Course Descriptions

New for pre-Journalism and general Arts students:

JRN 100 Introduction to Journalism and Democracy

An introduction to how journalists do their work and their role in democratic development. Historical and cultural perspectives on press freedom in a global context, including concepts of freedom of speech and the relationship of journalism to fundamental human rights. Critical examination of journalism within shifting centres of media power.

Also open to all students: JRN 302 Rights and Responsibilities; JRN 307 Investigative Journalism; JRN 312 Photojournalism; JRN 413 Magazine Writing; JRN 480 AB Indigenous People and the Press. See below for descriptions of these courses.
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Degree courses

JRN 300 – Introduction to Print Journalism 

Study and practice of newsgathering fundamentals and principles in reporting for newspapers and their websites. A focus on information gathering, clear, complete, accurate and fair story writing to deadlines, the essentials of headline writing, page layout and editing according to Canadian Press style guidelines followed in newspapers across the country. *** Prerequisite: Admission to the School of Journalism. ***

JRN 301 – Introduction to Broadcast Journalism
Study and practice of newsgathering, writing and reporting for radio and television. A focus on the development of broadcast specific skills to understand and relay the daily events and issues of public importance as presented in a broadcast news format. *** Prerequisite: Admission to the School of Journalism. ***

JRN 302 – Rights and Responsibilities of the Journalist – OPEN COURSE
A critical look at the social role and ethical responsibilities of the media. An introduction to journalistic responsibilities and legal parameters, including court reporting, image use, libel and slander, protecting sources, etc. A focus on understanding journalist rights, including freedom of expression, access to information, and the justice system. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours.***

JRN 303 – Research Techniques for Journalists
An introduction to well-researched and well-told reporting, including building a research file, research sources and tools, libraries and archives, fact checking, placing facts within narrative structure, engaging and informing the reader, using research to enhance descriptive power, and analyzing and translating complex information for a mass audience. *** Prerequisite: Admission to the School of Journalism. ***

JRN 304 – Foundations of Interviewing for Journalists
Foundations of Interviewing for Journalists An introduction to the fundamentals of conducting successful interviews. A focus on interview techniques and style, accurate note-taking, the process of re-telling people¿s stories, placing interviews within narrative structure, handling ethical dilemmas, active listening, understanding memory and human psychology, and the analysis of live and taped interviews will be examined. *** Prerequisite: Admission to the School of Journalism. ***

JRN 305 – Intermediate Print Journalism
Continuing study and practice of newsgathering and writing for daily news, with in-depth reporting on current issues. A focus on beat coverage, editing and production, feature preparation, backgrounders, analysis pieces, and style guidelines. A critical study of Canadian newspapers through analysis, examination and debate of examples of excellent journalism. *** Prerequisite: JRN 300 ***

JRN 306 – Intermediate Broadcast Journalism
Continuing study and practice of newsgathering, writing and reporting for radio and television. A focus on longer form reporting for broadcast, with specific attention on the skills to fit in-depth analysis and commentary of public issues into a variety of broadcast formats ranging from talk tapes to mini documentaries. *** Prerequisite: JRN 301 ***

JRN 307 – Investigative Journalism – OPEN COURSE
The history and social role of investigative journalism. Students will explore investigative tools and techniques, including accessing public information, approaching and interviewing hostile sources, computer assisted reporting, online resources, ethical pitfalls, journalistic numeracy, avoiding legal problems, ensuring accuracy, fact-checking and security. *** Prerequisite: JRN 303 and JRN 304 or permission of the dept. head ***

JRN 308 – Contemporary Issues in Journalism
This course examines selected topics of importance to journalists, and aims to promote critical responses to journalistic issues, interpreting and disseminating information about an increasingly complex world, technological advances in reporting, and developing journalistic fluency in a mediated culture. *** Prerequisite: JRN 302 ***

JRN 310 – History of the Media and Journalism
An introduction to the history of the media and journalism, providing a broad examination of trends and developments, including the major milestones in media development. *** Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of Department Head. ***

