Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • W - Writing

Typically offered:


This goal of this course is to give students an understanding not only of the principles and structure of journalism, but also how news is disseminated and read, watched, or listened to in a new media age.

Students will each choose a journalist whose blog, work, and social media they will follow; ideally students will choose a journalist who reports on a major field of interest of the student.

Since many COA graduates work for nonprofits where they must frequently write press releases, feature articles, and advocacy alerts, a significant part of the course will focus on how to get the word out. In addition to developing several short pieces, students will also choose an area of interest to report on. Initially they will report on the current conversation about the subject, find a local or state angle, create sources, build the story, and file articles. This work will culminate in a longer piece on the subject that hopefully reveals new information, synthesizes information in a new way, or in some other form or fashion that moves the conversation forward.

Throughout the course, students will write regular blog entries exploring facets of their reporting, how reporting is opening their eyes, and perhaps commenting on their own process—what is or is not working for them. Class discussions and peer reviews will be supplemented by guest lectures by experts in the fields of new and old media. Students will be evaluated on the following criteria: participation in class discussions and peer review sessions, quality of their reporting, and the effectiveness of their revisions.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.