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.

JAM 371, PUBPOL 371, ETHICS 259, DOCST 371, RIGHTS 371, POLSCI 375, CINE 371

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.

Spring 2024

Journalism & Media 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.

JAM 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.

Spring 2024

JAM 365S-01, PUBPOL 365S, VMS 305S, DOCST 367S, CINE 366S

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.

Spring 2024


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

Spring 2024

JAM 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.

Elective Courses Spring 2024

These courses are open to all undergraduates, and are approved electives for JAM students. JAM students must take at least 3. If you find a course you think should be included in this list, please contact Kim Krzywy at


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.

Spring 2024


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

Spring 2024


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.

Spring 2024

JAM 390S-20, PUBPOL 290S-04

Journalism as a Detective Story

News reporting is often a search for clues, reliable sources and verifiable details. And the search itself can make for a dramatic detective story. In this course, you will write compelling news articles -- narrative stories in which you will serve as the narrator, if not protagonist, and your reporting process will drive the plot. Over the past two decades, blogs, documentaries and narrative podcasting have popularized and reinvented this style of "whodunit" reporting. But the use of first-person, experiential journalism and nonfiction writing is hardly new -- from Alexis de Tocqueville and Nellie Bly to Ta-Nehisi Coates and Sarah Koenig. (W)

Spring 2024

JAM 390S-30

Criminal Justice Reporting

This course takes a close look at how journalists cover the U.S. criminal justice system. We’ll spend the first half of the semester looking at some specific issues (gun violence, police misconduct, celebrity trials, mass incarceration, juvenile justice, and political trials, among others), and how the media covers them. Throughout the semester (but particularly in the second half), we will focus on the Durham County criminal justice system, examining how public institutions and societal crises (affordable housing, income inequality, health care, education, mental health services) all intersect with the court system. In studying the Durham County police and courts, students will meet key players (the District Attorney, public defenders, defense attorneys, and activists), and will spend time in the courthouse itself, doing reporting for articles or papers they will write for the class. The class will also take a trip to Birmingham, Ala., to see the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum, both built and operated by Bryan Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative. Codes: EI, W

Spring 2024

JAM 390S-50, PUBPOL 290S-07

Covering Campaign 2024: A real-time look at reporters, pundits and fact-checkers on the trail

Covering Campaign 2024 students will become more thoughtful citizens in a democracy and consumers of political news and commentary by giving them an in-depth look at how reporters, columnists, fact-checkers and TV journalists do their work. Students will get to meet a variety of journalists in all types of media organizations and analyze their work. By the end of the semester, students will: understand the underlying motivations and allegiances of today’s media organizations and journalists, and how those motivations affect daily coverage; understand the roles of various players in our diverse media landscape and their ability to influence key groups in the political system; be able to assess the daily and weekly coverage of the campaign for depth, substance and quality; and be able to analyze media narratives for a campaign or candidate and assess the resulting untold stories – the themes and coverage that get missed because of over-focus on the narrative of the week. Code: W

Spring 2024

JAM 390S-60, PUBPOL 290S-08

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. Codes: W, SS

Spring 2024

JAM 490-10, PUBPOL 290-10, POLSCI 290-10

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.

Spring 2024


Producing Docu-Fiction

Investigation of hybrid, genre-defying films that question traditional definitions of documentary and fiction. Emphasis on experimental forms, documentary reenactment, mockumentary and dramatized 'true stories.' Exploration of both documentary and fiction production techniques, culminating in the production of a final video project. tion of hybrid, genre-defying films that question traditional definitions of documentary and fiction. Emphasis on experimental forms, documentary reenactment, mockumentary and dramatized 'true stories.' Exploration of both documentary and fiction production techniques, culminating in the production of a final video project. Codes: ALP

Spring 2024


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 2024

DOCST 135S, JAM 135S

Introduction to Audio Documentary

Recording techniques and audio mixing on digital editing software for the production of audio (radio) documentaries. Various approaches to audio documentary work, from the journalistic to the personal; use of fieldwork to explore cultural differences. Stories told through audio, using National Public Radio-style form, focusing on a particular social concern such as war and peace, death and dying, civil rights. Codes: R, ALP

Spring 2024

  • TBD

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 2024

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 2024


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 2024

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 2024

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 2024

I&E 253, CMAC 253, ISS 253, VMS 255

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 2024

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 2024

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. Codes: R, STS, W, ALP

Spring 2024


Language and/in the Media

The relationships between language and media have long been a socio-political concern. Plato was suspicious of the 'new' media of writing; at the end of the Middle Ages, the printing press meant Bibles written in the vernacular could weaken the power of the established church in Europe; today, fake news and online aggression are on the rise, potentially changing the outcomes of democratic elections. Innovations in media give rise to changes in both language practices and social, cultural, and political relations. This course looks at these issues from contemporary sociolinguistic and sociological perspectives, focusing on how linguistic resources are used to create and contest meanings. Codes: SS

Spring 2024

LIT 320S, AAAS 247S, ICS 320S, LATAMER 320S, ISS 323S, RIGHTS 323S, VMS 323S, AMES 318

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 2024


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 2024


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 2024

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. Code: ALP

Spring 2024