Journalism

  • 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 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 Writng
    Graduate Prerequisites: Recommended for graduate students in the TV journalism specialization.
    This course description is currently under construction.
  • 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.
  • COM JO 707: TV Reporting
    This introductory course is about reporting, writing and producing the news for television and the internet. Students learn the fundamentals of news- gathering, story generation, research, videography, writing, editing and presentation. Strong stories air on BUTV and are posted on the BU News Service website. 4 cr., Fall.
  • COM JO 711: Video Journalism
    Recommended for students in the TV journalism specialization. Students learn to set up, shoot and edit video news reports, using current HD cameras and editing software. This is a production class requiring students to produce several video news reports broadcast on television and posted to the Internet. 4 cr., fall.
  • COM JO 712: Online Radio Newsroom
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.
    For students who like the teamwork and adrenaline of a real newsroom. Students produce a half-hour LIVE news show on the student radio station, WTBU, during each class. Students report, write, produce and engineer all the news sports and commentary on deadline. Students use social media to report stories. Content is uploaded to the Boston University News Service website. Students file stories frequently, and programs from NPR, BBC, WBZ and other audio news outlets will be critiqued. 4 cr., either sem.
  • COM JO 718: Magazine Workshop
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721; students should be familiar with Microsoft Word or comparable program.
    This capstone magazine writing course is designed to create a published magazine as a writing portfolio for students. This is a studio course, taught by two professors, that covers writing and design in a setting that captures the dynamics of professional practice. Working in groups, students assume professional positions and conceptualize, write, edit, design, and publish magazines. Magazines are designed and published using required Adobe Creative applications. Design concepts and techniques, along with computer programs used in this course, are taught with step-by-step instructions. 4 cr 2nd sem
  • COM JO 719: Feature Writing
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.
    In this course, students are invited to go beyond the demands of hard-news writing and to explore a much broader range of topics and a richer array of approaches. The essence of feature writing is "enterprise" -- feature stories are those that do not have to happen and cannot be written by formula; individual journalists make them happen. Through readings and by reporting and writing their own features, students develop a sophisticated sense of stories and a stylish prose technique. Emphasis is on telling great stories at various lengths and in different formats. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 721: Intro to Reporting
    Required of all journalism grad students. Students learn newswriting and reporting by covering a full range of news stories in a newsroom environment. This foundation course emphasizes stress on deadline pressure, writing, and reporting for all media. Includes weekly discussion of journalism principles as illustrated by current events and controversies. 4 cr., Fall sem.
  • COM JO 722: Advanced Journalism Seminar
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.
    Required of journalism grad students in all specializations other than broadcast, photo, and science. Using the city as our subject, students cover working "beats" in Boston and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for proposing and covering stories dealing with courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting across all media. Stories may appear in the BU News Service or in professional news outlets. 4 cr., Spring sem.