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COURSE DESCRIPTION AND TOPICS

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

“I pondered all these things, and how [some] fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and [others] have to fight for what they meant under another name.” – William Morris

Over the last two decades, the practice, business, and art of journalism have all undergone epochal changes. Today, emerging and established journalists alike navigate an unpredictable landscape full of challenges: shrinking budgets, dying brands, complicated technologies, and lolcat overload. But our era also puts new storytelling vehicles, richer multimedia formats, and powerful investigative tools—even new audiences—right at every journalist’s fingertips.

In this moment of change, it’s difficult to say exactly what the media work of tomorrow will be. But, today, the need for agile, digitally literate journalists is greater than ever.

This course will introduce students embarking on journalism careers to emerging digital and new media practices through the examination of websites, blogs, podcasts, social media networks, and transmedia experiences. Students will also read the works of media thinkers such as Henry Jenkins, Clay Shirky, and Andy Carvin. Students will be encouraged to use a broad range of digital and social tools, such as audio, video, slideshows, infographics in weekly blog postings and papers/presentations. They will learn how to examine the editorial and formal elements of traditional media websites such as the Washington Post’s, as well as those of newer sites such as Buzzfeed, and others. They will learn how to become creators of new media, using its diverse digital tools to tell stories, analyze the world around them, and find their own voices.

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