Courses

  • COM JO 520: Advanced Media Design
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 301 or COM JO 512; Or consent of instructor.
    This is a studio course where students learn to design for a variety of media. Students design sample pages for two online/print magazines on topics of their own choosing in the categories of arts and ideas. Students design with required Adobe Creative applications. The aim is to improve communication through visual language. Typography and the use of images are explored as creative/innovative ideas are developed. All projects will be portfolio pieces. 4 cr, either sem.
  • COM JO 522: Professional Photo Portfolio
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 303.
    Required of students in the photojournalism specialization. A course preparing students for entry into a career in visual journalism. Weekly assignments are designed so that students build a portfolio allowing them to compete for opportunities in the professional world. Students will master critical skills including story development, use of multimedia, writing, and meeting deadlines. 4 cr., Spring sem.
  • COM JO 523: The Presidency and the Media
    Students follow the week-to-week interaction of the president and the news media, while examining the evolution of relations between journalists and American presidents from FDR to the present. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 524: Broadcast Sports Journalism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 and COM JO 303.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 707; or Journalism Toolkit, or consent of instructor.
    Students produce a weekly sports TV show "SportsNight" and learn producing, writing, anchoring and technical skills. Course provides a foundation for a career in broadcast sports journalism. 4 cr, either sem.
  • COM JO 525: Media Law and Ethics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Required of all journalism majors. Recommended to be taken after COM JO357.
    An examination of the many ethical issues and dilemmas that face reporters, photographers, editors, and producers and how to resolve them with professional integrity. Legal topics include First Amendment, libel, protection of sources, copyright and intellectual property. 4 cr., either sem.
  • COM JO 527: Art of Narrative Nonfiction
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 and COM JO 310; consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721; consent of instructor
    An intensive seminar and workshop in the techniques and strategies of narrative non-fiction reporting and writing. Topics include: interviewing for narrative, creating a workable structure for long-form writing, understanding the concept of arch of narrative, developing scenes and description and understanding the elements of revision. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 530: Drafts of History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 357.
    Journalism has been called "the first rough draft of history." We consider several episodes from U.S. history and examine how the first drafts written by journalists compare to subsequent drafts written by historians. We analyze how new evidence and chronological distance alter understanding of important events. 4 cr., 1st sem.
  • COM JO 532: Sports Journalism Seminar Series
    Explore the issues that writers and broadcasters face as they pursue their careers in sports journalism. Each week, we invite working professionals to join us on campus discussing such topics as ethics, sports and its place in society, reporting, women in sports and how to find that first job. Students are expected to ask thoughtful questions and will be required to write an evaluation each week. A great opportunity to start the networking process. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 534: Video News for Nonmajors
    Basic instruction in producing video news reports for television or online designed for students who are not majoring in broadcast journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.
  • COM JO 535: Investigative and Project Reporting
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 and COM JO 310.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.
    This advanced seminar teaches select students the practice of depth reporting and writing. Students use a variety of reporting techniques from computer database searches to traditional "shoe leather" reporting -- in pursuit of long-term projects ideally destined for publication in one of several professional new outlets that have cooperative agreements with Boston University's Department of Journalism. Among them are The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.
  • COM JO 537: Advanced Visual Storytelling
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 303.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 706; or permission of instructor
    Students will refine editing and workflow, learn lighting technique, add strong portrait work to their portfolio and complete a long-form multimedia story. Students are required to manage and edit their images and to produce multimedia. The final project is a four to five minute multimedia piece with an emphasis on story, lighting, technical results, continuity and camera work. There will be continual class discussion on ethics in photojournalism and class critiques of assignments. All photos and videos must be welled tagged and captioned with complete and accurate information.
  • COM JO 542: Literature of Journalism
    What famous journalist took a handgun to his typewriter? Which literary lion shamelessly stole his wife's WWII press credentials? Which U.S. journalist chronicled the AIDS epidemic, but postponed the results of his own AIDS test so his reporting would not be compromised? This course is an examination of cultural history as seen by our fellow journalists. It rests on the premise that to be a great writer, one must also be a great reader. Students will go beyond the conventions and limitations of lower-level courses. With readings from Mark Twain to the present, we examine the tools and techniques that make nonfiction writing memorable. Subjects include Twain, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and the great misanthrope, H.L. Mencken. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 545: Reporting Military Affairs
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250.
    This course examines the role of the press in covering international conflicts, as well as the responsibilities of the news media to cover military policies, procedures, and programs during peacetime. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 546: Statehouse Program
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 and COM JO 310.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.
    Taking advantage of our location in the state capital of Massachusetts, the Journalism Department offers students the chance to cover the Statehouse for professional news clients. The prime component of The Boston Statehouse Program, this advanced study in government and political reporting offers the opportunity to write and report from Beacon Hill for a Massachusetts news organization. The course goal is to develop writing and reporting skills through the daily experience of covering state government that will apply in many fields. Working with a professor and a professional editor, students acquire the skills necessary to work in a daily news environment, including interviewing, developing sources, archival research and deadline writing. Students develop a substantial portfolio of published work. Taken with JO511, 8 cr., either sem. See Statehouse Program: http://www.bu.edu/statehouse
  • COM JO 550: Advanced Online Journalism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 304.
    This course focuses on producing long-form, interactive multimedia projects. Working in teams, students learn to produce documentary-style multimedia packages that combine still photography, audio, video, interactives and text. The course will offer an overview of techniques and best practices currently employed by news organizations to produce advanced multimedia projects. 4 cr, either sem.
  • COM JO 702: Advanced Science Writing
    Students learn to research, organize, and write a major magazine article of publishable quality. Projects for the course, with appropriate revision, may be submitted in lieu of a separate master's project.
  • COM JO 703: Magazine Writing
    Graduate Prerequisites: Recommended for graduate students in the TV journalism specialization.
    This is a course in long-form magazine journalism such as appears in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Outside, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as websites such as Medium, The Atavists and others. Students read and analyze superb examples of the genre and report, research and write long-form pieces. Topics intensive, in-depth reporting and research; the writing process; the use of fine language and the development of a personal voice; the importance of a point of view; structuring long pieces; digging deeply into subjects in order to truly enlighten readers. Also discussed is a reporting and writing strategy rooted in the methods of anthropology and ethnography. Other issues: the importance of complexity, the organic development of characters, the nature of narrative, the depiction of otherness and difference; the use of empathy; mindful journalism; and the development of relationships with sources through deep preparation, emotional connectedness, and conversation. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 704: Online Journalism for Graduate Students
    Required of journalism majors. This course introduces students to multi- platform journalism. Students will gain practical experience producing and editing news and features for delivery via digital platforms. This class critiques and analyzes news sites to examine how multiple elements such as text, photo's audio, video, social media and interactive graphics are currently used in multimedia reporting. 4 cr, either sem.
  • COM JO 705: Science Unbound-Writing at the Edges of Science and Society
    A course in which students read, think and write about several areas where science and society interact, how that interaction has played out in the media and how that has affected the public's perceptions and policy decisions. We'll examine three thematic areas in which science has has a particularly prickly relationship with the media, perhaps because they touch on primal emotions:(1) Uncertainly and Doubt, (2) Hope and Fear, and, (3) Truth and justice. Students will also complete a series of short to medium length magazine style pieces suitable for front of the book sections of popular publications- such as Wired, Discover, Technology and New Scientist.
  • COM JO 706: Digital Toolkit
    This course description is currently under construction.