With each new school year comes a set of new classes, as USC Annenberg's students and faculty adapt to the ever-changing worlds of journalism and communication.
The School of Journalism offers a brand new major for the Fall 2016 semester: B.A. in Journalism. Eliminating the previous distinction between the Broadcast and Digital Journalism and Print and Digital Journalism majors, the new degree is described as a “forward-thinking curriculum that encourages students to embrace technology, assess it critically and employ it in the service of powerful and effective journalism.”
Our reimagined B.A. retains the core values of the profession – strong reporting, clear writing, ethics and a fluency in current and emerging technologies – while emphasizing the development of news judgment and critical thinking and the acquisition of digital storytelling and production skills.
Willow Bay, School of Journalism Director, told The Daily Trojan that the new degree “will prepare our students to build rewarding careers, thrive in contemporary newsrooms and lead the industry in an exciting time of rapid change.”
A number of new classes have been introduced for this semester as part of the requirements for the new major. Some of them had been offered previously as JOUR 499 special topics courses, but they are now permanent classes.
One such class is JOUR 322 Data Journalism (Formerly JOUR 499), taught by Dana Chinn and Arjuna Soriano.
"After teaching data journalism as an experimental class and organizing Data Journalism Week a couple of years ago, I'm thrilled to be teaching Annenberg's first required data journalism class," said Chinn.
The 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 and 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.
Chinn hopes that her class becoming permanent will be a catalyst for more data journalism classes being offered at Annenberg.
"I was a mentor for Annenberg's first Google Data Journalism fellows in 2014 and 2015, and I hope this class is just the beginning of Annenberg sending a steady stream of much-needed data journalists out into the industry," she said.
An entirely new class for the Fall 2016 semester, JOUR 208 Media Law and Ethics, taught by Lincoln Bandlow and Mark Lloyd, will provide 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.
"Whatever kind of journalism or public relations you want to practice, it is important to know what your rights are, and where you violate someone else's rights," Lloyd said. "This course will give you a good solid sense of the bright lines to avoid, where the law is changing, how to protect yourself and your employer, and when to call for legal help."
The following is a list of all the courses that are offered for the first time this semester:
JOUR 207 Reporting and Writing I, taught by multiple instructors, will provide students with the foundational skills needed to report, write, produce and distribute stories across multiple platforms for diverse audiences. They will also be introduced to the role of social media in newsgathering.
JOUR 208 Media Law and Ethics, taught by Lincoln Bandlow and Mark Lloyd, will provide 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.
JOUR 307 Reporting and Writing II 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.
JOUR 321 Visual Journalism, taught by Albert Lee, Sonia Narang and Miki Turner, will provide students with 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 the web and mobile platforms and the roles each play in interactive storytelling. Students will also 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 (Formerly JOUR 499), taught by Dana Chinn and Arjuna Soriano, explores data journalism in the context of investigative journalism. Students will learn how to analyze and interpret data provided by public and private agencies and 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 Creating your Digital Footprint and Brand will introduce the skills needed to build a personal website featuring the students’ 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 will also focus on how to use diverse social media platforms to enhance and advance students’ digital footprint in an era of personal branding.
JOUR 408 Advanced Media Law in the Digital Age will allow students to 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 will allow students to 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.
These two classes are not part of the requirements for the B.A. in Journalism, but are new for the semester:
JOUR 499 Youth Reporting, taught by Gary Cohn, will provide students with the skills necessary to write stories about juvenile justice and other youth issues. Students will have the opportunity to create a Los Angeles Youth Justice News Bureau, produce print, photojournalism and video stories, and have their work (and bylines) published by respected and widely-read nationwide publications.
JOUR 490 Social Media Storytelling for Latino Audiences, taught by Amara Aguilar and Laura Castañeda, will provide students with opportunities to tell stories on emerging social media platforms with an emphasis on Spanish language and bilingual journalism. English and Spanish speakers are both welcome.
New faculty member Ulrike Gretzel, Visiting Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Journalism, will teach PR 463: Strategic Public Relations Research, Analysis and Insights, an introduction to research methodologies.
School of Communication
The School of Communication is offering three new classes for the Fall 2016 semester. All have been offered previously as COMM 610 or 620 special topics courses, but they are now offered with permanent course numbers.
COMM 520 The Rhetoric of the Presidential Campaign Trail (previously offered as COMM 610, special topics course), taught by Tom Hollihan, will allow students to follow the ongoing presidential campaign and consider topics such as gender, race, new media, polling, religion, and advertising on election outcomes.
COMM 564 Communication, Culture and Capitalism (previously offered as COMM 620, special topics course), taught by Christopher Smith, is a survey of scholarship about the relationship between money and culture, with emphasis paid to poststructural accounts of neoliberalism.
COMM 573 Networked Publics: Theories and Encounters (previously offered as COMM 620, special topics course), taught by Mike Ananny, examines models of a democratic public sphere, with a special focus on design and use of networked information infrastructures supporting free speech.
New faculty member Kiran Dhillon, lecturer in the School of Communication and associate director of debate and forensics for the USC Trojan Debate Squad, will COMM 322: Argumentation, which will help students research, organize, develop, evaluate, refute, and critique arguments.