Department of Journalism

The Quinnipiac undergraduate program in journalism focuses on the principles and practices of news writing and reporting across multiple platforms in a perpetually evolving media landscape.

The program's mission is to prepare journalism professionals who are superior writers and can effectively report on the diversity of the human experience – whatever the platform or tool.

The wide range of elective courses enables students to focus on a specific medium (such as television), or news subject (such as sports), or take courses across platforms based on their interests and career goals.

Students who graduate from the Department of Journalism will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to research, report, write, shoot and edit news stories that conform to professional journalism standards, including the ability to apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  • Demonstrate command of the techniques used to produce and present news in digital, broadcast and print environments, and understand the interconnectedness of these systems.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the history of journalism, its social responsibility and the underpinnings of its practice in a culturally and racially diverse society.
  • Understand the implications of the First Amendment and the role journalism plays in a democracy.
  • Engage in the ethical practice of journalism.

Journalism (JRN)

JRN 106. Multimedia Production Techniques (SPS 106).3 Credits.

Students learn the fundamentals of multimedia production, including the use of digital cameras and related equipment, to tell simple stories and the use of editing software to prepare them for distribution. Students learn the rudiments of video-camera use, composition and lighting, capturing audio, continuity, interviewing, voiceovers, music beds, graphics, and shooting and editing action. Students produce b-roll, features, interviews, location pieces and story packages pertaining to their concentrations or areas of interest.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 199. Journalism Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

JRN 260. News Writing.3 Credits.

This course teaches the principles and practices of news writing for digital platforms and print. Journalists must acquire skills to identify a news story and its essential elements, gather information efficiently, place it in a meaningful context, and write concise and compelling accounts. The readings, discussions, exercises and assignments for this course are designed to help students acquire such skills and understand how to utilize them wisely.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 263. Broadcast News Writing.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the fundamentals of writing for the broadcast media in a professional environment. Topics include writing for radio and television, as well as integrating sound and video into news stories. The course also provides a basic understanding of primary journalistic values such as accuracy and fairness as they apply to broadcast news.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 275. News Reporting.3 Credits.

This course is focused on news reporting, and is designed to teach students how to gather, analyze and use information for journalistic stories. Students learn to identify and use digital databases and resources, conduct thought-provoking interviews and search and locate public documents in ethical and legal manners.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140; and JRN 260 or JRN 263;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 280. The Art of the Podcast.3 Credits.

This hands-on course explores creative audio storytelling via the podcast. Students learn how to research, write, record, edit and self-publish creative nonfiction and fictional stories that are both original, and emulate some of the most popular podcasts on the market. Special emphasis is placed on audio gathering techniques, storytelling techniques and interviewing for live and recorded shows.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: As needed, Spring

JRN 285. Mobile Journalism: the Future of News.3 Credits.

News consumption on smartphones and tablets has surpassed that of desktops and newspapers, making mobile key to the future of news. Students will examine the impact of this trend on the future of journalism, learn about the technologies necessary to produce news on these devices, critique the user experience provided by various apps and mobile websites, and produce a news app of their own. They will also learn how to cover news events using mobile technology, how to produce mobile news stories and how to work in a mobile newsroom.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: As needed, Spring

JRN 291. Reporting for Television I.3 Credits.

Students learn the principles of producing television news packages, which they shoot and edit using HD non-linear equipment. All students cover news and sports primarily off campus. The focus is on writing, news judgment, content, interviewing, use of voice and doing stand-ups. Stories can air on the TV newscast that is broadcast live weekly.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 105 or JRN 106 or SPS 105 or SPS 106; and JRN 260;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 299. Independent Study Journalism.1-6 Credits.

JRN 300. Special Topics in Journalism.3 Credits.

Students engage in a detailed examination of current issues in journalism in a format that may incorporate academic research, journalistic writing and multi-media presentations. Students should consult the School of Communications course bulletin for information about each semester's offerings.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: As needed, All

JRN 311. Reporting for Television II.3 Credits.

In this course, students produce in-depth television stories. Pieces are longer to allow the student to explore issues in greater detail. Stories can air on the TV newscast that is broadcast live weekly.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 291;
Offered: As needed

JRN 315. The Art of Journalistic Interviewing.3 Credits.

