Core Course: News as a Moral Battleground

This course is open to all students, but is required for Certificate students. This course must be taken for a letter grade to count towards the PJMS 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)

Spring 2023

Journalism Practicum Course Cluster

The following courses are open to all undergraduates, but Certificate students must take at least one for a letter grade.

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)

Spring 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)

Spring 2023

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)

Spring 2023

Capstone Course

This course is taught only in the fall semester, and is open only to PJMS Certificate students, for whom it is required.

Elective Courses Spring 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


The Art of the Interview

An exploration of the role of the interview as a core feature of modern American journalism, with focus on its development as a tool of inquiry, a cultural form and news-making event. Students will study examples of media coverage and produce projects involving interviews. Codes: R, W (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-10, PUBPOL 290S-10

Lying in Politics

Students will examine the falsehoods of American politics, their origins and how they spread. You will explore who is doing the lying, their techniques and justifications. And you will look at the techniques that journalists are using to deter the lying and the successes and failures we’ve had. You will get to know the liars and their lies. You will analyze a large database of false claims to identify patterns and trends and conduct case studies to see how a falsehood is repeated by politicians and pundits and makes its way through the media ecosystem. By the end of the semester, we’ll all be smarter about this pervasive problem and have some ideas about how we can address it. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-20, PUBPOL 290S-20

Journalism as (the First Draft of) History

Journalism is commonly described as “the first draft of history,” but how do those early drafts hold up in the cold light of time? Looking back on big stories from earlier eras, this seminar will explore journalists’ contemporaneous accounts of issues and events versus the more considered understanding of historians, and the relationship between those two versions. Case studies explored will likely include: The famine in Ukraine; Sexual harassment and the “Me Too” movement; The “Spanish flu” pandemic of 1918; The American civil rights movement; The financial collapse of Enron; Military conflicts, starting with the Spanish-American War; The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Taught by new DeWitt Wallace Center adjunct faculty member Paul Tash (Former chairman, Tampa Bay Times/Times Publishing Company). Codes: W, CZ. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-30, PUBPOL 290S-30

Race and the Media

At a time when political candidates leverage fears of immigration and Islam into votes while the nation debates issues surrounding policing and communities of color, the need for media coverage more finely attuned to race and prejudice is crucial. Instead of informing audiences, many of the fastest-growing news programs and media platforms are invoking and exploiting old prejudices and deeply-rooted fears to compete for increasingly narrow audiences. Using the same tactics employed to mobilize political parties, they employ coded messages and demonize opposing groups as their audience shares soar and website traffic ticks up. Taught by veteran journalist and media critic Eric Deggans, this course dissects the powerful ways modern media feeds fears, prejudices, and hate. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-40, PUBPOL 290S-40

Business Journalism

Money is everywhere. It’s in sports, politics, fashion, entertainment, your daily life and, of course, in business. But how do you—to quote an overused phrase—follow the money? In this course you’ll dive into financial statements, discover how to evaluate public and private institutions and better understand stock and bond markets. We’ll dig into corporate scandals and financial crises, unravel how Wall Street enriches and defrauds, and figure out what makes some companies and CEOs successful and others losers. If you’re interested in journalism, this course will give you critical-thinking and writing skills useful in the fastest-growing part of the business. And if you’re just interested in business, you’ll gain a better understanding of corporate strategy, budgeting and investing, as well as how to be a smart consumer and financial steward. Business Journalism will be taught by Scott McCartney, who has decades of experience reporting for the Wall Street Journal. Code: SS (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-50, PUBPOL 290S-50

Data Journalism Lab

To fulfill the promise of their watchdog role, modern journalists must wield the power of data or risk being outpaced by those they seek to hold accountable. It’s an arms race – and losing means dire consequences for the Fourth Estate and the public it serves. Students in the Data Journalism Lab will learn to put skills into practice, conceiving and executing collaborative, data-driven, accountability-focused projects big and small published throughout the course of the semester. Heavily influenced by the news of the day, students will drive coverage using a team-based approach, choosing from a range of topics such as criminal justice, public health, racial inequality and the environment. They’ll use the latest tools to work with real data, documents and sources to reveal novel stories in the public interest. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-60, PUBPOL 290S-60

