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Course Descriptions

Journalism and Professional Writing Courses

JPW 208/Introduction to Journalism                                                                                               1 course unit
(fall and spring semesters)
Experience in news reporting and writing, and explanation of the ideals of journalism. Students learn how to report and research news stories, use social media and digital skills in newsgathering, and write news stories for online and print publications. Students also explore feature writing and how to incorporate multimedia, such as video and photographs, into story packages.

 

JPW 209/Broadcast Journalism                                                                                                        1 course unit
(fall and spring)
This course introduces students to the issues and practices of broadcast journalism in the United States, and the role the profession plays in educating and informing the public through a variety of news formats. Students will learn how to legally and ethically collect information, write clear and readable stories, use multiple platforms, and how to cover news, weather, sports, and other types of stories.

 

JPW 250/Writing for Interactive Media                                                                                               1 course unit
(fall and spring semesters)
Introduces students to the reasoning, routines and rigors of writing for business and professional markets. Students learn basic HTML and CSS coding, build their own WordPress portfolio websites, blog using the fundamentals of SEO, use social media to promote their content, and create mobile videos.

 

JPW 251/Feature Writing                                                                                                                     1 course unit
(same as IMM 240- annually)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250
Combines the storytelling techniques of creative writing with the timeliness and facticity of hard news reporting. Students learn to craft stories for print, online and interactive media, and to incorporate photos and video. The skills acquired in the practice of feature writing are in demand in journalism, public relations, advertising, publishing and other industries.

 

JPW 271/ Fact Checking                                                                                                                      1 course unit
(occasionally)
No prerequisite/Open to all Majors
Students will learn about the history and evolving practice of verifying factual information in journalism, including best practices for combating fakery and disinformation. This will include analyzing fact-checking practices at professional news organizations and conducting an independent fact-checking investigation. This intermediate course will count as an option in the Journalism and Professional Writing Major and in both the Professional Writing and Journalism minors.
JPW 301/Data Journalism                                                                                                                   1 course unit
(same as IMM 443) (spring semester)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250/IMM 140 for JPW students; IMM 140 and IMM 270 for IMM students
Teaches basic data-analysis skills associated with investigative and explanatory reporting. Students learn to mine and interpret official data, using introductory-level spreadsheet analysis and formulas. Particular attention is given to issues of ethics, privacy and freedom of information. Students will design and complete a database reporting project.

 

JPW 308/Media Law                                                                                                                             1 course unit
(fall semester)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor
Provides an overview of First Amendment and related case law as it pertains to news media.  Among the topics: prior restraint, libel, privacy, intellectual property, political speech, commercial speech, obscenity, fair trial versus free speech, protection of sources, and access to government records and meetings.

 

JPW 309/Media Ethics                                                                                                                         1 course unit
(fall semester)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor
Explores the importance of ethics in journalism and assists students in building strong ethical practices during news gathering.  Students learn to apply ethical considerations in situations commonly encountered by news professionals and media organizations, and discuss and analyze specific cases. They learn how to avoid inaccurate reporting in the 24/7 news cycle, and discuss the impact of social media.

 

JPW 310/Press History                                                                                                                       1 course unit
(occasionally)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor
Traces the evolution of the American press from the pamphleteers of the 17th century, to the invention of the telegraph, to modern media conglomerates.  Special attention is paid to the coverage of war and minorities, the press as watchdog and lapdog, prominent inventors and practitioners, and sensationalism.

 

JPW 311/News Editing and Production                                                                                             1 course unit
(fall semester)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor
An introduction to fundamental editing and production techniques for print and digital media, including copy editing, headline and caption writing, and layout and design. Students will also consider broader issues such as newsroom management, the escalating impact of technology, and the practical realities of running a modern newsroom.

 

JPW 321/Race, Gender, and the News                                                                                             1 course unit
(same as AAS 321) (occasionally)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250/ IMM 140
This class examines historical and contemporary issues with regard to the ways in which women and people of color participate in Western news media, either as the subjects of news coverage or as journalists. Students will be exposed to historical, theoretical and contemporary writings on media representation, and will complete a major reporting project.

 

JPW 322/Future of the News                                                                                                            1 course unit
(occasionally)
Prerequisite: JPW208 or JPW 250
An exploration of the impact of technological change, economic conditions and cultural upheavals on the reporting, dissemination and reception of the news.