Compelling stories don't just happen. They come from strong interviewing skills that tell stories people care about. Students learn how to ask questions that elicit pithy responses, emotion and expertise, using in-class and out-of-class exercises. Students also analyze and critique the interviewing styles used by professional journalists, as well as the work of their classmates.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 105 or JRN 106 or SPS 105 or SPS 106; and JRN 160 or COM 140;
Offered: As needed

JRN 325. Telling Global Stories.3 Credits.

Using multimedia to gather and present facts lets journalists expand the scope of their storytelling. Students in this course examine current international journalism trends and socioeconomic and political issues specific to a developing country, learn fact-gathering techniques, and travel to that country during spring break to put into practice what they have learned. After spring break, students work on an interdisciplinary multimedia project.

Offered: As needed, Spring

JRN 341. Sporting Culture Through Nonfiction.3 Credits.

It has often been said that sport is a microcosm of society, but many rhetoric scholars have begun to suggest that sport plays a role in constituting society and is "defined by a range of political practices, including allocations of resources, representations of identity, projections of nationalism and globalization, activism and change." This directed readings course examines American culture, as well as comparative values, through nonfictional accounts of sport.

Offered: As needed, Summer Online

JRN 343. Literary Journalism in the '60s.3 Credits.

The 1960s stand out as an era of change and turbulence in 20th-century America. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, these nonfiction writers and journalists wrote in a personal style that became known as "Literary Journalism," or "The New Journalism." This directed reading course requires students to analyze the historical and contemporary views of major literary journalists.

Offered: As needed, Summer Online

JRN 360. Watchdog Reporting.3 Credits.

In this course, students learn and practice watchdog journalism, helping to inform our communities and keeping public figures and institutions in check. Students cover in-depth news off campus, on topics such as crime, public health, politics, education and the environment. In conversations with working journalists, students learn both innovative and proven strategies for reporting. Students also work individually and in teams to publish stories and multimedia projects based on public data, documents and interviews.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 260 or JRN 263 or JRN 275;
Offered: As needed, Spring

JRN 361. Sports Reporting (SPS 361).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to coverage of sports for the news media and includes writing game stories and sports profiles.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 260 or JRN 263;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 362. The Story of Football (SPS 362).3 Credits.

This course traces the historical trajectory of American football and the coaches, players and media portrayals that transformed the game from a 19th-century collegiate test of manliness to what it is today: a spectator sport of immense appeal whose popularity endures despite more than a century of concerns over the game's debilitating and sometimes lethal violence.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 365. Effective Editing.3 Credits.

Students learn the basics of editing online text, magazines and newspapers, with an emphasis on copyediting, headline writing, composition and story packaging.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 260 JRN 275;
Offered: As needed

JRN 372. Entrepreneurial Media (The MIC Project).3 Credits.

This course addresses the fiscal and distribution challenges faced by journalists and media professionals and empowers student teams to construct sustainable business models. Students experiment with the latest technology, exchange ideas with some of the industry's most prominent thinkers and developers, and create content or products for viable media business ventures. Open to all School of Communications students.

Prerequisites: Take COM 140 or JRN 160;
Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 380. Fundamentals of Digital Journalism.3 Credits.

This course covers the principles and practices associated with researching and producing stories for digital media. Students are required to produce stories that include textual, audio, video and interactive elements.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 105 or JRN 106 or SPS 105 or SPS 106; and JRN 260 or JRN 263 or JRN 275;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 395. Broadcast Performance.3 Credits.

This course explores the variety of skills required to communicate effectively through broadcasting. Students learn and practice on-air presentation techniques for effective delivery and interpretation. The course focuses on voice, voice control and the phrasing interpretation of copy and body language. Study focuses on performance techniques, creativity, writing and analytical skills needed to communicate effectively. Open to broadcast and print students.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 105 or JRN 106 or SPS 105 or SPS 106; and JRN 263;
Offered: As needed

JRN 399. Journalism Independent Study.3 Credits.

JRN 400. Special Topics in Journalism.3 Credits.

Students should consult the School of Communications course bulletin for information regarding each semester?s offerings.

Offered: As needed

JRN 450. Senior Seminar.3 Credits.

This seminar entails an in-depth examination of issues and research perspectives in journalism. Seminar titles vary each term and may include topics such as ethics in journalism, diversity in the newsroom, and international journalism practices. Students should consult the School of Communications course bulletin for information about each semester's offerings.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 470. Narrative Journalism.3 Credits.