JRN 311 – Media, Power and Communication Rights
A critical analysis of the politics and structure of media power. Discussion from the perspective of citizen’s access to media and communication as a right, including an exploration of models for media reform. *** Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of Department Head. ***

JRN 312 – Photojournalism – OPEN COURSE
A detailed examination of the photojournalist’s role in the news gathering process. A focus on communicating through digital imagery and the power of visual storytelling, with emphasis on practical techniques and problem solving and ethical image editing. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of Department Head*** *Note: Each student is required to have an entry level DSLR camera and basic editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom*

JRN 400 – Internship
Internship is a term served in the field in a work/study capacity. Students select prospective internships and are interviewed for media placements; however, final decisions on placements are at the discretion of the School. Students must accept placements as assigned. Internships are offered in the Winter, Summer or Fall semesters. *** Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of JRN 300, JRN 301, JRN 302, JRN 303, and JRN 304. ***

JRN 401 – Advanced Print Journalism
This fourth-semester course focuses on specialized reporting of news and current affairs, and writing of opinion pieces and editorials. Students are expected to bring an analytical approach to the course following the internship experience, monitor major print media coverage of particular issues, and research and investigate publishable stories independently. *** Prerequisite: JRN 300 and JRN 305 ***

JRN 402 – Advanced Broadcast Journalism
Advanced study and practice of current affairs, news gathering, writing, and reporting for the broadcast media. Students are expected to bring an analytical approach to the course following the internship experience, monitor major broadcast media coverage of particular issues, and research and investigate stories independently. *** Prerequisite: JRN 301 and JRN 306 ***

JRN 411 – Documentary Theory and Production
Introduction to the theory, practice and production of broadcast documentaries. An examination of historical and contemporary perspectives, focusing on practical elements of documentary making, including researching, writing, visual and aural literacy, and technical applications. Working in small groups, students are responsible for the production of a substantial documentary. *** Prerequisite: JRN 301 and JRN 306, or permission of the Department Head ***

JRN 413 – Magazine Writing and Literary Journalism – – OPEN COURSE
An intensive writing seminar/workshop with a focus on developing the creative voice and how to apply literary conventions to journalistic writing. A detailed examination of the roots of New Journalism, creative non-fiction, literary journalism, self-directed journalism and the freelance environment. *** Prerequisite: JRN 300 and JRN 305 or permission of the Instructor ***

JRN 414 – Directed Investigative Reporting Project
Directed Investigative Reporting Project Original, in-depth research into matters of major public interest and importance, organizing the material, writing and editing the script with a view toward publication and/or broadcast. The student will work directly with a faculty supervisor. *** Prerequisite: Completion of the School’s internship program and permission of the Department Head. ***

JRN 415 – International Media
The study of the role of media in the processes of globalization and development, with a focus on learning journalistic skills and practices accepted in and by the media of different countries, and reportage of world events and issues in media outside North America. *** Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of Department Head. ***

JRN 417 – Specialized Reporting
An advanced course focusing on an examination of one form of Beat Reporting. The focus may include: sports, arts, science, religion, aboriginal affairs, medicine, business, environment, education, labour, and/or lifestyle reporting. *** Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of Department Head. ***

JRN 419 – Alternative and Community Journalism
An examination of the emergence of the citizen journalist within the context of global media, with a focus on the connection to social movements and social change. Emphasis on alternative and community media in theory and practice, with hands-on learning experiences provided.

JRN 480 – Selected Topics
Courses designed as required for groups of students.

