Core Course: News as a Moral Battleground

This course is open to all students, but is required for JAM minor and PJMS certificate students. This course must be taken for a letter grade to count towards the minor or the certificate.

PJMS 371, PUBPOL 371, ETHICS 259, DOCST 371, RIGHTS 371, POLSCI 375

News as a Moral Battleground

Ethical inquiry into journalism and its effect on public discourse. Issues include accuracy, transparency, conflicts of interest and fairness. Topics include coverage of national security, government secrecy, plagiarism/fabrication, and trade-offs of anonymous sourcing. Codes: EI, R, W, SS. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

Journalism Practicum Course Cluster

The following courses are open to all undergraduates, but JAM minor and PJMS certificate students must take at least one for a letter grade.

PJMS 367S-01, PUBPOL 367S-01

News Writing and Reporting

Seminar on reporting and writing news and feature stories. Students required to produce news stories based on original reporting and writing, including interviews, use of the Internet and electronic databases, public records, and written publications. Written assignments critiqued in class; final project Codes: R, W, SS. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

PJMS 365S-01, PUBPOL 365S, VMS 305S, DOCST 367S

Video Journalism

Theories and concepts of television broadcasting; writing and editing for electronic media; issues of production. Students will produce a Web portfolio. Codes: ALP, SS. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023


Long-form Journalism

This hands-on course will introduce you to the world of longform journalism. We’ll read and analyze some of the best writing of the past 30 years, and you’ll learn advanced interviewing skills, document research, writing, revising, and editing. We’ll talk with contemporary journalists. And you’ll spend the semester producing a high-quality longform story, with guidance from me and your peers. You’ll read and write a lot, but none of it will be academic; this class is about writing that stokes imagination, outrage, catharsis, empathy, and delight. Codes: W, SS (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

Capstone Course

This course is taught only in the fall semester, and is open only to JAM minor or PJMS certificate students, for whom it is required. This course must be taken for a letter grade to count towards the minor or the certificate.

PJMS 410-01

Policy Journalism and Media Studies Capstone Course (Fall)

Capstone course for the Policy Journalism & Media Studies certificate. Course to be taken after the student completes an internship with a media organization. Designed to integrate student's practical experience with the more conceptual and theoretical knowledge gleaned from the classroom. Students discuss what they have learned, present examples of the work they have accomplished culminating in a research paper. Course requirements include writing a major research paper that synthesizes ideas and concepts learned in coursework with the internship's practical experience and a class presentation about the student's internship. Codes: R, SS. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

Elective Courses, Fall 2023

These courses are open to all undergraduates. Certificate students must take at least 3 (two of which that did not originate in PJMS). If you find a course you think should be included in this list, please contact Kim Krzywy at

PJMS 89S-01, ENGLISH 89S-03, PUBPOL 89S-01

Behind the Headlines

Why do we get the news that we do, and what's the best way to consume it? This seminar, taught by a longtime New York Times columnist with more than three decades of varied experience in the business, shows students how to be more intelligent, sophisticated and, when appropriate, skeptical consumers of the media. Using the daily and weekly news as their primary material, students will examine the full range of dynamics that shape media coverage, working toward an understanding of the news as so much more than the delivery of information. It's a competitive, profit-minded business, a contest of values and a mirror of culture. The course will look principally at the current news environment, with students hearing from a variety of professionals engaged in news reporting, editing and production. But it will at times widen its lens to consider relevant past examples and historical trends. Codes: EI, W. First year seminar. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

PJMS 390S-20, PUBPOL 290S-20

Podcasting in a Changing Media Landscape: The art, craft and ethics of an emerging medium

Podcasting has exploded in recent years, with hundreds of thousands of shows in production and more than a fifth of Americans listening to podcasts at least weekly. This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the craft of podcasting, combined with critical reflection on various podcast forms. Students will consider the role of podcasts in the changing media equation, including the role of podcasts in local news. They will gain practice with the basics of podcast creation and will apply these lessons by creating podcast episodes focusing on the people, places and issues of Durham, N.C. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023


