  Interactive Digital Media (Professor Zaluski) M 5:00-7:00  

Interactive Digital Media explores multimedia storytelling in its various forms.  By examining professional trends as well as working with various types of media and web production, this course gives students a hands-on approach to converged journalism.  Throughout the project-based course, students will learn graphic design techniques on Photoshop, audio/video editing skills on Final Cut X, and the basics of photography and videography.  The end goal of the course is for students to create an E-Portfolio website that will showcase their journalism and multimedia experience.