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 206  –  Reporting and Writing Practicum (2 units required)
  • JOUR 207 –  Reporting and Writing I (3 units)
  • JOUR 307 –  Reporting and Writing II (3 units)
  • JOUR 320 –  Introduction to Coding for Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 321 –  Visual Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 322 –  Data Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 323 – Journalism and the Audience (2 units)
  • JOUR 372 – Engaging Diverse Communities (2 units)
  • JOUR 414 – Advanced Digital Media Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 462 – Law of Mass Communication (4 units)

Please go 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 310 Investigative Reporting (4) Reportorial and analytical skills and techniques required for portraying and evaluating contemporary newsworthy events; lectures, discussions. Prerequisite: JOUR 307.

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 307 and JOUR 320.

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

JOUR 350 Introduction to Sports Media (4) Highlight norms, routines of content, including print, broadcast, video. Focus on opportunities, constraints posed by roles of reporters, fans, players, publicists, agents, leagues, teams.

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 307.

JOUR 401 Multiplatform Editing for Digital Audiences (6) Breaking news and real-time editing for digital audiences across platforms, including homepage, social media and mobile. Introduction to analytics for website and social media.

JOUR 402 Advanced Television Reporting (6) 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 307.

JOUR 403 Television News Production (6) 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 307.

JOUR 404 Produce and Host Sports Content in Studio A (2) Interview, present and design sports segments for television/video in Studio A.

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 307 and JOUR 320.

JOUR 406 Social Media Storytelling for Latino Audiences (2) Create native journalistic content for current social media and emerging platforms with an emphasis on engaging content for Latino audiences and underrepresented communities.

JOUR 409 Radio Storytelling 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 307.

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 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 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.

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 307.

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. Prerequisite: JOUR 307.

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 307.

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 307.

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

JOUR 443 Business Reporting (2) Techniques of reporting and writing about business, economics and finance. Prerequisite: JOUR 307.

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 307.

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.

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

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 307.

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 307.

JOUR 458 Media, Food and Culture (4) Analyzes the ways media tell the story of our food and examines the critical issues surrounding what we eat.

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 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 307.

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.

JOUR 472 Strategies for Monetizing New Media (4) Learn strategies for how content creates value in a shifting media landscape. Work with a real client to create a sustainable media business model.

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 307.

JOUR 475 Print and Digital Design for 21st Century Storytelling (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.

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.

JOUR 478 Politics of Sports Writing (4) Critical examination of different styles of sports writing. Focus on the social context of sports writing and the relationship between sports and politics.

JOUR 479 Storytelling for Action Sports (4) Learn how to cover action sports with cutting-edge technology. In-class lectures and industry guest speakers focus on topics such as gender, race and history.

JOUR 480 Sports and Media Technology (4) Examine and analyze the ever-changing technology sector of the sports business and sports media world.  Identify emerging technologies being developed in the sports industry and how they are being utilized to enhance the fan experience.

JOUR 481 The Athlete, Sports Media and Popular Culture (4) Analysis of the images of the athlete and sports media helps us understand how sports dramatically affects such social issues as race, class and gender.

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.

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

JOUR 492 Advanced Coding for Storytelling (2) Focuses on advanced coding techniques for the creation of dynamic, interactive, multimedia and data-driven news stories on the web.

JOUR 493 Comics and Graphic Storytelling (4) Focus on comics as a medium to tell a broad range of stories and speak to diverse kinds of audiences. Develop a core vocabulary for thinking about comics as a medium and analyze how artists have drawn on that vocabulary in a range of contexts.

JOUR 494 Python Coding for Data Journalism (2) Python coding language to gather, parse and analyze data for investigative news reporting.

JOUR 495 Journalism for Mobile and Emerging Platforms (2) Create video, audio and graphic news and information using mobile and emerging technology, such as phones, tablets and laptops, for non-broadcast platforms; understand ethical and legal issues related to journalists working on mobile and emerging platforms.

JOUR 496 Interactive Media Design for Publishing (4) Design, test and distribute engaging news and publishing apps. Learn concepts of interactive design, color, type, UX, and more for digital mobile/tablet platforms.

JOUR 497 Data Visualization and Interactive Tools (2) Present your data in tables, charts, graphs, maps, and complex multimedia pieces using readily available interactive tools.

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.

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.

PR 410 London Calling: Public Relations in the UK Hub (4) Examines how politics affects and influences public relations campaigns in the UK and Europe.

PR 444 Lifestyle Public Relations (4) An extensive overview of the Lifestyle Public Relations category with special emphasis on social media, non-traditional influencers and audience segmentation.

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.

