Core Course: News as a Moral Battleground

This course is open to all students, but is required for Certificate students.

PJMS 371, PUBPOL 371, ETHICS 259

News as a Moral Battleground

Ethical inquiry into journalism traditions and their effects on public discourse. Issues include accuracy, transparency, conflicts of interest and fairness. Examines the role of the news media in holding the government accountable to the public for policies and actions. Professor Bennett, who teaches the course in the fall, focuses on a key area of tension between the media and the state: the reporting of national security secrets. Professor Adair, who teaches the course in the spring, focuses on trust in the media using episodes of plagiarism and fabrication as case studies. Instructors: Adair (spring) or Bennett (fall). Codes: EI, R, W, SS.(Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

Journalism Practicum Course Cluster

The following courses are open to all undergraduates, but Certificate students must take at least one:

PJMS 367S-01, PUBPOL 367S-01, VMS 307S-01

News Writing and Reporting

Students will learn about reporting, writing and editing stories for print and online media primarily by doing actual news assignments each week and discussing them in class. Students will learn how to gather information, analyze it, and present it fairly and accurately in clear and compelling new stories. Focus on interviewing techniques, use of public records, hard news and feature writing styles, journalism ethics and the role of text-based media in public policy. NOTE: To obtain a permission number for the course, email Prof Rogerson at (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

PJMS 365S-01

Video Journalism

Theories and concepts of television broadcasting; writing and editing for electronic media; issues of production. Codes: SS. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

Capstone Course

This course is open only to Certificate students, for whom it is required.

PJMS 391-02

Policy Journalism Capstone, Independent Study

This independent study course is open only to seniors enrolled in the Policy Journalism & Media Studies certificate program, who were unable to schedule PJMS 410 in the fall. Contact for a permission number. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

Elective Courses offered Spring 2018

These courses are open to all undergraduates. Certificate students must take at least 3.

PJMS 290S-10

The Art of Profile Writing

Some of the most powerful political journalism involves sharing the personal experience of real people. Those kinds of stories play a vital role in the way the news media humanize complex policy choices and frame political arguments for the public. Students in this course will write those kinds of profiles. They will master techniques the press uses to bring public policy to life. They will talk about the reporting and writing process with some of the best writers in American journalism. And they will see how personal experiences can shape political narratives in the press. The faces and voices of people on any side of a policy or legal conflict help journalists explain the impact of esoteric topics. And they help the public understand the impact and implications of an issue that may otherwise be hard to convey -- much as they do when politicians and other advocates tell stories about constituents and supporters to make a case for their positions on important issues. The main assignments in this course will focus on profiling local people who have a direct, personal stake in difficult issues that are relevant in regional and national politics. Students will learn how to identify, interview and write about their sources. Student also will learn about the legal, ethical and editorial challenges that come into play when writing about private citizens involved in public issues. And they will discuss the risks and limitations of this kind of journalism and analyze examples that show how these techniques can mislead instead of inform the public. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

PJMS 290S-20, PUBPOL 290S-20

Gerrymandering and the Press

Synopsis of course content (Published) To edit, click the "unpublish" button to the right. Political parties with the power to draw electoral maps can wield enormous influence over the outcome of elections on the local, state and national level. Journalists interested in checking that power - and explaining it to the public - need both data skills and an understanding of how to apply them to the analysis of political mapmaking. This course will explore the historical and modern impact of gerrymandering on American political power through the lens of the press, as well as the past and current court cases impacting the outcomes and calculus of redistricting. Through guest lectures and hands-on workshops, students will learn how to fuse mapping, demographic data and advanced statistical methods to employ some of the latest analytical techniques used to argue the impact of redrawn political lines before the U.S. Supreme Court. In-class discussions and semester-long projects will focus on investigating new techniques to give watchdog reporters the power to assess electoral maps and the added complexity of communicating their findings to voters. Although students should have some familiarity with basic journalism and data concepts, no specific technical or mathematical skills are required. The class will be taught by Tyler Dukes, 2017 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and an investigative reporter on the state politics team at WRAL News. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

