Curriculum

Building upon Annenberg’s record of innovation in journalism education, the B.A. in Journalism offers a forward-thinking curriculum that encourages students to embrace technology, assess it critically, and employ it in the service of powerful and effective journalism. Team-taught courses leverage faculty expertise in video, audio, text and digital journalism to help students establish their reporting and writing expertise across multiple platforms. Through a newly integrated Media Center experience, students will acquire the editing, production and digital storytelling skills to produce journalism across a range of media. At the conclusion of the degree program, students will produce digital portfolios and personal websites featuring their best work at the school.

Students are required to complete 44 units for the major, including 32 units of the following required core courses.

REQUIRED COURSES:

  • ASCJ 200 - Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age (4 units)
  • JOUR 201 - Culture of Journalism: Past, Present and Future (4 units)
  • JOUR 207 - Reporting and Writing I (4 units)
  • JOUR 208 - Media Law and Ethics (2 units)
  • JOUR 307 - Reporting and Writing II (4 units)
  • JOUR 320 - Introduction to Coding for Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 321 - Visual Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 322 - Data Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 323 - Creating Your Digital Footprint and Brand (2 units)
  • JOUR 372 - Engaging Diverse Communities in the Digital Era (2 units)
  • JOUR 408 - Advanced Media Law in the Digital Age (2 units)
  • JOUR 414 - Advanced Digital Media Storytelling (2 units)

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for a description of the required courses.

ELECTIVE COURSES:

The curriculum offers an opportunity to add deeper, more specialized media experience through the selection of electives, including app development, virtual reality journalism and native content for social media.

Students have the opportunity to take 12 units of upper division electives from the following:

JOUR 309 Introduction to Online Media (3) Convergence journalism and online skill sets. Blogs and Web content production. Social responsibility and ethical framework in digital information technology. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 310 Investigative Reporting (4) Reportorial and analytical skills and techniques required for portraying and evaluating contemporary newsworthy events; lectures, discussions. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 311 Multi-Platform Editing (4) Copyediting, headline writing, Search Engine Optimization and other production skills for preparation of content across platforms. Social responsibility and ethical framework also components of this course. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 330 Photojournalism (4) Emphasis on fundamental skills necessary for photojournalism including camera techniques, story ideas and digital darkroom.

PR 340 Introduction to Advertising (4) History and development of advertising; basic advertising campaigns showing relationships of marketing, creative, print and electronic media.

PR 341 Advertising Copywriting (4) Writing and editing for advertising and commercial copy for all media. Prerequisite: JOUR 340.

PR 342 Advertising Media and Analysis (4) Selling, planning, buying for the media; advertising’s relationship to society and business; media choice. Prerequisite: JOUR 340.

PR 343 Advertising Design and Production (4) Production of advertising materials; emphasis on the creation and design of advertising elements. Prerequisite: JOUR 340.

JOUR 371 Censorship and the Law: From the Press to Cyberspace (4) (Enroll in COMM 371)

JOUR 373 Journalism Ethics Goes to the Movies(4) Ethical issues facing journalists in the complex world of legacy media, social media and the Internet as dramatized in the movies and in the newsroom.

JOUR 375 The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (4) The impact of conflicting images of reporters in movies and television on the American public’s perception of newsgatherers in the 20th century. A decade-by-decade evaluation.

JOUR 380 Sports, Business and Media in Today’s Society (4) An inside look at the symbiotic relationship of sports and the media — from the interdependence of sports and media, to the coverage of sports in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. The economic and ethical issues involved, the conflicts of interest, the history and current status of sports coverage in American media today.

JOUR 381 Entertainment, Business and Media in Today’s Society (4) An examination of the symbiotic relationship of the entertainment business and the media; press coverage of the entertainment industry; Hollywood’s relationship with news media.

JOUR 400 Interpretive Writing (4) Weekly assignments in the shorter forms of newspaper and magazine writing: essays, reviews, editorials, opinion-page articles, profiles; analyses of major 20th century journalists. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 401L Online Site Management and Production for Journalists (4) Work as executive producers and manage NeonTommy.com, a major website; operate its content management system, produce, curate and aggregate journalism.