Students in this class learn to report and write long-form articles suitable for publication in online and print magazines. Over a series of major writing assignments, students apply their research and interviewing skills to produce exhaustively reported and elegantly written articles. Topics in the course include: lead writing, article structure, interviewing, the use of statistics and the application of narrative techniques to journalistic writing.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 260 and JRN 275; or JRN 160 and JRN 263; or JRN 275
Offered: As needed

JRN 480. Advanced Digital Journalism.3 Credits.

Many newsrooms now combine multiple types of media to immerse readers and make complex stories more digestible. This course covers the reporting and production skills needed to build many of these new forms, including interactive graphics and maps, and advanced audio and video projects. Students also study past and present interactive journalism projects and meet with some of the professionals who designed them.

Prerequisites: JRN 305 or JRN 380;
Offered: As needed

JRN 495. Advanced Reporting.3 Credits.

This course stresses individual enterprise reporting, in which students plan, report, write and produce stories suitable for print or multimedia that demonstrate their command of skills acquired during the course of study. Emphasis is placed on the role of the professional journalist as an ethical practitioner who represents and reflects the wider public in its economic, ethnic and racial diversity.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 305 or JRN 380;
Offered: As needed

JRN 496. The QNN Newscast.3 Credits.

In this course students act as producers, news and sports reporters, writers, editors and anchors as they put on a live weekly newscast. Newscasts are recorded and critiqued for student portfolios.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 291;
Offered: Every year, All

JRN 498. Journalism Capstone.4 Credits.

In this capstone course for the journalism major, students work on long, in-depth pieces of journalism across platforms. The stories include numerical or statistical information, multiple interviews from a variety of diverse sources, and show the students' command of the techniques used to produce and present news in print, broadcast and digital environments. Senior status required.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 499. Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

JRN 500. Special Topics in Journalism.3 Credits.

This course consists of seminar-based classes that consider emerging areas of scholarly research or industry developments in journalism, with a particular focus on how a specific research activity or industry development illustrates issues regarding economic, gender and social groups.

Offered: As needed

JRN 501. Reporting and News Writing.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the basic practices and tools of journalism, which include interviewing, identifying and accessing public documents, writing leads and constructing organized, balanced stories. Students who majored in journalism as an undergraduate, or have significant experience can waive out of this course.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 503. Analytics for News Reporting.3 Credits.

Unpacking the volumes of data produced by public and private institutions throughout the world is one of the key challenges facing journalists. This course introduces students to the concept of big data and how to extract and deploy statistical information in news reports.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 504. Digital Reporting.3 Credits.

The capacity to gather information and report the news remains at the core of the journalism profession. This course focuses on the fundamentals of news writing while also engaging students in emerging social media and other tools to present comprehensive news stories to all audiences.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 521. Audio Storytelling.3 Credits.

Writing for the ear requires skills in preparing scripts, natural sound and audio recording and editing. This course prepares students to compose stories for radio news and podcasts, with a focus on developing the style of conversational broadcast writing common to National Public Radio.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 524. TV Reporting.3 Credits.

Visual news stories as broadcast by networks, affiliates and cable news channels and in evolving digital formats require skills in both storytelling and technology for shooting and editing video. This course covers the essentials of shooting video, editing and field reporting and producing.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 525. Media Management (ICM 525).3 Credits.

This course covers the challenges and prospects of serving as a manager in a media enterprise, with a particular focus on the demands of running a news or online operation. Students review and analyze case studies and hypothetical situations that focus on managerial decisions and the decision-making process.

Offered: As needed

JRN 526. Copyediting.3 Credits.

Copyediting and the composition of headlines and captions are among the practical elements of the professional copyeditor covered in this course. Students also study the complex professional dynamics that occur daily among editors, writers and readers.

Offered: As needed

JRN 527. Covering Government and Politics.3 Credits.

This elective course sharpens the reportorial skills of students who wish to pursue coverage of local, state and national politics, with an emphasis on how to cover the day-to-day policy debates and electoral processes that reside at the core of a democratic society.

Offered: As needed

JRN 528. Data Journalism.3 Credits.

Information graphics are now an integral component of news, conveying big data into readily understood formats such as diagrams and charts. This course teaches students how to visually organize information and apply it to news stories for broadcast or online presentation.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 530. Independent Study (ICM530).3 Credits.

This is a special course offered to accommodate students who seek advanced practical training or advanced research in an area not directly included in the curriculum. The topic and scope of the course is developed by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser, subject to approval by the dean.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 531. Graduate Internship.3 Credits.