PJMS 290T-01, 02, 03

Political Communications in a Social World (Tutorial)

Washington unraveled. Madison Avenue disaggregated. Hollywood invades. Reality TV becomes reality. Silicon Valley unleashed. The Media world turned upside down. All the old rules that once governed our politics, journalism, government, entertainment, marketing and just about everything else have gone up in smoke, and there's a new normal that's relentlessly changing the world in which we all live. This course will examine that world, challenge you to better understand it, and put it to use in your careers. We will examine how politics, policy, creativity, journalism, technology, and pop culture have collided, changing the way people run for office, run campaigns, influence policy, cover and consume the news, build brands, sell products, manage crises, shift reputation, create grass-roots movements and change the world we live in. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018


Algorithms, Journalism and the Public Interest

This course explores the rapidly expanding and evolving role that algorithms are playing in the production, dissemination, and consumption of news. In this course students will evaluate recent controversies surrounding the role of algorithms in journalism, as well as develop a comprehensive historical perspective for comparatively assessing algorithmically-driven versus traditional approaches to the production, dissemination, and consumption of news. Specific topics that this course will address include: algorithmic gatekeeping; algorithms and news values; algorithms and selective exposure to news; algorithmic reporting tools; and legal, ethical, and policy implications of algorithmically-driven journalism. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

PJMS 386S-01, PUBPOL 369S-01

Politics, Policy and the Media

An examination of decision-making at intersection of politics, public policy and media. Draws on real-world and real-time examples and case studies, readings, and guest speakers. Issues include: role, power and practice of lobbying, rise of think tanks and interest groups as key players, theater of politics and policy, the many faces of media, scandal and commodification of outrage, crisis management and mismanagement. Instructor: Schoenfeld (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018


Crisis Communications and Higher Education

Changing national social priorities, expectations, demographics, and economic uncertainty, have combined with changes in communications technologies to make virtually every major segment of American society vulnerable to higher levels of media and public scrutiny. As Duke learned with the lacrosse crisis in 2006, leading institutions of higher education have been under a microscope for their handling or mishandling of a wide range of issues from athletic scandals (UNC-Chapel Hill, Baylor, Louisville and Penn State) and Title IX and the adjudication of sexual assault (Virginia), to research fraud (Duke) and the commitment of campuses to free speech and traditional values of the academy (UC Berkeley and Middlebury). Managing in a crisis raises significant challenges for institutions. In this seminar, we will examine several high profile crises involving higher education, including the Duke lacrosse case, to understand the management issues behind them, the ways in which the news media got them right or wrong and the ramifications both for the institutions and the news media. Instructor consent required. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

PJMS 408S-01

Feature Writing Master Class

This class will focus on one of the most durable means of telling true stories to big audiences: the written feature. Designed for upper-level undergraduates with demonstrated experience and ability in reporting and writing, this seminar will provide students with the opportunity to hone their skills through workshops and intensive editing by a professional journalist and author. The first weeks will focus on essentials of the craft while learning inside strategies, such as how to pitch editors. All that leads to the main event: reporting and writing a longform feature with the quality and inventiveness needed to be published in a national or regional publication. Students will also get to hear from guest speakers who are experts in the craft. Those interested should submit a sample of one published or publication-quality feature to to receive a permission number. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018


Science and the Media: Narrative Writing about Science, Health and Policy

Those who write about science, health and related policy must make complex, nuanced ideas understandable to the non-scientist in ways that are engaging and entertaining, even if the topic is far outside the reader's frame of reference. Course examines different modes of science writing, the demands of each and considers different outlets for publication and their editorial parameters. Students interview practitioners of the craft. Written assignments include annotations of readings and original narratives about science and scientists. Course considers ways in which narrative writing can inform and affect policy. Prerequisites: a 200-level science course and/or permission of the instructor. (STS) (W) (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2018