JRN 480AB – Selected Topics – Indigenous People and the Press – OPEN COURSE
This course investigates the fairness, accuracy and inclusion of Indigenous representations in the media. Topics range from under-representation, under-reporting of Indigenous issues, media cultural imperialism, framing from the ‘romantic Indian’, ‘the Hollywood Indian’, to the ‘criminal Indian’, and difficult reporting challenges and alternatives. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours or permission of department head***

JRN 480AC – The Journalist’s Role in Reconciliation
Students will look at the role Journalists can play in Reconciliation, as well as explore how perspectives can often be lost even when all the right characters are included in the story. The goal of the course will be to gain an understanding of the different forms of reconciliation, the history that lead us to this need for this reconciliation, and learn how the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in all stories is essential. ***Prerequisite: Completion of 60 credit hours and permission from the Department Head.***

JRN 496 – Directed Studies
Directed study on a research topic and/or journalistic project of special interest to the student. *** Prerequisite: 60 credit hours and permission of Department Head ***

JRN 799 – Journalism Ethics and Professional Standards Review
This online course tests student’s understanding of ethical/legal standards in Canadian journalism. Topics include plagiarism, libel, information rights, publication bans, ethical interviewing, Indigenous protocols, protection of sources, use of images, due diligence, and other foundational standards of practice in a Canadian context. Successful completion required in first semester of program.

JRN 800 – Research Methods in Journalism
This class is designed to explore different research approaches useful for graduate journalism students. Students will get acquainted with qualitative, quantitative and applied journalistic methods, and will work toward developing a project proposal. Permission of the Department Head is required.

JRN 801 – Advanced Print
Focuses on specialized reporting of news and current affairs, writing of opinion pieces and editorials. Students are expected to bring an analytical approach to the course following the internship experience, monitor major print media coverage of particular issues, and research and investigative stories independently.

JRN 802 – Advanced Broadcast/Current Affairs
Advanced study and practice of current affairs, news gathering, writing, and reporting for the broadcast media. Students are expected to bring an analytical approach to the course, monitor major broadcast media coverage of particular issues, and research and investigate stories independently.

JRN 810 – A Critical History of the Media, Journalism and Social Regulation
This course provides a critical introduction to the history of mass media and journalism. Students will examine some major milestones and issues in the construction of media cultures, the ongoing invention of journalism and the struggle for a democratic public sphere.

JRN 811 – Documentary Theory and Production
An introduction to the theory and practice involved in radio/TV documentary documentaries. The genre is examined from historical and contemporary perspectives. Working in small groups, students are responsible for the delivery of a substantial documentary.

JRN 812 – Photojournalism
A detailed examination of the photojournalist’s role in the news gathering process. A focus on communicating through imagery and the power of visual story telling, with emphasis on practical techniques and problem solving.

JRN 813 – Magazine and Literary Journalism
An intensive writing seminar/workshop with focus on developing the creative voice and how to apply literary conventions to journalistic writing. A detailed examination of the roots of New Journalism, creative non-fiction, literary journalism, self-directed journalism and the freelance environment.

JRN 815 – International Media
The study of the role of media in the proceses of globalization and development, with a focus on learning journalistic skills and practices accepted in and by the media of different countries, and reportage of world event and issues in media outside North America.

JRN 818 – Master’s Workshop on Journalism Projects
Students will circulate and present the advanced journalism project proposals they finalized in the fall term. Each weekly workshop will focus on one or two projects and will be conducted under the supervision of the presenting student’s faculty supervisor(s). All school faculty and students will be encouraged to attend and participate.

JRN 819 – Alternative and Community Journalism
An examination of the emergence of the citizen journalist within the context of global media, with a focus on the connection to social movements and social change. Emphasis on alternative and community media in theory and practice, with hands-on learning experiences provided

JRN 880 – Critical Approaches to Media and Journalism Studies
This course surveys a range of theoretical approaches to the field of mass communications, popular culture and journalism. A mixture of lecture, roundtable discussions, media screenings, on-line discussion fora and student presentations. Permission of the Department Head is required to register.

JRN 881 – Selected Topics AA-ZZ
Courses designed as required for groups of students.

JRN 902 – Professional Project
In consultation with a supervisor, students will complete a substantial work of public affairs journalism that will advance Canadian journalism practice. Projects are carried out with the intention of publishing, broadcast, or other forms of public dissemination and must adhere to professional standards and ethics.

TIMETABLE