Watchdog News and Storytelling: Changing Forms of Accountability Journalism

Focus on evolving styles of explanatory reporting and investigative journalism. Practice fundamental research and writing techniques that journalists use to reveal complex issues and hold powerful institutions and people accountable. Identify sources, develop interviewing skills, and tap public records. Analyze stories that can serve as engaging models for assignments, such as fact-checks, solutions-focused articles, and first-person accounts that turn the reporting process into a narrative device. Learn about editorial rules and writing conventions, including their ethical underpinnings and the role of objective methods. Talk with guest journalists about their experiences. Codes: EI, W (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

PJMS 375-01 PUBPOL 343

Journalism in the Age of Data

Teaches the tools and techniques used by investigative journalists to acquire and analyze data in order to discover story ideas and draw and evaluate conclusions about politicians, public policy, broader behavior of public institutions. Students should have basic familiarity with journalism concepts, but no specific technical or mathematical skills required. Taught by two working journalists: Jeremy Bowers (Director of Engineering, The Washington Post) and Tyler Dukes (Investigative Reporter, The News & Observer) Codes: STS, SS (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

PJMS 390-10, DOCST 190-10, POLSCI 290-10, PUBPOL 290-10

Can Journalism Save Democracy?

Through readings, discussion and appearances by expert guests in media and government, students will learn: how journalism played a crucial role in two hinge moments in American history; how that role has changed over five decades; and how journalism needs to evolve to best serve the democratic process. Codes: EI, W, CZ. (Course originated in PJMS.)

Fall 2023

PJMS 390S-70, PUBPOL 290S-03, DOCST 390S-01

The Art of Profile Writing

By exploring one of the most popular and useful formats in journalism—the profile—students in this course will learn to report, write, workshop, and revise a profile of their own. Readings will be newspaper (New York Times, Washington Post) and magazine (New Yorker, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, WIRED) profiles of actors, artists, athletes, scientists, lawyers, activists, politicians, and a wide array of “ordinary” people who found themselves in extraordinary situations. Class discussions will focus on interviewing techniques, the ethics of the writer/subject relationship, narrative structure, and how best to unravel the mysteries of human motivation. No reporting experience required, but a willingness to talk to strangers is always a plus. (Course originated in PJMS)

Fall 2023

PJMS 490-10, PUBPOL 290-11, ENGLISH 290-7-10

Masterworks of Journalism

Some of the finest prose, most insightful glimpses into human nature and most consequential examinations of society appear in works of journalism, and in this course, students will read a mix of books, essays and long newspaper and magazine articles from the 1960s onward that show just how good journalism can get and how much good it can do when it scales the peaks of the craft. They’ll evaluate that journalism from many perspectives – literary, sociological, political, ethical – in the service of discussions about superior writing, exemplary reporting and the many ways in which journalism mirrors its moment. Codes: EI, W. (Course originated in PJMS.)

Fall 2023

AMES 210, LIT 251, CULANTH 209

Arab Cultures: Literature, Politics, History

Explore different facets of modern and contemporary Arab cultures; memoirs, novels, prison notebooks, films, comic books, theoretical tracts, music, psychiatric case-studies, histories, and ethnographies; consider how authors depict key historical transformations taking place in the Arab world; different angles through which political questions are tackled; the negotiation between self and other. Codes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Fall 2023

AMES 335, HISTORY 228, ICS 336

Chinatowns: A Cultural History

Explores the intersection of space and ethnicity through the myriad ways Chinatown has circulated as memory, fantasy, narrative, myth, in the dominant cultural imagination, and how lived realities of overseas Chinese communities, Asian American history, and changing conceptions of "Chineseness" have productively engaged with real and phantom Chinatowns. Research will emphasize multi-disciplinary approaches, such as urban history, architecture, ethnography, economics; or engagement in a creative project. Codes: CCI, R, ALP, CZ

Fall 2023

AMES 435S, POLSCI 435S, ISS 435S

Chinese Media & Popular Culture: Politics, Ideology and Social Change

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. Instructor Consent Required. Codes: CC, SS