AMES 435S, POLSCI 435S, ISS 435S

Chinese Media & Pop Culture

Examines contemporary Chinese media traditional news press, radio and TV, new media such as the internet and social media, and popular culture, including cinema, popular music and fashions. Uses cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach. Focuses on how China views itself and constructs its global images, and how the world views China through media and popular culture. Primary objective is to understand political, ideological, and social changes since the Reform Era that began in 1978. No foreign language prerequisites are required. CCI, SS

Spring 2018

AMI 201, DOCST 264, ENGLISH 181, LIT 110, THEATRST 278, VMS 289

Introduction to Film Studies

Basic film theory and history of motion picture technology. Introduction to experimental, documentary, and narrative forms of Third World, European, and United States cinemas. Basic film theory and history of motion picture technology. Introduction to experimental, documentary, and narrative forms of Third World, European, and United States cinemas. Economics and aesthetics. (ALP)

Spring 2018

AMI 357S, ISS 248S, DOCST 288S

Editing for Film and Video

Theory and practice of film and video editing techniques. Exploration of traditional film cutting as well as digital non-linear editing. Exercises in narrative, documentary and experimental approaches to structuring moving image materials. (ALP)

Spring 2018


The Documentary Experience: A Video Approach

A documentary approach to the study of local communities through video production projects assigned by the course instructor. Working closely with these groups, students explore issues or topics of concern to the community. Students complete an edited video as their final project. Not open to students who have taken this course as Film/Video/Digital 105S. (R) (ALP) (SS)

Spring 2018

DOCST 230S-01, ARTVIS, 232S-01, PUBPOL 389S-01, VMS 224S-01

Small Town USA: Local Collaborations

Theory and practice of documentary photography in a small-town context. Students working in collaboration with one nearby small town complete a documentary photographic study of one individual or group within that town. Includes analysis of the documentary tradition, particularly as it relates to locally situated work and to selected individual projects; building visual narrative, developing honest relationships with subjects, responsibility to subjects and their communities, and engaging with and portraying a community as an outsider. Photo elicitation and editing techniques. Consent of instructor required. Required participation in service learning. (CCI) (R) (ALP) Service Learning Course

Spring 2018


Veterans Oral History Project

Explore methods of oral history, specifically focusing on interviewing U.S. military veterans who have served during times of conflict. Weekly readings concerning ethics of oral history work and the particulars of interviewing veterans. Learn techniques for conducting successful oral history interviews and master technical skills involving recording equipment. Conduct multiple interviews with veterans throughout semester. Discuss interviews and transcriptions with classmates. Assignments include written responses and a final presentation on conducted interviews. Includes a service-learning component involving work in the community. (CCI) (SS) Service learning.

Spring 2018

GLHLTH 261-01, ICS 211, PSY 211

Changing Health Behaviors

Major topics include the theory and practice of promoting healthful behavior change, use of mass, new, and social media strategies for health promotion, patient-provider communication, and the role of culture in health communication message design. Students should have basic understanding of social science research methods.

Spring 2018

LIT 302-01, AMES 302S, AMI 3085S, GSF 320S, ISS 302S, VMS 349S

Hashtags Memes, Digital Tribes

Tracks digital life and creative expression of groups online in a close study of images, captions and hyperlinked tags. Examines rituals, symbols and cultural patterns that structure everyday life of digital tribes online and investigates impact of digital and social media (Twitter, Instagram Facebook, Periscope) on the constitution of communities online and offline. Studying varied array of digital tribes: tribes of the deaf, of oil rig workers, of Hindu worshipers, of prison wives and laptop entrepreneurs, students learn about underlying myths, rituals, and cultural symbols that connect groups of people online. (CCI) (EI) (STS) (ALP) (CZ)

Spring 2018


Sports Media

Examine the production and consumption of information through various media forms and the impact it has on influencing and shaping the sports industry. Topics include content development and delivery through television, radio, newspaper, and the internet, image shaping through the media, regulatory issues, intellectual property and content, market coverage and current hot topics.