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 453 Public Relations Strategies for Working with Athletes (4) Sports Public Relations isn’t only getting press for a team or player; it’s managing communications among influencers. Complements overview course giving students advanced look at practitioners’ role with professional athletes.

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.

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.

PR 477 Strategic Netnography for Digital Communication Insights (4) Provides deep understanding and hands-on experience in the strategic application of netnography, or digital anthropology, to contemporary public relations and communication fields.

PR 478 Social Media Analytics: Data and Content Creation for Real-time Public Relations (4) Application of monitoring tools to become social media analysts and real-time content creators; interpretation of large data sets drawn from the social web; understanding of how to present data visually for optimal impact.

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.

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.

PR 491 Transmedia, New Media and Strategic Public Relations (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 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8) Selected topics in public relations.

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 interdisciplinary cross-school course is 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. This media environment is evolving rapidly, creating a new set of powerful players. The influence these players possess and implications of their reach are often poorly understood and unquestioned. The mark of a well-educated person in the 21st century is the ability to critically navigate this contested and integrated terrain: to understand, employ, enjoy and help build and shape the media landscape we now inhabit. Only by understanding our own roles as consumers and producers of media can we begin to make sense of the environment around us. The health of our democracy depends on enlightened and engaged citizens who can critically analyze the range of information and content disseminated from an equally wide range of sources and platforms. The course will examine new avenues of civic participation and the critical importance of ethical standards in communicating messages. Students will learn how to apply their critical-thinking and analytic skills to a range of media and news production and consumption. The critical thinking skills developed in this course will be applicable to many fields of study, from science to the arts.

JOUR 201 - Culture of Journalism: Past, Present and Future (4)
Students in this course will reconnoiter the past to understand previous moments of change. They’ll explore the present to map current trajectories. And, they’ll examine some of the most transformative new developments to inform a debate about what might lie ahead. This course attempts to view the revolution in journalism from the inside, from the perspective of journalists who are in the eye of the storm. At the start of the semester and at select moments thereafter students will assume the guise of the journalistic producer, although the course does not attempt to teach the skills of journalistic production. Rather, the goal is to assume the point of view of the journalist who scans history and the contemporary landscape in order to find a way forward. In the first third of the semester we will develop analytical tools for understanding key aspects of the culture of journalism using coverage of the Trump administration as our laboratory sample. In the second third we will explore the history of journalism in the United States. And, in the final third we will examine the current state of the profession and some of the major trends shaping its future.

JOUR 206  –  Reporting and Writing Practicum (2 units)
Requires concurrent enrollment with JOUR 207 and JOUR 307. One semester is spent in “Live Production,” producing television, radio and digital content on deadline for student-led news outlets, and one semester in “Community Reporting,” developing sources and stories for Annenberg Media’s website and social media accounts. Students can take JOUR 206 Live Production and JOUR 206 Community Reporting in either sequence, but all students will do both.

JOUR 207 – Reporting and Writing I (3 units)
Students will learn about the role and responsibility of a journalist in American society through a variety of campus and local community-based reporting and writing assignments. This course will introduce students to the step-by-step process of producing news content, from understanding the concept of news judgment – when an event is news and why – to the research, reporting, writing and dissemination of news in a 21st century news ecosystem. This course will focus on writing, reporting and news judgment.

JOUR 307 – Reporting and Writing II (3 units)
In this course, students will continue to report, write and produce cross-platform journalism from Los Angeles County’s rich collection of cities and neighborhoods. In addition, students will learn how to find story ideas, gather information, interview people and write effectively in a variety of story formats and styles. The course will integrate other journalism skills and concepts, including news judgment, ethics, diversity, copyediting/AP style and technological competence.

JOUR 320 – Introduction to Coding for Storytelling (2 units)
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 units)
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 units)
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.

JOUR 323 – Journalism and the Audience (2 units)
Journalism today is so much more than finding, verifying and publishing facts. To succeed in the modern media landscape, journalists nowadays must do all those things, plus engage directly with their audience and understand who will consume their stories and why and how they will consume them. This class is designed to increase your understanding of how news and information flow online and to help you find your place in the media ecosystem. 

JOUR 372 – Engaging Diverse Communities (2 units)
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.

JOUR 414 – Advanced Digital Media Storytelling (2 units)
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.  

JOUR 462 – Law of Mass Communication (4 units)
The focus of the course will be to examine various aspects of the conflict (to the extent there is one) between the First Amendment, on the one hand, and other competing societal interests, on the other.  This will include, as it must, consideration of the fact that while, in the United States, the First Amendment is a venerated icon of what it means to be an American, to the remainder of the world, the First Amendment, and all of its protections, is merely a local ordinance.