 

JPW 350/Magazine Writing                                                                                                              1 course unit
(annually)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250, or permission of instructor. Students learn to write different types of magazine articles being published today both online and in print, and how to pitch and write stories for a host of publications.  They will learn what makes a good story, how to research a piece, how to prepare for an interview, as well as organization and writing techniques to use.

 

JPW 360/Multimedia Storytelling for the Web                                                                                  1 course unit
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission from the instructor
Content creation today comes in many forms. In today’s media landscape storytellers need to be able to write online stories that have multimedia components. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the elements of effective multimedia storytelling. Students will learn how to research story ideas, interview sources, plan and design compelling stories and produce audio/visual slideshows and narratives videos that can be hosted on the web.

 

JPW 372/Introduction to Media Entrepreneurship                                                                             1 course unit
(fall and spring)
Prerequisites: JPW208 or JPW250 or IMM140 or IMM280 is a prerequisite or by permission of the instructor.
Media entrepreneurship is a response to the changes in the landscape of the news and media-
related industries over the last two decades. Both legacy news organizations and digital startups are shifting business models, production flows, and marketing strategies every quarter. This course draws upon work collectively undertaken by researchers and practitioners in the field from across the country to introduce you to fundamental business concepts and innovation strategies in a way that is accessible and relevant to you. You will be introduced to business models, design thinking, market research, prototyping and audience engagement. You will meet media entrepreneurs and industry leaders and study both successful and unsuccessful ventures. The goal is to prepare you to work in digital startups, or to contribute successfully to intrapreneurial ventures within larger organizations. This advanced course will count as an option in the Journalism Professional Writing Major and in the Professional Writing minor.

 

JPW 370/Topics in Journalism                                                                                                        1 course unit
(fall and spring semesters)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor
Focuses on specialty topics including sports reporting, science journalism, advanced magazine writing, news games, political reporting and more. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes.

 

JPW 371/Topics in Professional Writing                                                                                        1 course unit
(occasionally)
Prerequisite: JPW 250/ IMM 140 or permission of instructor
Focuses on advanced projects in professional writing, e.g., blogging and social media, specialty newsletter publishing, producing technical manuals and documentation, marketing communications. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes.

 

JPW 385/The Literature of Literary Journalism                                                                             1 course unit
(same as LIT 385) (occasionally)
This course will examine the problems, paradoxes, and politics of the contemporary distinction between “literature” and “journalism.” Emphasis will be placed on issues of objectivity, voice, description, and social realism.

 

JPW 391/Independent Study in Journalism or Professional Writing                                          variable course units
(by arrangement) Prerequisite: JPW 208
Students will conceive and execute a major reporting project under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Sample projects might include a series of in-depth stories for print, broadcast, online, or interactive media.

 

JPW 393/Independent Research                                                                                                   1 course unit
(by arrangement) Prerequisite: JPW 208
Students work with a faculty member on a discrete journalism or professional writing research project.

 

JPW 397/Practicum                                                                                                                        1 course unit
(by arrangement) Prerequisite: JPW 208
Affords students an opportunity to acquire significant editorial and/or managerial experience with a campus media organization under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

 

JPW 399/ Internship in Journalism or Professional Writing                                                        variable course units
(by arrangement)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250/IMM 140
Affords students an opportunity to acquire significant editorial and/or managerial experience with an off- campus media organization under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

 

JPW 401/ The Washington Center                                                                                                variable course units
(by arrangement) Prerequisite: JPW 208
The Washington Semester Program affords students the opportunity to pursue internships, course work, and enrichment activities during a semester in the Washington, D.C. area. Programs are provided by the Washington Center and the Washington Internship Institute, but the student earns TCNJ credit.

 

JPW 471/Topics in Professional Writing                                                                                       1 course unit
(occasionally) (by arrangement)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250/IMM 140

 

JPW 493/Independent Research II                                                                                                 variable course units
(by arrangement) Prerequisite: JPW 208
Students will conceive and execute a major reporting project under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Sample projects might include a series of in-depth stories for print, broadcast, online or interactive media.

 

JPW 498/Beats and Deadlines                                                                                                       1 course unit
(spring semester) Prerequisite: JPW 208
Provides working experience in covering regular news assignments (beats) such as local government, education, police, courts, business, and science/environmental issues. Students write news and feature stories, take photos and videos, and develop a personal brand via social media.

 

JPW 499/Media Experience                                                                                                             variable course units
(by arrangement)
Prerequisite: JPW 208 or JPW 250/IMM 140 or permission of instructor
Affords students an opportunity to acquire significant editorial and/or managerial experience with an off- campus media organization under the guidance of a faculty adviser.

 

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