Fall 2023

CHINESE 331D-001

Modern Chinese Society and Culture through New Media

This course is a continuation of Chinese 232. In this class, students will cover different social and cultural challenges that China is facing nowadays through a thematic approach. Course content will be drawn from Chinese broadcast news, blogs and videos, TV shows, and documentary films. This course aims to improve learners’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Prerequisite: Chinese 232 or equivalent proficiency. Prerequisite: Chinese 232 or equivalent proficiency. Codes: CCI, FL, CZ

Fall 2023


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. Codes: R, ALP, SS

Fall 2023

DOCST 110S-01, HISTORY 126S-01

Introduction to Oral History

Introductory oral history fieldwork seminar. Oral history theory and methodology, including debates within the discipline. Components and problems of oral history interviewing as well as different kinds of oral history writing. Codes: R, CZ

Fall 2023


Introduction to Audio Documentary

This course likely will NOT be offered in the fall of 2023. Instead, you may be in interested in PJMS 363, Podcasting in a Changing Media Landscape: The Art, Craft and Ethics of An Emerging Medium (Introduction to Podcasting) with Alison Jones.

Fall 2023

  • TBD

Documenting Youth Justice Movements

Immersion in the dangerous and contentious recent history of youth activism in environmental and racial justice movements worldwide. Using oral history, archival research methods, and cultural production, students explore methods for researching documenting and creating narratives of youth social activism. Historical and contemporary youth campaigns explored in this course include those to protect land, soil, air and people from pollutants in Black, Indigenous, and Global South communities. All of these movements have expanded the legal, narrative, and practical understanding of environmental and human rights in US and global frameworks. Codes: EI, R

Fall 2023


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)

Fall 2023


Documenting US Women’s Health Post-Roe v. Wade

The overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 led to the deaths of two women in South Carolina. One woman died from sepsis following self-instrumentation, and the second died after giving birth to a healthy baby. She began to hemorrhage; hospital administrators were afraid that the “D&C” she needed to survive was too close to the abortion procedure. A physician team at Duke University Hospitals, led by Dr. Beverly Clark, began to see similar cases in North Carolina. The aim of this course is to document—in real time—the political and ethical dimensions of the situation that healthcare providers now find themselves in as they attempt to provide women the nationwide medical “standard of care.” Codes: EI, R, CZ

Fall 2023


Documenting Black Experiences

Explores how Black experiences have been documented and how crucial stories woven from real life get told. Students engage wide ranging contemporary and historical materials, including nonfiction, memoir, fiction, documentary and dramatic film, theater, poetry and music. Our aspirations are historical, but with an understanding that academic history, though irreplaceable, barely touches the range of storytelling that makes Black lives not only matter but transform the spaces in which they unfold. Our explorations are political, but in the largest sense—how Black power comes from making higher truth a tool, a weapon and a way of being. Codes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Fall 2023


Writing Across Borders

This is a creative nonfiction writing course focused on the concept of crossing myriad borders. What kinds of borders should an ethical, empathetic person attempt to cross in writing, in life? Are there borders that should remain uncrossed? Students who have participated in—or plan to participate in—a study or work abroad program may wish to focus their inquiry on geographical border crossing and the questions that raises such as: how does one write critically—or sympathetically—about a culture outside one's own without being arrogant or elitist? How much can any non-native expect to understand about a country--or culture--not their own? Codes: CCI, EI, W, ALP

Fall 2023

GSF 265S, SOCIOL 217S, ISS 265S, VMS 286S, COMPSCI 112S, U&E 265S

Introduction to Digital Feminism

The aim of this course is to critically analyze digital culture from a feminist and gender studies perspective. Subjects such as the rise of the Silicon Valley, gaming culture, social media, algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, extraction of data applied to biotechnology, macroeconomic development of IT platforms and the impact of technology on ecology will be discussed starting from a current event or debate, to which we will give a historical, ethical, sociological, theoretical, literary or cinematographic perspective. Codes: R, STS, SS