JOUR 402 Advanced Television Reporting (4) Role of the broadcast journalism reporter; similarities and differences between print and electronic media; application of audio-video equipment; analysis and practical experience. Prerequisite: JOUR 306.

JOUR 403 Television News Production (4) Production of television news programs; preparation and treatment of form and content; procedures, problems, and practice in planning and producing broadcast news materials. Prerequisite: JOUR 306.

JOUR 405 Non-Fiction Television (4) Presentation and selection in non-fiction television programs including documentaries, electronic magazines and news series; ethical problems, field research, reporting, interviewing, pre-production. Prerequisite: JOUR 306.

JOUR 407 Newsradio (4) Production of radio news: research, reporting, writing, preparation and treatment of form and content: procedures, problems and practice in producing radio news programs.

JOUR 409 Storytelling: Radio News and Podcasts (4) Learn techniques for audio journalism, an increasingly popular and growing field. This course covers the effective use of sound, the art of the interview, writing for the ear and how to craft stories that people want to listen to. Prerequisite: JOUR 202, JOUR 203.

JOUR 410 Radio Documentary (4) In-depth reporting for public radio news: writing, editing, advanced vocal delivery. Production of long-form radio features and short documentaries. Prerequisite: JOUR 409.

JOUR 412 Introduction to Online Publishing (4) Introduction to the methods, theory and production of news publishing on the World Wide Web including basic HTML, graphics production and news design.

JOUR 420 Advanced Photojournalism (4) Emphasis on advanced photojournalism techniques for complex photo storytelling; focus on style, content, design, expression and ethics. Prerequisite: JOUR 330.

JOUR 421 Photo Editing for News Media (4) Emphasis on understanding, selection and power of photographs; how they work in concert with words and graphics to inform the public.

JOUR 422 Visual Journalism (4) Emphasis on photographic storytelling in print, video and Web-based media; understanding of visual thinking and imagery techniques.

JOUR 425 Advanced Radio News Production (4) Production of public radio news: producing real-time newscasts for Annenberg Radio News. Newsgathering, assigning stories, anchoring, interviewing, working with reporters, editing and producing live programming. Prerequisite: JOUR 409.

JOUR 430 Writing the Film Review (4) Techniques of writing the film review; preparation and treatment of form and content; problems, responsibilities and ethics of film reviewing. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 431 Feature Writing (4) Techniques of writing newspaper feature stories, including the profile, the light feature, the news feature, the in-depth story; the art of narrative writing. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 432 Sports Commentary (4) Techniques of reporting and writing sports columns and commentary for print, video, radio and Web-based media.

JOUR 433 Writing About Science (4) Techniques of writing about science, including news, profiles, features and commentary.

JOUR 435 Writing Magazine Non-Fiction (4) A seminar in “how to” interview, research, write — and place — professional quality articles for a full range of magazines/newspapers including women’s, sports, ethnic, local and national. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 436 Magazine Production (4) Publishing and production technologies; economics of magazine publishing including cost analysis, marketing, advertising, and circulation. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 440 Environmental Journalism (4) Techniques of reporting and writing about the environment. Includes both theory and practice needed for reporters specializing in this area of journalism. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 441 Sports Reporting (2) News and feature coverage of sporting events, including social and economic factors influencing sports in America. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 443 Business Reporting (2) Techniques of reporting and writing about business, economics and finance. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 444 Reporting on Religion (4) Provides print, online and broadcast journalists with basic tools for reporting on the religion angle of news stories. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 446 Entertainment Reporting (2) Techniques of reporting and writing about the entertainment business, economics and finances. Analysis of the skills and background needed for reporters specializing in this area of the news. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 447 Arts Reporting (2) Techniques of reporting and writing about the arts, including television, film, theatre, music, graphic arts, architecture and design. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 448 Government and Public Affairs Reporting (4) Techniques for covering beats that are the foundation of daily newspaper reporting, including crime, education, immigration and local government. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 449 Reporting Los Angeles (2) Specialized reporting class focused on Los Angeles that requires intensive fieldwork in the neighborhoods, ethnic communities, and/or among local institutions. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

PR 451 Promotional Public Relations (4) Principles and practices of public relations as a basic component in the promotion and marketing of goods and services; regulatory considerations; consumerism. Prerequisite: JOUR 250.

