Courses

  • COM JO 521: Data Journalism
    This course teaches the basics of how to find, report, write and present data-driven news stories.? It is an introduction to the collection, analysis, presentation and impact of structured information by journalists.?Students will learn six skills:? identifying and obtaining government data, downloading and importing data, "scraping" data, cleaning and standardizing data, analyzing data, visualizing data and crafting a compelling data-driven story for your audience.? Students will also gain an effective mindset for approaching data, including how to obtain data from government agencies and strategies for overcoming obstacles in getting that data. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. (Undergraduate prerequisite: COM JO 200.)
  • COM JO 522: Filmmaking for Journalists
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 303.
    This course is for journalists with visual backgrounds who want to tell stories as documentary films. It is a practical, hands-on course where you will learn by doing it, guided by lectures that will include a range of contemporary documentary films in various styles to spark your imagination about storytelling as well as techniques. You will pitch an idea that you will produce, direct, shoot and edit into a 5-minute film finished to professional and journalistic standards.
  • 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. Four credits
  • COM JO 524: Sports Reporting and Production
    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. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 200, JO 205 and JO 351. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 707; or Journalism Toolkit, or consent of instructor.)
  • 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: Narrative Journalism
    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. Four credits. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and consent of instructor. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721 and consent of instructor.)
  • 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. Four credits, fall semester. (Undergraduate Prerequisite: COM JO 150.)
  • COM JO 532: Sports Seminar
    Students 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. Four credits. (Undergraduate Prerequisite: COM JO 200.)
  • 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 the Journalism Dept, including The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. Class is taught by award-winning journalists from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Four credits, spring semesters. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and COM JO 210. Graduate Prerequisite: COM JO 721.)
  • 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. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 205. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 706; or permission of instructor.)
  • COM JO 541: The Art of the Interview
    Students learn advanced professional techniques for an essential skill. From preparing an interview to setting it up and carrying it out, students get detailed instruction and feedback. Four credits, spring semesters. (Undergraduate prerequisite: JO 200. Graduate prerequisite: JO 721. Permission of instructor required.)
  • COM JO 542: The Literature of Journalism
    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. With readings from Walt Whitman to the present, we examine the tools and techniques that make nonfiction writing memorable. Subjects include Mark Twain, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and the great misanthrope, H.L. Mencken. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • COM JO 543: Resc Lost Story
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Creativity/Innovation
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • 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. Four credits. (Undergraduate Prerequisite: COM JO 200.)
  • 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 JO 511, eight credits, fall and spring semesters. See Statehouse Program: http://www.bu.edu/statehouse. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and JO 210. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.)
  • 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. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 304. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 704.)
  • COM JO 702: Science Narrative
    An in-depth introduction to narrative for science communicators,?story-tellers and journalists.? We consider content, form, style and approach, using examples from the work of established writers to glean principles for our own thinking and writing. Research will play a central role, and we will focus on interview and reporting skills and analysis, including statistics.?The goal of science narrative is to shed light on scientific topics, and also to inform and provoke thought.?In this class, we produce four short pieces of narrative, and in the process discover how the writing voice acquires authority built on research. A?goal is to introduce the?essential elements of sound story telling--narrative, exposition, transition, and subtext. ?This course is required of all SciJo students and open to other students by permission of the instructor. Four credits, fall semesters.
  • COM JO 703: Magazine Writing
    Graduate Prerequisites: JO 721
    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 Atavist 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. Four credits. (Prerequisite: COM JO 721.)
  • COM JO 704: Online Journalism
    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. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • COM JO 705: Science Unbound
    An introduction to writing magazine articles about science. Through real-world assignments students will learn to write the short to medium-length pieces that appear in the front-of- the-book or online editions of publications such as?The New Yorker,?Wired, Discover, ?and?Science.??Class discussions will also examine several areas in which media have had a troubled role in communicating science-related issues, such as climate change and public health. Open to Science Journalism students and others by instructor's permission. Four credits.