Gods and Monsters: The Art and Craft of Sports Journalism

This course explores the exciting, complex world of sports journalism and aims to prepare students to work in that field. News organizations used to call their sports sections “the toy box,” but that’s no longer the case. The world of sports is now far more multifaceted, lucrative, controversial, and influential than that. Media coverage of athletes and teams (from youth sports to professional leagues) has morphed into a field that calls for an array of skills as reporters chronicle the games, personalities, and businesses that collectively have such a powerful hold on the American psyche. In this class, students will learn the skills necessary to produce a range of sports journalism – game stories, features, analyses, profiles, enterprise articles. You'll also hear from some leading sports journalists, who will cover a range of topics - from ethical issues to how to interview athletes. At the same time, we will examine the many ways sports now intertwines with, and impacts, how we think about various issues in our society, including race and civil rights, gender, politics, public health (such as the Covid-19 pandemic), and the entertainment world in general. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 390S-90, PUBPOL 290S-72, ENGLISH 290S-4-71, ETHICS 390S-71

Opinion Writing

What ingredients go into the best opinion writing? What mix of hard facts and individual conviction most effectively sell a point of view, whether your focus is political or personal, whether you’re advocating a specific policy or articulating a broader philosophy? To teach the art of the form, this course uses extensive reading of newspaper columns and magazine essays present and past, conversations with current practitioners, the professor’s decade-long stint as an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and, above all, students’ production of their own op-eds/opinion essays at least once every two weeks. It also emphasizes general, cross-genre principles of nonfiction writing and journalism. Codes: EI, W (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

PJMS 490S, PUBPOL 290S-01

America in the Age of Grievance

How did the country's politics and public discourse devolve into, and become dominated by, so much resentment, rancor and recrimination – in both political parties and across much of the political spectrum? Through varied readings, intensive class discussions and several guest speakers, this course will suggest answers, taking into account the waxing pessimism and flowering narcissism of Americans; profound changes in the news media/information ecosystem; intensifying partisanship; and the erosion of common causes and common ground. It will also tally the price and contemplate possible paths to a better place. Codes: EI, CZ. (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2023

AMES 107, ICS 144

Introduction to East Asian Cultures: Narrating East Asia through Word and Image

The study of East Asia makes sense not necessarily as a study of shared canons or of ‘civilizational origins’ or, shared ‘Asian values’: rather, modern East Asia can be productively studied in terms of shared historical, political, cultural concerns; the influx of new ideologies; the processes of ‘becoming modern’; and of course, the positioning of East Asian area studies in the academy and the larger world. In this introductory course, we will be looking at "Global East Asia" and its diasporas through all manners of storytelling, focusing on word-image narratives: Asian traditions of manga, manhwa, manhua, as well as graphic novels. Codes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Spring 2023

CULANTH 360S, LIT 361S, AMES 360S, SOCIOL 360, ICS 369S, PUBPOL 358S

Global Apple: Life and Death and the Digital Revolution

Examination of the Apple Corporation’s development from a Silicon Valley garage operation to a company with unprecedented global reach; the Cult of Steve Jobs, the Apple Launch and use the design and development of the Apple Store; labor and environmental struggles over Apple supply chain and production processes, from cobalt mining in Africa to Foxconn factories in China; migrant worker suicide and poetry as forms of protest in China; e-waste villages and digital rubbish; everyday uses of Apple technology and the ethics of consuming Apple products. Codes: EI, STS, CZ, SS

Spring 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

Spring 2023


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. Service learning. Codes: CCI, R, ALP

