Journalism

  • COM JO 150: History and Principles of Journalism
    This course surveys the evolution of the American news media. Students examine press freedom, censorship, changing definitions of news and shifting business models underlying journalism. Based on that history, students examine the enduring values and principles of journalism in modern society. (Formerly JO357, cannot be taken for credit if JO357 has been taken.) This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
  • COM JO 200: Newswriting
    Students acquire fundamental newsgathering and writing skills needed to thrive as a journalist working in any platform. The course is based in the classroom, but students are expected to learn and adhere to professional newsroom standards. The course focuses on essential practices and principles that apply to reporters, photographers, bloggers, producers and editors at newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online media. The class emphasizes news judgment, storytelling and reporting skills as well as writing clearly and quickly. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing- Intensive Course, Critical Thinking, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Critical Thinking
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • COM JO 205: Visual Storytelling
    Required of journalism majors. An introductory course designed to provide students with a basic working knowledge of the media required for professional journalism, including photography, sound, video, and editing for production of multimedia packages. No previous experience in visual media is required. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • COM JO 210: Reporting in Depth
    In J0210 you will learn and practice in-depth reporting in a community. You will develop sources, walk the streets, cover a beat, attend meetings, shoot photos and provide readers with public interest journalism. This is a working newsroom. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Writing- Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • COM JO 301: Editorial Design
    This is a studio course where students learn the elements of design. Students design a newsletter and sample pages for a magazine on topics of their own choosing. Students design with required Adobe Creative applications. This course covers the principles of typography, composition, and visual language and encourages creative/innovative ideas. All projects will be portfolio pieces. 4 cr, either sem.
  • COM JO 304: Online Journalism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 303.
    This course introduces students to reporting, writing and creating multimedia journalism for the web. Students learn how to create stories using a variety of media. They learn which elements -- text, stills, audio, video, and interactive graphics -- are best for delivering a story and engaging an online news audience. Students also learn the basics of the tools needed to create multimedia journalism packages and practice using them to report news online. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. Pre-req: JO 205/JO 303
  • COM JO 305: Basic Photography for Non-majors
    Students learn the fundamentals of digital photography, from the basics of image capture to processing finished photographs and introduction to their use in digital media. No previous experience in photography is required. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • COM JO 309: Feature Writing
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 310.
    The course invites students to refine their reporting and writing skills in projects that will showcase their mastery of the craft. Projects will span a variety of lengths, deadlines, and forms. Prerequisites: COM JO 200, 205 and 210. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • COM JO 312: Photojournalism I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 303.
    An introductory course for students interested in pursuing a career in photojournalism and visual reporting. Students photograph assignments to the standards of professional news outlets and advance their skills in digital photography for use on websites and in publications. Prerequisites: COM JO 205. Four credits, fall and spring semesters.
  • COM JO 350: Law and Ethics of Journalism
    This interactive course introduces the core legal and ethical issues affecting how journalists, including the student press, gather, verify and communicate news. This course offers an exciting deep-dive into the key concepts affecting newsgathering and dissemination today.Students will discover the underpinnings of a free press as well as practical tools to use when confronted with government efforts to block legitimate newsgathering. Students will gain a working knowledge of how and why the First Amendment protects them as they gather, verify and disseminate the news. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • COM JO 351: Reporting With Audio and Video
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 or COM JO 303.
    Learn how to find, write, shoot, and edit news packages, broadcast on television or the internet. Taught by veteran journalists in a newsroom complete with the latest digital technologies. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. (Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and 205.)
  • COM JO 403: Magazine Writing and Editing
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 250 and COM JO 310.
    Students learn to research and write lengthy articles of national magazine quality. Students also learn editing skills. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. (Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and COM JO 210.)
  • COM JO 412: Professional Journalism Internship
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Junior standing; at least 3.0 in COM; completion of JO250 and either JO303 or JO357
    Graduate Prerequisites: .
    Valuable on-the-job practice of journalism skills. Provides student with portfolio of professional work. The student works 150 hours per semester or summer at the internship. Assistance in placement; instructor must approve project. Paper, employer evaluation, and portfolio required at end of semester. Credit variable, every semester. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: Rising junior status; a 3.0 GPA in COM; completion of JO200/250 and JO205/303.)
  • COM JO 431: Enterprise Reporting
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 351.
    Students produce in-depth video reports similar to those seen on network TV news magazine programs, news websites or, local television series. Includes a review of job trends in the field and advice on producing a resume reel or website. Four credits, spring semester. (Prerequisite: JO 351.)
  • COM JO 435: Online Radio Newsroom
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 351.
    For students who like the teamwork and adrenaline of a real newsroom. Students produce a half-hour LIVE news show on the student radio station, WTBU, during each class. Students report, write, produce and engineer all the news sports and commentary on deadline. Students use social media to report stories and upload content to the Boston University News Service website. Student file stories frequently and programs from NPR, BBC, WBZ, and other radio news outlets will be critiqued. Four credits, fall and spring semesters. (Prerequisite: COM JO 200.)
  • COM JO 451: Television Newsroom
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 351; and consent of instructor.
    Students produce a weekly half-hour newscast, broadcast on cable TV and the Internet, with live coverage and video reports about local, national and international news as well as sports highlights and the weather forecast. Students rotate positions weekly, using a television studio and control booth, collaborating to broadcast a fresh, informative and accurate newscast while facing the daily deadlines of a working newsroom. Four credits, fall semester. (Prerequisites: COM JO 200, 205 and 351.)
  • COM JO 490: Directed Studies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Students work with faculty on individual research, professional training, or special studies. Variable credits, either sem.
  • COM JO 500: Media Criticism
    How well have the media covered recent U.S. wars? Do the media have political biases? What effect has Fox News had on the mainstream media? In the face of growing competition from the Internet, what is the future of traditional journalism? What impact are changes in the business model having on editorial integrity? Does political satire such as the "Daily Show" elevate or debase the political process? This timely course takes a critical look at the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the news media, including current controversies. Four credits, either semester.
  • COM JO 501: Introduction to Business and Economic Reporting
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 310.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 308.
    Comprehensive training in writing business and economics stories, using articles in The Wall Street Journal and other publications as examples. Emphasis on developing clear, simple language to describe complex issues. No previous economics or business experience is required. Four credits, either semester. (Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 200 and 210. Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 721.)
  • COM JO 502: Journalism Special Topics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM JO 310.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM JO 308.
    Spring 2019: JO 502 B1: Journalism in a polarized digital society Prof. Chris Wells Can journalism continue to be a central meeting place for information and opinion in a fractured, cacophonous society? This course explores the nature of journalism and democracy under conditions of political polarization and digital communication. Topics covered include the nature of the hybrid media system; media information production, and citizen information reception, under polarized political conditions; the significance of social media platforms and their algorithms to the flow of political information; and growing efforts to subvert ("hack") productive national dialogue. JO 502 D1: Stardom Prof. Ty Burr We go to movies to see the people in them, a complex, century-long love affair made up of equal parts affection, emulation, obsession, consumption, and envy. But is there a way to think, talk, and write about movie stars and fame from outside the bubble of consumer adulation? This class will train students to think of stardom as a field of critical engagement and cultural play. In the first half, we will discuss the history of film stardom from the silent era to the 21st century, tracing the rise and fall of the cinematic celebrity and discussing the move from movie screen to TV screen to computer screen. In the second half, students will learn about and start to master the different practical journalistic approaches to writing about stardom and modern fame. There will be classes on researching and writing a profile article, on how to conduct professional interviews with well-known subjects, on the art of the obituary, and on writing about fame in the era of social media. Above all, students will learn how to think critically and write creatively about celebrity.