MACS 611 Communication Research Methods
This course introduces students to media and cultural research techniques and methods. The course examines the historiographies of knowledge production and research in the field. It focuses on the histories, uses, and limitations of empirical research. It also engages students with problems around research ethics and politics. This course teaches students how to write research proposals; conduct research using empirical methods, including participant observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, archival research, discourse and textual analysis. The course also prepares students for the methodological shifts and challenges within media studies that are brought about by the development of online and social media research. It invites students to critique and rethink methods of media research in light of Media Studies 2.0.
JOUR 613 Advanced Newswriting and Reporting
This courses teaches the standard reporting techniques of investigating, interviewing, observing and documenting information for news stories. It provides the essential skills of gathering, analyzing, fact-checking and structuring news stories and cultivating news sources at various beats. Students in this course will learn how to enhance their critical thinking skills that are needed to fact-check the information, assess the newsworthiness of various events and produce accurate and precise news stories. The course will also focus on public affairs reporting and will include visits to various ministries and the courthouse so that the students can experience firsthand how news is gathered and processed on the scene. The course will also delve into some conceptual and legal issues, such as freedom of information laws, libel, invasion of privacy and the increasing role of citizen journalism.
JOUR 614 Writing for New Media
In order to write for digital media practitioners must be familiar with different kinds of skill sets and technologies as well as engage with audiences that are increasingly producing content, rather than merely consuming it. The changes brought about by digital technologies require that media professionals, especially in the field of journalism, learn how to effectively engage and communicate with them. The Writing for Digital Media course will teach students how to practically engage with convergence journalism. Through lectures and hands-on seminars, we will examine both technical and rhetorical possibilities of social media, data visualization, hyperlinking, blogging and online environments. The course is specifically designed to hone students’ writing style and skills, and adapt them to the tastes, habits and inclinations of online audiences. Emphasis will be placed on the development of such skills as storytelling and reporting, information gathering, editing and online publishing.
JOUR 610 Data Journalism
In this course, students will acquire the necessary skills to produce creative and thought-provoking journalism. The Data Journalism course will teach students how to use the Internet and other digital tools to acquire data and integrate them in news stories. Through weekly lectures and seminars, the course will review ways to acquire, analyse and present data (coding and data visualization, computer-assisted reporting, writing, editing, visual design and infographics) on topics such as politics, economics, health or crime. Students will learn how to manage information and produce news reports that will be informative, analytical and captivating. Through readings and class discussions, students will envision how and in what ways data journalism can improve the coverage of issues and events relevant to the Arab world. Class activities will include student-led projects, such as the production of infographics, proposals for reports on political and economic issues, the development of news apps. Prior experience is not assumed, but students are expected to be familiar at least with social media and word processing, and should be willing to learn new technology skills.
MACS 612 Mass Communication Theory
This course explores how media technologies have evolved over time and how media and communication academics have studied the ways in which the media have shaped the modern world. The course engages with key landmarks in thinking about media and communication theory and critiques the discourses of technological determinism whilst acknowledging the impact technology has on social transformations. The course will introduce media histories beyond a chronological approach, emphasising the interdependent relationships between the social, the cultural, the political and the economic. The second part of the course proposes a new historicist approach that situates media histories within a glocal rather than a West-centric context. Students will be expected to not only critique media and communication theory, but to situate it within a context that informs local cultures and everyday life in the Arab region.
JOUR 615 Multimedia Storytelling
The construction of narratives is a key component of journalism. As a practitioner, one should have a solid command of both theoretical and practical elements informing the profession in order to create informative, analytical and appealing stories. The advent of digital technologies is changing the way in which journalists create and present stories to their readers. The Multimedia Storytelling course will teach students how to understand and apply scholarly and professional works focusing on multimedia storytelling. Students will learn how to create narratives through the integrated usage of text, images, audio and video elements, infographics and data. Through weekly lectures and practical assignments, students will refine their reporting and writing skills while at the same time acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to select the appropriate tools and methods to conceive, develop and deliver a multimedia storytelling project.
JOUR 616 Video Production
This course provides the hands-on skills needed to operate a video camera and editing equipment and produce televised news stories, using audio and video recording in the pre and post-production stages. Students in this course will also learn camera color balancing, lighting techniques, videography and visual composition. Students enrolled in the course may also choose to focus on other areas of interest, such as film editing, audio mixing, sound design, dialog editing, special effects, producing still or animated computer-graphics and on-camera talent. These are all required skills for job-specific training in video television careers. Students who finish this course can develop a portfolio, including their creative work that they designed in the course and that would reflect the advanced knowledge that they would have attained in the field of video artwork, digital editing and storytelling.
JOUR 001 English Language for Journalism
This course focuses on specialized English language terminology for journalism students. Students will learn to read, understand, interpret, and translate highly technical English language journalism and news texts.
Thesis OR Capstone Project - 6 credits:
Students in the Journalism program will have the option of choosing between writing a thesis or completing a capstone project.
The "thesis" track aims to enable students, through research and the writing and presentation of a thesis, to demonstrate their achievement of the objectives of their study over the two years of the program, in 12,000-18,000 words. The thesis examination consists of two parts; a marked assessment of the thesis by two examiners and an oral defense in front of an examination panel comprised of the same two examiners.