Fall 2023


Latinx Social Movements

Over the course of the twentieth-century various Latino/a groups have mobilized their growing power to make demands for social justice and equality. This course will study the history of Latino/a organizing from the 1940s to the contemporary moment. Some of the groups we will examine include: the Chicano movement, the Young Lords Party, Chicana feminists, Third World Women's Alliance, DREAMers, resistance to Arizona's SB1070, and UndocuQueer. We will look at the history of political organizations, community formation, identity development, and movement ideology. Codes: CCI, R, CZ

Fall 2023

I&E 253, CMAC 253, ISS 253, VMS 253

Social Marketing: From Literary Celebrities to Instagram Influencers

You’ve surely heard the platforms described as “revolutionary,” and you’ve also heard them described as “time wasters.” What you probably haven’t thought about is how similar they are to previous “revolutionary” communications technologies like novels, newspapers, and even language itself. This course explores ways in which studying the masters of previous “social” media technologies—the Shakespeares, Whitmans, and Eliots of the world—can help us understand how influencers on digital social media leverage the same platforms you use every day to market themselves, build their brands, and grow their audiences. Codes: STS, SS

Fall 2023

ISS 112-01, PJMS 112, CULANTH 112

The Googlization of Knowledge: Information, Ethics, and Technology

Google has altered the way we see the world and ourselves. Its biases, valuing popularity over accuracy, affect how we value information and navigate news and ideas. This course examines information from different angles within the context of social justice, open access to information, and how the Internet and Google affect our lives. Themes include knowledge as a public good, Internet policies, data and visual literacies, social media, and artificial intelligence. Hands-on work researching how technology affects the access, understanding, and reliability of information in students’ lives. Analysis, discussions, and reflection assignments with ongoing application to team-based projects. EI, R, STS, SS (Note that even thought this course is crosslisted in PJMS, it originated in ISS.)

Fall 2023

ISS 187FS-01, VMS 187FS-01

Digital Storytelling and Interactive Narrative

Digital storytelling methodologies, theory, and practice. In-depth analysis of digital storytelling in various media forms and modes of production. Cultural impact of new media narratives. Exploration of digital storytelling affordances and approaches: text, video, audio, design, animation, and interactivity. Critical analysis of existing media and remediation of older media forms. Experimentation with non-linear, spatial, ludic, and hypermedia approaches. Questions of authorship, agency, authority, and collaboration in blogs, games, fan fiction, adaptations. Hands-on experience developing digital narratives and creating digital critiques. Analytical paper and regular crits. Codes: EI, STS, CZ

Fall 2023

ISS 240S-01, VMS 288S-01

Fundamentals of Web-Based Multimedia Communications

Multimedia information systems, including presentation media, hypermedia, graphics, animation, sound, video, and integrated authoring techniques; underlying technologies that make them possible. Practice in the design innovation, programming, and assessment of web-based digital multimedia information systems. Intended for students in non-technical disciplines. Codes: R, ALP

Fall 2023

LIT 304S-01, ISS 304S-01

Intro to Digital Culture: Media Theory, Politics, Aesthetics

What is digital culture today? In the first two decades of the 00s, digital culture has become more directly related to the emergence of social media platforms (from Youtube to Instagram, from Snapchat to Tiktok). Digital culture is now shaped by artificial intelligence. We make new friends through dating apps and by becoming followers. We know that biases of race, class, gender and sexuality are embedded in everyday search algorithms. This course welcomes students to participate in these emerging discussions and experiment with new ideas that are shaping digital culture today. Codes: CCI, STS, SS

Fall 2023


Public Opinion

Examines nature and role of public opinion in American democracy, providing broad-based introduction to dynamics of citizens' social and political attitudes in contemporary United States. Goal of course is to help students arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of forces that shape beliefs, attitudes, and opinions of American public, the means by which those views are publicly expressed, and the influence of those opinions on policy outcomes. (EI) (SS)

Fall 2023


Campaigns and Elections

The campaign process, voting and elections in the United States, with emphasis on the varying role of media in campaigns. The nomination and election process; focus on the critical evaluation of various empirical models of voting behavior in presidential and congressional elections and the impact of election outcomes on the content and direction of public policy in various historical eras in American politics. (SS)

Fall 2023

VMS 356S, CINE 357S, 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)

Fall 2023