Spring 2018

LIT 320S-01, AAAS 247S, ICS 320S, AMI 246S, LATAMER 320S, ISS 323S, VMS 323S

Social Movements and Social Media

Examines uses and abuses of social media by social movements. Interested in a broader historical study of mediating technologies and oppositional public sphere, course considers the uses of cameras, phones, cassette players, radio, and social media platforms, but also books, bodies, art, fashion, and automobiles as oppositional technologies. Studies political and ethical uses of technologies in social unrest. Investigates impact of technologies on social movements and social transformations in contemporary history. Student driven case studies will highlight contemporary engagement with social media by networked social movements. (CCI) (EI) (STS) (ALP) (CZ)

Spring 2018

ARTVIS 223, VMS 396, ISS 396

Graphic Design in Multimedia: Theory and Practice

Design history and theory. Lectures and projects focused on direct interaction with digitized elements of historically significant designs. Design elements and principles. Comparison of the language and tools of old and new media. Analysis of visual materials, discovering conceptual and stylistic connections, including Illustrator and Photoshop. Consent of instructor required. Instructor: Michael Faber,

Spring 2018

AMES 425S, CULANTH 434S, LIT 412S, VMS 412S, ICS 432S

Cultures of New Media

Anthropological look at 'new media' - their varied forms and histories, how they are used and understood, and their meanings and effects within different communities of users. Charts a number of technologies deemed 'new' in their day and the social meanings and communities that such technologies generated. Explores new media in domains of art and literature, as well as issues of race, gender, sexuality and how other indices of difference come to bear on new media and its use. Grounded in anthropology, readings will also draw on media studies, visual studies, cultural studies and critical theory, queer and gender theory, history and geography. Instructor: Stein

Spring 2018

ISS 356S, VMS 358S, EDUC 356S, HISTORY 382S

Digital Durham

Representing Durham past and present with digital media. Digitize historical and cultural materials, research in archives and public records and present information through various forms including web pages, databases, maps, video and other media. Analysis of social impact of new representations of place and space. Instructor: Abel

Spring 2018

ENGLISH 290S-4-01

Flash Nonfiction

Experimenting with creative nonfiction style, tone, and structure, in this class we will explore the challenges and opportunities involved in making brevity the soul of wit. Over the course of the semester each student will gather material for, draft, workshop, revise, and polish a series of six flash nonfiction pieces of 600-800 words each, using a variety of assigned approaches. Along the way, in-class writing exercises and published examples of flash nonfiction will provide inspiration and ideas. No previous creative writing experience is required for this course.

Spring 2018


Writing American Politics

Reading and writing intensive seminar focused on documentary works that document and discuss US politics and political movements. Engage and analyze historical and contemporary documentary media on the Populist movement, the long civil rights movement, the modern women's movement, Black Lives Matter, Moral Mondays, and other social movements, as well as US elections and significant figures in US politics. Emphasis on 20th century. Course materials include historical writings, journalism, memoir, fiction, music, and film. Guided research on a US political phenomenon resulting in a 20-page final paper. Instructor: Tyson (EI) (R) (W) (CZ) (SS)

Spring 2018


Language and Media

Since the time of Plato (~370 BCE), the relationship between language and media has been a social and political concern. Plato (or at least Socrates) was suspicious of the “new” media of writing; the printing press meant Bibles written in the vernacular rather than sacred language could be produced, weakening the power of the established church in Europe; today, “moral panics” arise over the use or abuse of “correct” language in social media, and fake news and online aggression are on the rise, potentially changing the outcomes of democratic elections. It is clear, then, that innovations in media give rise to changes in both language practices and social relations. This course looks at these issues from a sociolinguistic and sociological perspective, focusing on contemporary social media. It emphasizes how language is used creatively by real people in real situations; how language varies and changes over time, space and context; and how linguistic resources are used to create and contest social meanings.

Spring 2018