Spring 2023


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

Spring 2023

DOCST 326, AAAS 230, HISTORY 358, RIGHTS 326

The South in Black and White

Present-day and historical documentary traditions in American South, with an emphasis on call and response between black and white cultures. The arts and humanities as embedded in particular histories and cultures found in the South, and as performed in music and theater; and portrayed in documentary films, civil rights photography, Southern literature, and historical and autobiographical writing. Includes historical texts, oral histories and testimonies of living persons, along with documentary films, photographs, and writings from people in Durham and elsewhere in the region. Codes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Spring 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

Spring 2023


Narratives of Migration

This course will explore narratives, or stories, of migration, as told by refugees and immigrants from across the world, through different media: written, spoken, photographed, and constructed digitally on social media. The class will approach narratives of migration primarily from the perspective of sociocultural linguistics and discourse analysis, but we will refer to other scholarly traditions as well. This is a Service-Learning course: students will engage in a mentoring relationship with an immigrant student in a Durham high school. Codes: CCI, R, ALP.

Spring 2023


How to Think in an Age of Political Polarization

Americans today live in a time of deep political polarization, cultural tribalism, and self-segregation. To many, it feels like we’re in the middle of a cultural civil war that is turning violent. What sort of habits of mind (e.g. intellectual humility and charity) and practices should we cultivate in response to this reality in order to sustain a healthy democracy? Special attention paid to the university, cancel culture, free speech, social media, and identity politics. Lively discussion is encouraged. Codes: EI, W, CZ

Spring 2023

French 302S, Spanish 303S, Italian 302S

Fake News: A Multicultural Perspective

Three versions of this class will be taught, each in a different language-- French, Spanish or Italian. Students from all three classes will come together to collaborate during workshops and on projects. The role of fake news in shaping the information ecosystem can hardly be overestimated. While debates about disinformation tend to be framed around the U.S. national context, this class will point to the need to understand disinformation as a global phenomenon rooted in specific national and regional contexts. Codes: CCI, FL, ALP, CZ

Spring 2023

GSF 273S, SOCIO 273S

Gender and Media

The aim of this course is to critically analyze media culture and communication landscapes from a feminist and gender studies perspective. We will address a wide range of media innovations and their histories, unpacking and critically questioning them through the insights offered by feminist, queer, and intersectional analytical tools. To each, we will examine historical, ethical, sociological, theoretical, literary or film perspectives. What roles do media spaces play in our everyday lives and how do our politics and self-understandings inform and reflect burgeoning platforms? This course will consider these questions in terms of US media cultures and its interconnected global frameworks. Codes: CCI, SS

Spring 2023

I&E 250, ISS 250, VMS 249

Building Global Audiences

Marketing and publicity are so important to audience building that, 20 years ago, expanding beyond local audiences usually couldn’t be accomplished without huge advertising budgets. However, thanks to the Internet, you can build a global audience from your dorm room. This class explores how. Learn about social media, search engine optimization, virality, content marketing, growth hacking, and other digital audience building strategies. They’re difficult to learn and time consuming to execute, so expect to struggle. We’ll learn as much from our failures as we will from our successes as we discover what it takes to cultivate global awareness for an idea without ever leaving Durham. Codes: STS Instructor consent required.

Spring 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

Spring 2023

I&E 275

Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Intersection of Media, Entertainment and Technology

The class will jump into the middle of the change and innovation happening at the intersection of Media, Entertainment and Technology. We will look at how we make, distribute and consume Media and Entertainment. We will focus on entrepreneurs and innovative companies and creators revolutionizing Media and Entertainment, as well as thought leaders and leading companies in the space. The class will feature Cases, articles, speakers, in class discussion along with a term long project. Codes: STS, SS

Spring 2023

ISS 222D, CMAC 222D, VMS 203D

Introduction to Digital Humanities

Digital approaches to humanistic research and its expression, across disciplines and fields. Critical approaches to the digital turn in contemporary culture; theoretical approaches to digital creation and digital remediation of analog sources. Topics include aesthetics, cultural impact, opportunities for global circulation. Critical contextualization around access, authorship, diversity and inclusion, media effects, and evaluation. Exercises in text analysis, digital mapping, data visualization, databases, networks, online archives and exhibitions, immersive media, situated within broader cultural debates on digital cultures, and on best practices for interdisciplinary collaboration. Codes: STS, ALP, CZ

