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. For the spring 2022 semester, the course will be taught by Professor Frank Bruni.

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 2022

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 2022

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 2022


Magazine Journalism

Storytelling techniques of magazine journalism; reporting and writing strategies; historical and contemporary writing for magazines in print and digital formats. Students develop experience in different kinds of magazine writing. Approved as a practicum course required for the Policy, Journalism and Media Studies certificate. Codes: W, SS (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022

Capstone Course

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

Elective Courses Spring 2022

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 (Originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022


Watchdog News and Storytelling (New Course)

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)

Spring 2022


Autobiographical Writing (New Course)

This course explores autobiographical writing, primarily through students’ writing and workshopping of essays, opinion pieces and snippets of memoir that the instructor and class discuss and critique, but also through reading a diverse group of past and current practitioners. While students will be able to steer their own efforts toward the manner of first-person writing in which they have the most interest, they will be expected to engage in study and execution of standard forms, such the opinion column. Students will benefit from instructor's experience writing memoirs and first-person opinion columns. Prerequisites: Policy Journalism and Media Studies 364S, 366S, or 367S. Codes: EI, W, ALP (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022


The 21st Century News Leader (New Course)

Course looks at evolution of news leadership from the latter half of 20th century-present, including decline of newspapers, rise of Internet, collapse of traditional news business model, emergence of attention economy, reinvention of factchecking, and revolutionary arrival of social media. Students will explore key questions regarding news leader’s role in society today, limits of news leadership, continuing changes in technology that impact role of news leader, new knowledge news leaders need, and role government has had in transformation of news landscape and leadership. Exploration of how challenges affect news industry, society, those entering field of journalism. (Note: contact to wave prereq) Codes: EI, CZ

Spring 2022


The Intersection of 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. Codes: SS (Course originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022

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. (Originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022

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. (Originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022

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 (Originated in PJMS)

Spring 2022

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 2022

AMES 405S, CULANTH 405S, ICS 416S, VMS 405S

Media and Conflict

Focus on the role of media in the context of colonialism, war and conflict across various historical periods. Attentive to the ways that media technologies have been employed both as tools of power and vehicles of protest and resistance. Theoretical readings are paired with a set of international case studies -- e.g. colonial atrocity archives, #BlackLivesMatter, Syrian civil war, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the Israeli military occupation, drone strikes -- that enable us to test the applicability of theoretical discussions to contemporary case studies. Readings in Butler, Kaplan, Sontag, Stein and Kuntsman, Virilio and others.

Spring 2022

PJMS 290T-01, PUBPOL 291T-01

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 offered through the Hart Leadership Program)

Spring 2022

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 2022


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 2022


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. (CCI) (R) (ALP) Required participation in service learning.

Spring 2022


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 2022

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. (CCI) (ALP) (CZ)

Spring 2022


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 2022

EDUC 220, AAAS 232, RIGHTS 221, SOCIOL 202

Race, Power, and Identity: From Ali to Kaepernick

Exploration of historic and contemporary psycho-social and socio-cultural aspects of the African American sport experience. Examination of research that addresses the effect of physical differences, racial stereotyping, identity development, gender issues, and social influences on African American sport participation patterns. Analysis of sport as a microcosm of society with an emphasis on examining associated educational and societal issues. Codes: CCI, EI, R, SS

Spring 2022


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. Codes: W, ALP

Spring 2022


Language in Immigrant America

Discussion of issues of language in the context of immigration in the United States, from the turn of the 20th century until the present, combining approaches from literature, memoirs, language policy, media studies, and linguistic anthropology. Some fieldwork in an immigrant community. Topics include: identity, assimilation, race, bilingual communities, bilingual education, foreign accents, language contact. Codes: CCI, R, ALP. Service Learning Course.

Spring 2022


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. (EI) (W) (CZ)

Spring 2022

FRENCH 335, PJMS 335, RIGHTS 335

Free Speech: Francophone World-USA

Critical history of free speech in French-speaking world in relation to the US, earliest debates and current controversies. Investigation of key concepts and issues: blasphemy, pornography, hate speech, sedition. Is this freedom absolute? Whose speech is censored? Whose ‘unspoken?’ Case studies & “causes célèbres” include Voltaire, Rabelais, Sade, Céline, Camus, Djaout. Work culminating in debate around free press and fake news with North African journalists and human rights activists. Codes: CCI, EI, FL, ALP, CZ

Spring 2022

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. (STS) Instructor consent required.

Spring 2022

I&E 253, ENGLISH 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 2022

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. (STS) (ALP) (CZ)

Spring 2022

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 2022

LIT 302-01, AMES 402S, 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 2022


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 2022


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)

Spring 2022


Reason and Passion in Politics

Explores the nature of mass politics in democracies through the distinction between reason and passion and the idea that a well-functioning democracy requires the triumph of cold deliberation over emotion and intuition. Discussion of classic texts on reason and passion from philosophy, politics, and psychology; dual-process models of political judgment and decision making; political belief updating and persistent disagreement over facts; moral psychology and political ideology; emotions and collective action. Codes: SS

Spring 2022


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 2022

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 2022


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 2022