PR 452 Public Relations in Entertainment (4) Public relations in the design, promotion, and presentation of popular entertainment, including films, broadcasting, music, expositions, amusement parks, resorts and arenas.

PR 454 Sports Public Relations (2) Introduction to the field of sports information and promotion, including lectures, media assignments, role-playing, and presentations by sports professionals.

PR 455 Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations (4) Introduction to the specialized field of public relations for non-profit and non-governmental organizations; emphasis on case studies, strategic and critical thinking, and campaign development.

PR 456 Public Relations for Diverse Audiences (4) Researching, planning, executing and evaluating communications campaigns aimed at audiences segmented by culture, lifestyle and other factors. Prerequisite: JOUR 250.

PR 457 The Role of Celebrity in Public Relations (4) Understanding of the history and application of celebrity in public relations, focusing on the entertainment industry and the notoriety attached to politics and the media.

PR 458 Public Relations in Politics and Political Campaigns (4) Application of public relations principles to the context of political campaigns; emphasis on message development and delivery; relationship between candidate, news media, and electorate.

JOUR 459 Fact and Fiction: From Journalism to the Docudrama (4) Historical, legal and ethical limitations to the misrepresentation of fact. Includes print and broadcast journalism, books, theatre, cinema and new technology.

JOUR 460 Social Responsibility of the News Media (4) News media as instruments of constructive social change; standards of ethics and aesthetics; interactions between news media and cultural settings; social responsibility of news media personnel.

JOUR 462 Law of Mass Communication (4) Press law; government controls on the news media; legal responsibilities of the journalist.

JOUR 465m Latino News Media in the United States (4) History and growing importance of Latino print and broadcast news media in covering immigration, discrimination, culture, social differences and other aspects of U.S. Latino life.

JOUR 466m People of Color and the News Media (4) Reporting and portrayal of people of color in the United States; impact of racial diversity on media, employment and access, and development of media for individuals and communities of color. Open to non-majors.

JOUR 467 Gender and the News Media (4) Gender and news media evolving images of women and men in print and electronic media. Impact of gender in content and style of news, television and cinema. Open to non-majors.

JOUR 468m The American Press and Issues of Sexual Diversity (4) Examines how news media reflect and affect perception of gay/lesbian issues; provides historical-contemporary context; arms students to bypass rhetoric and knowledgeably evaluate facts.

JOUR 469 Money, Markets and Media (4) Practical approach to understanding and writing about economic concepts through current events, case studies and historical examples.

JOUR 470 Community Journalism (2) Survey of how local journalism functions in a community. Students work as editors/mentors to high school students, writing for school newspaper and other media. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 471 Advanced Multimedia Storytelling (2) Students create and manage advanced online story packages with multiple digital elements including text, visuals (videos, photos, graphics, etc.), audio, interactivity and navigation. Recommended preparation: JOUR 309.

PR 473 Emerging Media Strategies for Communication and Public Relations (4) In-depth, hands-on study of emerging tradigital, social and owned media channels; Emphasis on the evaluation of such media as effective tools for audience engagement. Open only to juniors and seniors in the School for Communication and Journalism.

JOUR 474 Interviewing and Profile Writing (2) Techniques of, and intensive application in researching and writing interviews and profiles for newspapers and magazines. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 475 Publications Design and Technology (4) Art, typography, and other graphic elements in publication design; traditional, contemporary, and advanced production methods, processes, and equipment; representative examples; practice in design.

