purple line
purple line
University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2005-2006

Courses in Journalism

A Jrl 300Z Introduction to Journalism (3)

A newswriting and reporting course emphasizing working journalism. Regular guest lectures by working journalists and media professionals, and weekly workshops in which students discuss their own work. About 10 news and feature stories are assigned each semester, covering the courts, politics, and the metropolitan scene. Prerequisite(s): enrollment limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have taken an English course or a writing intensive course. [WI]

A Jrl 308Z (= A Eng 308Z) Narrative and Descriptive Journalism (3)

Students will explore a variety of journalistic writing styles, with an emphasis on good narrative and description, combined with the skillful use of quotes and dialogue. The class features intensive critiques of students' work. A variety of formats will be studied: newspapers, magazines, non-fiction books, and online publications. Class discussion and reading will help students improve their skills in observing, interviewing, and organizing material for longer articles. Students will have five writing assignments, including a short research paper; several in-class writing exercises; and a final project consisting of a major feature story of publishable quality.

A Jrl 350 Journalistic Interviewing (3)

Many writers have called interviewing an 'art'. Some interviews require extensive preparation, others cursory, while still others are conducted with none. Students in this course will obtain experience in each of these 'genres' by doing actual interviews in a variety of journalistic situations. Students will consider the purpose of particular interviews: will the information be used for a story? For background? For attribution? Which information will be used and which will be filed? How does an author keep a conversation going when one of the conversationalists knows his or her words will be committed to print or to tape? Students will identify which techniques work better than others, and put their findings into practice. Some interviews and other oral discourse exercises will be conducted in class, and will be critiqued and graded as forms of oral presentations. This course satisfies the Oral Discourse general education requirement. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in A Jrl 300Z, or permission of instructor. [OD]

A Jrl 364 & 365 Journalism: Special Topics (3)

Study of various issues in journalism. May be repeated when content differs. A Jrl 364Z and A Jrl 365Z are the writing intensive versions of A Jrl 364 and A Jrl 365. A Jrl 364 and A Jrl 365 do not meet the writing intensive requirement. Prerequisite(s): intended primarily for juniors and seniors and with permission of the program director.

Topics: Among the topics regularly offered under A Jrl 364 and 365 are the following:

'The Documentary Tradition in 20th Century American Prose and Photography' This lecture course studies the documentary tradition from classic American works in prose and photography through the latest innovations in using digital media.

'History of the American Press, 1833-1914' traces the development of the American print medium from the advent of the Penny Press through the influence of the muckrakers. It examines this evolving press in terms of its role in issues of public policy, gender, race and culture, thus providing an insight into the roots of contemporary American journalism.

'Media Law and Ethics' examines the current state of media law and ethics, with some attention also given to the historical roots. Topics include: First Amendment, conflicts between the values of a free press and a fair trial, libel, invasion of privacy, protection of confidential sources and information, freedom of information, copyright, telecommunications, and ethical dilemmas.

'Media Criticism' explores content and context of print journalism. Why do some stories get printed while others do not? Whose voices are heard and who is silenced? How do newsroom decision influence the audience? Do editorial and advertising pages represent the reader differently? Do readers have avenues of recourse? Should they? Close reading and writing assignments.

'The American News Media in the Twentieth Century' This lecture course surveys the historical development of the twentieth century of radio, television, newspapers and magazines, and digital media; to a lesser extent, it also addresses films, books publishing, public relations, and advertising.

'Images of Journalism in Literature and Film' explores several depictions of American journalism and journalists in a variety of genres, including novels, short stories, nonfiction, and films. Diverse images of journalists are followed from early colonial America to today.

A Jrl 364Z & 365Z Journalism: Special Topics (3)

May be repeated when content differs. A Jrl 364Z and 365Z are the writing intensive versions of A Jrl 364 and 365. Prerequisite(s): A Jrl 300Z. Intended primarily for juniors and seniors and with permission of the program director. [WI]

Topics: Among the topics regularly offered under A Jrl 364Z and 365Z are the following:

'Environmental Journalism' is a reporting and writing workshop that examinees a wide variety of issues in media coverage of such subjects as nuclear waste disposal, alternative fuels research, global warming, saving endangered areas and species, and 'nimby' (not-in-my-backyard) controversies. Intended for students in Journalism and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences but open to anyone with an interest in the subject.

'Writing Reviews, Editorials, and Columns' is a writing course in which students study and write pieces of subjective journalism, such as personal columns, arts reviews, editorials, and others.

'Computer-Assisted Journalism' introduces students to the concepts of computer-assisted reporting (CAR), fast becoming as fundamental a reporting tool as the telephone, and teaches the basic uses of spreadsheets, databases and the Internet for journalism.

'Editing for the News Media' demonstrates that editing is less an exercise in grammar and punctuation and more one in critical thinking. Editing and writing exercises and class discussion will grapple with what makes something news and what is the clearest way to express that to the readers.

'Science Journalism'This workshop introduces students to reporting on and writing about a variety of current issues in science, medicine, technology, and the environment.

'Photojournalism'This workshop, taught in a digital media lab, introduces students to photojournalism as practiced in newspapers, magazines, and digital media. Students should be able to demonstrate a basic competency in photography; those who have not taken previous photography coursework may have to present a portfolio for evaluation before being admitted.

'Digital Media Workshop'This course focuses on digital journalism, including such subjects as desktop publishing, writing HTML, and creating and maintaining Websites. It is intended for anyone who is interested in the process, design, presentation, and implementation of message-making through text, charts, symbols, signs, and computer screens/interfaces.

'Public Relations Workshop' This workshop will introduce students to a variety of functions and writing activities found in modern public relations, such as managing internal and external communications, identifying appropriate audiences, developing plans for public relations campaigns, writing press releases and other documents, handling communications in a crisis situation, and managing media relations.

A Jrl 397 Independent Study of Journalism (1-4)

A project in journalistic investigation and writing, or a study of some specific body of journalism sponsored by a faculty member and approved by the director of journalism. May repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): intended primarily for juniors and seniors and with permission of the program director.

A Jrl 400 Internship in Journalism (3-9)

Students work for one semester on a newspaper, magazine, radio or television station, or with government, business, or public affairs publication. Students earn credit by completing an academic component consisting of required group meetings and conferences with the faculty supervisor, as well as a journal, portfolio and a final paper. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s): permission of faculty supervisor. S/U graded.

purple line
purple line