Journalism Today Winter 2024

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Class Details

Even as the field is constantly changing and reshaping itself, at the heart of journalism is the desire to thoughtfully report and write stories about the world around us. This course is a bottom-up examination of what that means, from the practical skills of how to hone a story idea and conduct an interview, to the process of crafting a finished work. Throughout the class, we’ll do a series of small exercises to work on specific skills, building up to a feature-length work about a subject that matters to you by the end of the month. We’ll read classic work from the past, as well as some exemplary pieces from today, and question and consider the ethical, legal, and professional questions that are inherent to nonfiction work. We’ll also discuss the real-world applications of these ideas with a busy schedule of guest speakers (in-person and virtual), who will talk about their work and careers in the news business. Past guests, many of them Williams alumni, have included journalists from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR, ABC News, Bloomberg, and ProPublica. This course would be quite useful for students with experience in journalism and are considering it as a career, but also for anyone who wants to understand more about how the media works, or would simply like to experiment with and try out new ways of telling stories that make a difference.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Expected: NA
Class#: 1030
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Paper(s) or report(s)
Prerequisites: n/a
Enrollment Preferences: If overenrolled, a statement of interest in journalism would be appreciated.
Unit Notes: I am a freelance writer and editor who was a reporter and OpEd editor at the Berkshire Eagle, and earlier had covered national energy policy in Washington, wrote about sports in Moscow, and worked on the international desk at Newsweek in New York.
Materials/Lab Fee: $94
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
STUX Winter Study Student Exploration
WELL Winter Study Wellness

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