JOUR 476 Reporting Urban Affairs (4) Examination of U.S. urban issues with an eye toward history for context; study of emerging 21st century solutions for urban communities. Prerequisite: JOUR 302, JOUR 303.

JOUR 477 Web Analytics for News and Nonprofit Organizations (2) Introduction to using Web traffic and other audience behavior data to manage Websites and social media for news and nonprofit organizations.

PR 481 Careers and Strategies in Health Communication (4) Understanding of the dynamic, changing world of U.S. healthcare; knowledge of healthcare audiences and how to reach them; creating effective strategic communications initiatives.

JOUR 482 Comparative Media in Europe (4) Examines print, broadcast and public relations media and their interactive roles in multi-national and supra-national settings at sites in both Western and Eastern Europe.

JOUR 483 Negotiating and Reporting Global Change (4) In-depth multimedia reporting on social, economic and political processes of global impact; combining intense fieldwork and specialized background knowledge.

JOUR 484 American Religion, Foreign Policy and the News Media (4) Exploration of the influence of American religion on foreign policy from Colonial Era to present; how the news media, reporting on international stories, shapes public opinion.

PR 485 Multimedia PR Content: Digital/Social Media Lab (2) Hands-on lab; Web and new social distribution platforms; development and management of online content and personal brands; social media trends and applications.

PR 486 Multimedia PR Content: Introduction to Digital Design Tools (2) Hands-on lab; producing multimedia content; basic principles of design; tools and techniques to create digital images and layouts.

PR 487 Multimedia PR Content: Introduction to Audio/Video Tools (2) Hands-on lab; audio/video tools for conceiving, shooting, editing, delivering and archiving compelling stories for online audiences; personal brand building; digital storytelling trends and applications.

PR 488 Multimedia PR Content: Visual Communication of Information (2) Overview of tools and techniques available to convey messages and experiences; exploration into graphic design, visual branding, design methods and processes.

JOUR 490x Directed Research (1–8, max 12) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

PR 491 Transmedia, New Media and Strategic PR/Communication (4) Study of the new rules of message development and dissemination in strategic communication and marketing: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Branding, Spreadable Media, and Crowdsourcing. Open only to seniors and master students in public relations and strategic public relations.

PR 492 Personal Branding (4) Learn to build, promote and manage a personal brand through critical analysis, case study, interactive interpretation and creative problem solving.

PR 494 Transmedia, New Media and Strategic Communication (4) Examines nature of consumption and storytelling within a networked culture and how participatory culture, transmedia branding, and spreadable media are changing strategic communication practice.

JOUR 498 Honors Seminar (2) Intensive study of a subject of contemporary relevance or of professional importance to journalists. Prerequisite: admission to Honors Program.

JOUR 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8) Selected topics in journalism.

Electives may also be concentrated in areas of study such as:

  • Broadcast and Digital Video Journalism
  • Sports Journalism
  • Digital, Mobile and Emerging Technologies

------------------Description of Required Courses:----------------

ASCJ 200 - Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age (4)
This is an interdisciplinary course designed to engage students as discriminating media and news consumers and contributors at a time when the digital revolution is spawning an unprecedented daily flood of content. Students will develop critical thinking and analytic skills for evaluating media and news, distinguish different types of media and news, media formats and platforms, and learn how to become active participants and producers in the new digital culture. The course examines new avenues of civic participation and the critical importance of ethical standards in communicating messages.
*with breakout lab sections. 

JOUR 201 - Culture of Journalism: Past, Present and Future (4)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to key moments, debates and ideas that have shaped U.S. journalism. Covering from the Revolutionary War period through today, the class will examine social, cultural, political and technological aspects of U.S. journalism, getting a sense of its overarching history as a profession and public service.
*JOUR 201 writing labs will introduce students to effective research and writing skills, using class lectures about the news industry and other related topics as the basis for short assignments. 

