Courses

The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the Student Link for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • COM JO 539: Global Health Storytelling
    GLOBAL HEALTH STORYTELLING marks our first effort to present an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to address core concepts in both public health and journalism, and to prepare students to make the truly exciting--but often untold--stories of public health available to a wide public Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • COM JO 541: The Art of the Interview
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: JO 351
    Graduate Prerequisites: JO 707
    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. Please note: prior video production experience is required for this class.
  • 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: Rescuing Lost Stories: Writing Nonfiction Narratives from the Archives
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    The course will prepare students who are interested in writing nonfiction narratives to plan and conduct archival research, especially at BU's Gotlieb Archival Research Center. Students will learn to navigate the archives, then frame and develop historical narratives of significant contemporary events based on research of primary source materials such as personal letters, diaries, government documents and contemporaneous media reports. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Writing-Intensive Course, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Creativity/Innovation
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • COM JO 544: Trauma Journalism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: JO 200
    Graduate Prerequisites: JO 721
    Trauma is at the heart of news. A working journalist will most assuredly report on some type of traumatic event at some point in her career, whether covering a national tragedy or one family's personal nightmare. This course will explore the best practices for ethically and empathetically covering traumatic stories. A second important goal of this course will explore how journalists themselves can emotionally process what they have seen and heard on the job.
  • 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 547: Sports Storytelling
    This course goes beyond the game and focuses on sports features, learning from journalists, editors, producers and first-hand experience. We'll go through the whole feature process from pitch to final product. We'll explore different techniques for reporting, organizing, and crafting longer form sports stories. The goal: Produce professional-quality, publishable sports narratives.
  • 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 700: Jo Symposium
  • 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 707: Video 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 department's news-service website. Four credits, fall semester.
  • COM JO 711: Video Storytelling
    Recommended for students in the TV journalism specialization who are interested in long-form video storytelling. This is a production class and will also include the study of documentary aesthetics, ethics and genres. Students will work throughout the semester to produce, shoot, and edit an eight-minute documentary short, learning to build a story from an idea to the final edited story. Students will be critiqued on their production skills as well as their reporting and storytelling.
  • 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 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 department's news- service website. Students file stories frequently, and programs from NPR, BBC, WBZ and other audio news outlets will be critiqued. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • 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. Four credits. (Prerequisite: COM JO 721.)
  • COM JO 721: Introduction to Reporting
    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. Four credits, fall semesters.
  • COM JO 734: Television Newsroom
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721 ; COM JO 707 ; COM JO 711.
    Students produce a weekly half-hour newscast, broadcast on cable TV and the Internet, with live coverage and video reports on local, national and international news as well as sports highlights and weather. Students rotate positions weekly, using television studios and the control booth, collaborating to broadcast a fresh, informative and accurate newscast while facing the daily deadlines of a working newsroom. Four credits, spring semester.
  • COM JO 737: Journalism Internship
    Student develops a portfolio of professional work while working in the field. The student works 120-200 hours per semester or summer at the internship. Comprehensive paper, employer evaluation, and portfolio required upon completion of internship. Variable credit.
  • COM JO 954: Directed Study
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor
    Faculty and students work together in a tutorial situation to produce a substantial project of mutual interest. 4 cr.
  • COM JO 955: Professional Project
    Graduate Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
    In their final semester, all candidates for the M.S. degree in Journalism undertake a capstone project of professional quality. In consultation with a faculty member, the student conceives the project, carries out all necessary reporting and editing, combines multimedia elements as warranted, and seeks to have the work published or broadcast. 4 cr., either sem.