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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

MALS 206 The Craft and Culture of Journalism

The logic and fundamentals of news gathering as reinvented for the 21st century. What constitutes news today and why it matters. How to make the significant more interesting. Distinguishing between journalism and the media. Issues and opportunities in the changing economics of journalism, the collapse of traditional print outlets and the demise of the twenty-four-hour news cycle.  The conflation of reporting, analysis and opinion in the digital transformation of multi-platform news. The rise of social media like Facebook and YouTube as disseminators of breaking news and information. Wikileaks and other ethical dilemmas for journalists.
Students should expect to write weekly, experimenting with an expanding variety of media outlets, from legacy newspapers and magazines to digital websites and citizen blogs, and mining numbers, polls and statistics to extract the essentials worth covering.  Exploring the injunction of the veteran journalist Gay Talese that the best journalism should be as well-written and compelling as fiction, students will hone skills applicable to drama and arts criticism and narrative non-fiction and fiction. This writing course, taught by a former New York Times foreign correspondent, reporter, editor and author, will also track political, economic and conflict developments in real time via the Internet.


Christopher Wren