JOUR 207 - Reporting and Writing I (4)
This course will provide students with the foundational skills needed to report, write, produce and distribute stories across multiple platforms for diverse audiences. Students will learn reporting fundamentals, including developing news judgment. They will learn to write and structure news stories across topics and from diverse communities. They will be introduced to the role of social media in newsgathering.
*As a complement to their class work, students will have a weekly four-hour shift in Annenberg's state-of-the art Media Center where they will get hands-on experience as multimedia journalists. Students will report and produce a wide range of digital, video, audio, and text stories. 

JOUR 208 - Media Law and Ethics (2)
Students will learn the basics of the legal system and contemporary case law and ethics to help guide and anchor the practice of journalism in the digital space.  They will learn how traditional boundaries between public and private have changed and how to navigate this space as journalists. Students will learn, too, the ethics that guide their behavior as professionals.  

JOUR 307 - Reporting and Writing II (4)
This course will provide students with opportunities to report, write, produce and distribute more in-depth stories produced off beats on multiple platforms for diverse audiences. Students will hone their news judgment by producing longer news and analysis pieces with multiple sources. In this course, students will also begin to learn how to engage communities using both field reporting and emerging digital tools through social media.
*As a complement to their class work, students will have a weekly four-hour shift in Annenberg's state-of-the art Media Center where they will get hands-on experience as multimedia journalists. Students will report and produce a wide range of digital, video, audio, and text stories. 

JOUR 320 - Introduction to Coding for Storytelling (2)
In this course, students will learn web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery) needed to build modern interactive multimedia projects. In addition, they will use their storytelling skills to create advanced online story packages with multiple elements, including text, visuals, audio, interactivity and navigation, with heavy emphasis on web development and coding. Students will conceive, design, code and produce a multimedia package.

JOUR 321 - Visual Journalism (2)
Students will gain an understanding of visual journalism through theory and practical application while exploring emerging story forms. Students will learn video for web, principles of photography, design for web and mobile platforms and the roles each play in interactive story-telling. Students also will learn elements of design related to typography, layout, engagement and user interface as they apply to journalistic story forms across platforms.

JOUR 322 - Data Journalism (2)
This course explores data journalism in the context of investigative journalism. Students will learn how to analyze and interpret data provided by public and private agencies/ organizations.  The course will train students how to use the data to give stories context by using basic quantitative analysis tools and techniques. Data visualization, audience engagement and interactivity will also be covered in this course.
*Beginning in Fall of Junior year, students are encouraged to choose electives from JOUR 300- and 400-level courses. 

JOUR 323 - Creating Your Digital Footprint and Brand (2)
Students will build a personal website featuring their work at the school. The collected work will demonstrate a student’s depth and breadth across enterprise reporting and writing, entrepreneurship, social media and community engagement. This class also will focus on how to use diverse social media platform to enhance and advance students’ digital footprint in an era of personal branding. 

JOUR 372 - Engaging Diverse Communities in the Digital Era (2)
In this course, students will have the opportunity to engage with diverse local communities and produce stories across platforms. Students will learn how to use digital tools to increase journalists’ engagement with communities via field reporting and on news sites and mobile platforms. The course will also teach students the sophisticated use of social media tools to crowd source and to build source lists and community relationships. [Cross listed as ASCJ 440 Engaging Diverse Communities in the Digital Era]. 
*Students will also spend four hours each week in Annenberg's state-of-the-art Media Center where they will use skills and tools taught in the classroom to enhance community reporting assignments. 

JOUR 408 - Advanced Media Law in the Digital Age (2)
Students will learn, in greater depth, about the First Amendment and seminal case law establishing journalists’ freedoms and helping provide the framework for the practice of the craft. The course also continues conversations from the freshman-level law class, delving deeper into emerging case law that, in some instances, restricts mass communication freedom in the digital space.

JOUR 414 - Advanced Digital Media Storytelling (2)
In this course, students will produce a well-reported advanced multimedia package, with a blend of text, audio, video, photos, navigation and interactivity. The final project will be published by the Annenberg Media Center.