Experience in association with working professionals is essential to securing career opportunities. Students completing an elective internship to secure such experience are required to work in a supervised environment, approved by the graduate program director.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 532. Advanced Broadcast Journalism.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the production of long-form television news or other non-fiction programming for series or documentaries. Students learn how to develop story ideas and follow the production trajectory from preproduction planning and story research to videography and postproduction work.

Prerequisites: Take JRN 524;
Offered: As needed

JRN 533. Advanced Reporting & Writing.3 Credits.

Students explore the conceptual reasoning and practical skills required for developing ideas and reporting and writing long-form narratives that tackle complicated subjects not easily resolved in traditional newswriting. Work completed for the class will be distributed to news websites and online magazines for publication upon acceptance.

Offered: As needed

JRN 536. Opinion Journalism.3 Credits.

As cable television hosts and social networks continue to thrive as hothouses for political opinion, journalists who desire to express measured views in carefully crafted and balanced arguments remain essential to the general discourse. This elective course teaches students to do just that.

Offered: As needed

JRN 539. History of Journalism.3 Credits.

Students examine the origins and development of American journalism in this course. Emphasis is placed on significant persons, events and trends that have most influenced the profession as it is practiced today, thus acquainting students with the history of their chosen profession.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 540. Broadcast Performance.3 Credits.

This course explores the variety of skills required to communicate effectively through radio and television. Study focuses on the performance techniques, creativity, writing and analytical skills needed to communicate effectively within the context of broadcast interviews, editorials, commercials and newscasts.

Offered: As needed

JRN 541. Sporting Culture Through Nonfiction.3 Credits.

It has often been said that sport is a microcosm of society, but many rhetoric scholars have begun to suggest that sport plays a role in constituting society and is "defined by a range of political practices, including allocations of resources, representations of identity, projections of nationalism and globalization, activism and change." This directed readings course examines American culture, as well as comparative values, through nonfictional accounts of sport.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

JRN 542. Graduate Seminar.3 Credits.

From time to time, the University invites media professionals and scholars or creates a team-teaching environment to present emerging topics at the intersection of media, culture and technology, among other things. Students are encouraged to pursue original research in connection with the topic.

Offered: As needed

JRN 543. Literary Journalism in the '60s.3 Credits.

The 1960s stand out as an era of change and turbulence in 20th-century America. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, these nonfiction writers and journalists wrote in a personal style that became known as "Literary Journalism," or "the New Journalism." This directed reading course requires students to analyze the historical and contemporary views of major literary journalists.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

JRN 545. TV Production.3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the technical production skills that go into a daily news telecast. Newsroom organization, story development (from idea to the air) and the principles and practices of professional producers are studied.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 546. Digital, Social and Video Production.3 Credits.

This course explores topics related to social media, such as the viral video clip from a Tweet or the verified source through social media. Students learn the skills, tools and best practices of digital and video content production, as well as social coordination in the news arena. They also explore logistical and ethical concerns in the social medium.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 550. Sportswriting Traditions.3 Credits.

The history of sportswriting stretches from classical Greece to Bristol, Conn., home to ESPN, documenting the phenomenon described by writer Geoff Dyer as "the biggest thing on the planet--possibly the universe," sports. Students study the works of the great writers who did much more than keep score across the ages.

Offered: As needed

JRN 552. Media Law & Ethics.3 Credits.

A thorough knowledge of laws and ethical behavior is essential to the professional practice of journalism. As such, this course covers the legal and ethical dimensions of media communications across platforms, with an emphasis on First Amendment, privacy and copyright issues.

Offered: Every year, Summer

JRN 560. Multimedia Sports Reporting.3 Credits.

Sports coverage has expanded beyond the immediacy of the games and now includes culture, health and other areas once seen as disconnected from the fields, gyms, rinks and half pipes where competition occurs. This course focuses on covering sports as both a game and an essential part of culture.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 562. Sports Law & Ethics.3 Credits.

Federal antitrust law and regulations show that college and professional sports are treated as special components of American culture. This course examines the legal structure that grants special privileges to sports and to the ethical challenges sports journalists confront in going beyond the games to find the story.

Offered: Every year, Summer

JRN 563. Sports Analytics.3 Credits.

Deciphering the volumes of data produced by high school, college and professional sports teams is an essential part of sports reporting. This course introduces students to the ever-growing volumes of statistics across major sports and shows how to transform such data into useful information.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 564. Presenting & Producing Radio Sports.3 Credits.

