Spring 2019 Course Listings

JOU 270 A/B

Introduction to Journalism

270 A: Prof. Justin Catanoso MW 2:00-3:15 (CRN 17678)

270 B: Prof. Ivan Weiss TR 11:00-12:15 (CRN 21167)

Introduction to Journalism is your gateway course to a minor in journalism. This course is a full immersion into new ways to think about gathering information and communicating it—fairly and accurately—in a variety of forms and formats. Throughout the semester, we will discuss, evaluate and practice the craft of journalism through clear and concise writing.  You will write news, features and opinion. You will write stories of varying length. You will post to a blog and tweet news. You will practice multimedia reporting using audio, video and/or digital photography. You will be creative, but work only from verified facts and information. Ultimately, you will learn communication skills that will impress potential employers, whether you plan to work as a journalist (writer or editor), a PR professional, an attorney, a business person or in any field where writing cleanly and communicating clearly are vital. There will be more than a dozen graded assignments, many of them on deadline.


JOU 278 A

News Literacy

Prof. Justin Catanoso

MW 12:30-1:45 (CRN 20493)

The mission of the course is to teach students to become informed and discerning consumers of news in a media landscape that is flooded with both information and misinformation. Students learn how to evaluate news coverage; how to read for bias, fairness, integrity, and accuracy; how to use new media to increase their knowledge of world events; how to research their own facts as a way to check the accuracy of the media outlets they rely upon; what happens when governments and media owners try to control news coverage; and the dangers of both censorship and media outlets run amok.


JOU 310 A


Prof. Justin Catanoso         

T 3:30-6:00 (CRN 24717)

This class looks both broadly and deeply at the practice and principles of editing news and features, primarily for newspapers—in print and online. Editing skills practiced and emphasized will include: grammar, AP Style, form and flow, story structure and thoroughness, use of quotations and verifying information, balance and fairness. Regular discussions will center on news judgment, coaching and managing reporters/writers, responding to readers, ethics and legal issues. Students will edit stories for homework and also in class on deadline. A critical expectation: students will keep up with national news daily so that they become well-versed in the news and issues of the day. Some class time will be regularly devoted to discussing current events and the news decisions that arise from top stories. The skills acquired in this class will apply to many disciplines, not just journalism, that require information gathering, skeptical thinking, verifying facts and writing clear, concise prose and managing people. Select guest speakers join classes to illustrate the various worlds in which editing is applied, from traditional media to fashion to magazines to public relations. Texts: Editing Today and Editing Today Workbook (Iowa State Press), AP Stylebook, and materials from the instructor.


JOU 330 A/COM 270 E

Art of Sound: Radio, Podcasting & Digital Narrative

Prof. Ivan Weiss

WF 11:00-12:15 (CRN 24719)

This course is an introduction to audio storytelling. You will learn the building blocks and best practices of audio journalism including Sound, Editing, Interviewing, and, of course, Story. Through readings, listening assignments, and Skype visits, you’ll learn from experts and storytellers from around the state and beyond. We will explore various approaches to audio journalism, from older radio pieces to the diverse range of podcasts being produced today. As the world of podcasting and nonfiction audio grows rapidly, we will discuss what journalism means in these changing times. We will also look at various ways people distribute their work. Assignments will include collaborations between students as well as solo work. Students will learn how to find story ideas and develop them into a sustained pieces. Students will also be asked to analyze various audio stories and reflect on their creative process. The course will culminate in a larger project building on the technical and analytical tools learned earlier in the semester.


JOU 335 A

Multimedia Storytelling

Prof. Ivan Weiss

TR 12:30-1:45 (CRN 24720)
This course explores multimedia storytelling in its various forms. By examining professional trends as well as working with various types of media and web production, this course gives students a hands-on approach to converged journalism. Throughout the project-based course, students will learn graphic design techniques on Photoshop, audio/video editing skills on Final Cut X, and the basics of photography and videography. The end goal of the course is for students to create an E-Portfolio website that will showcase their journalism and multimedia experience.


JOU 340 A/WRI 344 A

Magazine Writing

Prof. Barry Yeoman

M 2:00- 4:30 (CRN 24791)

Students in this class will learn and practice the skills needed to produce magazine stories for publication. Focusing on a single topic of their own choosing all semester, they will be encouraged to write creatively and often. They will learn advanced principles of interviewing, document research, story structure, character development, and explanatory journalism. They will also read and analyze some of the best magazine stories written over the past thirty years.


JOU 350 A/COM 117

Writing for Public Relations & Advertising

Prof. Peter Mitchell

W 5:00-7:30 (CRN 24723)

Writing for advertising and public relations provides hands on experience for students interested in pursuing careers in advertising, PR, content, strategy or brand marketing.  You will learn how to write inspiring creative briefs, develop campaign concepts, compelling media releases and pitch letters as well as the many forms of digital content and social media. The class covers the purpose, style, and structure of writing for each of these tools. Students will also participate as part of a team to produce a final integrated communications campaign incorporating all concepts covered in class. The final project is presented to a group of industry professionals for evaluation. Students demonstrating a serious interest in pursuing careers in advertising and/or public relations will find this class most beneficial. (COM 117 CRN 25063.)


JOU 375 A

Photojournalism Deep Dive (1 credit hour)

Prof. Justin Catanoso and Photojournalist Daniella Zalcman

Meeting times TBD (CRN 24718)

This 1-credit independent study takes students through the fundamentals of photojournalism: basic photographic skills development and review of more advanced techniques as well as consideration of how journalists develop story ideas, cultivate sources and create their ultimate published reported project. A unique hands-on assignment will involve alternative photo processes and multiple exposure. The short course involves five in-class sessions in February 2019. A 35mm camera is required.


Daniella Zalcman has produced multiple series of photographs surrounding human rights issues supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis reporting, an affiliate of the Journalism Program Among her awards, she won the 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award  for documenting social injustice through her project, “Signs of Your Identity” that explores the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.


JOU 375 C/WRI 340

Special Topics in Journalism

Investigating Innocence: At the Intersection of Law, Journalism and Narrative
Prof. Phoebe Zerwick

R 4:00-6:30 (CRN 24811)

Students in this course will learn techniques of investigative journalism by reporting on an ongoing case under investigation by the Law School’s Innocence & Justice Clinic. Working with case files, crime scene visits, forensic reports, and interviews with potential witnesses, students will gain hands-on experience in collecting evidence of innocence in an ongoing criminal case. The course is a collaboration between the Innocence & Justice Clinic and the Journalism Program, bringing law students and college students together to learn to think as lawyers do and tell compelling human stories with the tools narrative writers and journalists use.