Spring 2023

LIT 320S, AAAS 247S, AMES 318S, ICS 320S, LATAMER 320S, ISS 323S, RIGHTS 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. Codes: CCI, EI, STS, ALP, CZ

Spring 2023

Music 235S, LSGS 235S, GSF 236S

Selena: Music, Media, and the Mexican American Experience

How did singer Selena Quintanilla impact the world and why does she remain as such an important cultural fixture for Mexican-American communities? This class explores the life, music, and legacy of Selena Quintanilla. We will discuss how Selena used music to navigate a complex Mexican-American identity. Focusing on intersectional feminism, sexuality, iconicity, and fandom, we will learn about Selena's music throughout the years and consider how these themes are interpreted and complicated across borders. Course materials engage readings from pop music studies, gender, sexuality, and feminist studies, Latinx studies and include a range of films, audio recordings, and podcasts. Codes: CCI, ALP

Spring 2023

PUBPOL 290-02

Combatting Hate in a Digital World

Today more than ever, America’s social and civic fabric is being torn apart by increasing intolerance, hate, incivility and even physical violence. Our fundamental idea of a diverse country where shared goals and commitments outweigh individual differences is threatened by increasing conflict and division. Social media and other digital platforms fuel much of this hateful discourse. This course will explore this growing problem through case studies focusing on anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia. The role social media and technology play in accelerating the spread and prevalence of hatred will be a theme throughout the course. We will explore the policy and other types of solutions that could be pursued to promote understanding and reduce destructive prejudice and bigotry in the modern world. Codes: CZ, SS

Spring 2023


Introduction to Cyber Policy

Policy and technical elements of activity in cyberspace will continue to impact and shape global society. Provide a basic understanding of fundamental of cyber technologies and threats, national and international cyber policies and frameworks, and key topical issues in cyber. Students will be required to complete a written mid-term based on lectures and readings, present short classroom briefings, and engage in class discussions. The final will be a capstone written and oral presentation on a realistic cyber scenario applying knowledge from classwork and their own research. No prior skills or knowledge is required. Codes: STS, SS

Spring 2023


Data Visualization for Social Science

This course introduces modern methods and tools for the visualization of social-scientific data. The course has a theoretical and practical element. We will explore the theory and history of efforts to visualize social data, and society more generally, examining the nature and politics of data generation and consumption, and about the implications of choosing to represent it in different ways. Practically, we will learn how to use R and related tools to produce insightful, beautiful, reproducible data visualizations. Codes: STS, QS, SS

Spring 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)

Spring 2023

VMS 389S, AAAS 386S, GSF 338S

Women and Visual Media Studies

This course explores visual media by women artists, as well as the production, circulation, and reception of visual culture about the idea of “woman.” Drawing on feminist scholarship across disciplines, students will examine representation, spectatorship, power, beauty, and sex. We will explore work by popular icon Beyoncé, artist Lorna Simpson, but also independent documentary films on relevant themes. Codes: CCI, ALP

Spring 2023


Cyber Connections: Health and Harm in Digital Communication

This course embraces both the practice and the analysis of digital communication, drawing on multimedia sources from Pew studies to celebrity podcasts to the battleground of COVID news. We will analyze the overt and implied messages in the media we consume, from social and news media to various kinds of streaming entertainment and the advertisements that follow us everywhere online. Students will build a multimedia portfolio over the course of the semester, informed by their rhetorical study of interactive essays, podcasts, and video op-eds. Regular prompts for reflective writing and digital content development will build toward the capstone project, a collection of 1–2 podcast episodes paired with other digital compositions exploring distress and well-being in relation to digital communication. Prerequisite: Writing 101 Codes: W, ALP

Spring 2023