Radio remains an essential and effective medium for listening to games and for engaging the audience with live talk shows that discuss teams, players, sports and the action of the competition. This course presents students with the principles and practices of radio sports.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 565. Presenting and Producing Television Sports: Remote.3 Credits.

Students in this course write, produce and distribute a 30-minute sports program for broadcast featuring stories that illustrate intriguing and inspiring stories of a Division I college athletic department. Every student engages in shooting, editing, writing, interviewing, presenting and distributing the final product. Additionally, students originate and perform local and national style sports highlight segments along with live in-depth interviews.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 566. Presenting and Producing Television Sports: Studio.3 Credits.

Pre-game, post-game and intermission reports are among the most important aspects of televised sports, as each reveals and promotes the storylines through which games are covered. This course introduces students to the concepts and content behind the production of studio shows.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 570. Crafting the News Feature.3 Credits.

News stories that reveal personality, explain how things work, reveal trends or otherwise represent an in-depth portrait of people, places and things are grouped in a category labeled as the feature story. Students completing this course are expected to pursue fresh and creative approaches to the genre.

Offered: As needed

JRN 572. Researching and Writing the News Documentary.3 Credits.

The complexities of producing the news documentary range from finding the right story to pursue to uncovering the proper visuals to help tell it. This course provides students with the skills to research, write, and produce visual nonfiction, long-form projects rooted in history or current events.

Offered: As needed

JRN 573. Sports Literature.3 Credits.

Sports serve as a critical metaphor for American life in nonfiction works such as "Friday Night Lights," in novels such as "End Zone," in plays such as "Death of a Salesman" and in films such as "Raging Bull." This course examines why sports are prominent in cultural works that attempt to reveal the meaning of America.

Offered: Every year, Fall

JRN 574. Crafting the Sports Feature.3 Credits.

Feature writers capture athletes when they are most noble, frail or otherwise vulnerable or heroic. They also capture the moment when a game means more than that. This course teaches students to apply creative vitality to their ideas and writing on sports outside of game stories.

Offered: As needed

JRN 575. Critical Issues in Journalism.3 Credits.

Reporters confront a widening tableau of subjects that are baffling to the reader unless presented in a clear and concise form. By studying issues in coverage techniques extracted from the daily torrent of news, students sharpen their news judgment, using reason, analysis and writing to critique coverage and become better journalists in the process.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 580. Investigative Reporting.3 Credits.

The purpose of this class is to prepare students to recognize investigative opportunities in all stories and to equip them with the practical skills necessary to succeed in investigative and project reporting, including knowledge of state and federal laws regarding access to governmental information.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 582. American Sports History.3 Credits.

This course examines how sports such as baseball, basketball and football tunneled their way into American consciousness in the 19th and 20th centuries and have sustained the attention of spectators despite the proliferation of other distractions.

Offered: As needed

JRN 588. Researching and Writing the Sports Documentary.3 Credits.

ESPN's "Sports Century" and "30 for 30" series and the NFL Network's "A Football Life" express in cinematic form the totality of the triumph and tragedy of contemporary sports. This course instructs students on how to develop and complete a documentary script.

Offered: As needed

JRN 589. Critical Issues in Sports.3 Credits.

From health concerns to labor conflicts, the workaday world often intrudes on the bubble that protects the mythology of sport. Through reason, analysis and writing, students interact with vital issues that emerge from the seemingly routine day-to-day coverage of games.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 590. Newsroom Clinical (SPS 490).3 Credits.

This course focuses on advanced reporting for multimedia reports, broadcast news, news documentaries and magazine stories. Students produce daily, weekly and long-term stories in their area of expertise for the journalism department's tablet application, among other platforms.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 595. Sports Clinical.3 Credits.

Students completing the sports journalism program must participate in the Sports Clinical. This course focuses on advanced broadcast, multimedia, documentary and long-form reporting and to deepen the experience and training in a given area of specialization in terms of platform and subject matter.

Offered: Every year, Spring

JRN 601. Master's Project.3 Credits.

Students completing the journalism program must complete either a master's project or thesis. The project option requires students to create an original, in-depth print, broadcast or multimedia journalistic piece. The graduate program director and dean must approve the topic.

Offered: Every year, All

JRN 602. Thesis.3 Credits.

Students completing the journalism program must complete either a master's project or thesis. The thesis option requires students to research and write a scholarly paper that explores an aspect of journalism. The journalism chairperson must approve the capstone proposal.

Offered: Every year, All