The primary mission of the School of Journalism is to educate students to think critically and skeptically; gather a wide range of information accurately, honestly and fairly; hold institutions, individuals and themselves accountable for their promises and their deeds; and produce stories in various media platforms that communicate clearly, concisely and powerfully to the general public.
We strive to produce journalists who are grounded in traditional values yet familiar with all of the tools for information-gathering and communication that modern technology provides. We seek to use these new tools not only to teach journalism but also to create and present original stories that better inform and educate our students and the public. And because we are part of a great state university with a public trust, our mission extends beyond training journalists to preparing all students to be discerning, critical and knowledgeable members of our democracy.
Journalists seek to connect things: ideas, information and communities. We want to break down the barriers between disciplines and institutions and create partnerships of learning and knowledge.
In all of our courses, we seek to emphasize the value and power of good writing, which is crucial to the educational process. Whether for professional or scholarly purposes, the best writing is direct, clear, concise, lively and accessible. Our goal is to teach you to communicate clearly and demystify information without devaluing its richness or complexity.
This curriculum, for students who entered the School of Journalism before Fall 2018, has five levels (see tabs above). Not all courses are offered every semester or every year. Please consult with your academic adviser for up-to-date information and to work on a degree plan to keep you on track.
A Sampling of Our Courses
- J 301F Fundamental Issues in Journalism
- J 302F Digital Storytelling Basics
- J 321F Reporting on City and County Government
- J 326F Reporting Sports
- J 328S Reporting en Español
- J 330F Television Reporting and Producing
- J 331M Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- J 327D Reporting Data
- J 324F Business and Financial Journalism
- J 336D Graphic Design for Print and Online
- J 336F Social Media Journalism
- J 337F Long-form Feature Writing
- J 339F Investigative Reporting
- J 326C Intro Coding for Journalists
- J 348D Gender and the News
- J 331G Audio Storytelling
- J 333G Advanced Visual Journalism: Photo
- J 334G Advanced Visual Journalism: Video
- J 335 Narrative Journalism
- J 335G Advanced Television Reporting and Producing
- J 342G Reporting the World
- J 347F Reporting Latin America
- J 336M Music Journalism
- J 350F Media Law
- J 358N Online Incivility
- J 363D Digital Innovation Capstone
Level 1 – Foundations (6 credits)
Students will start the program with two required courses that introduce you to the critical values and sensibility at the heart of the journalistic method and the digital tools to communicate that method. J 301F Fundamental Issues in Journalism grounds you in the role of news media in a democratic society and focuses on the changing nature of the profession and key controversies journalists have faced and created. J 302F Digital Storytelling Basics presents multiple technologies for digital delivery of text, photos, audio and video news across journalism platforms. These courses may be completed in the first year.
Also available: COM 316, an introduction to Photographic Communication recommended for those seeking to understand the role of photography in the modern world, and required for students who decide to pursue advanced photojournalism coursework.
Courses in this level (both required)
J 301F Fundamental Issues in Journalism
With democracy and news media facing serious challenges, journalistic ideals are more important than ever. Learn about the centrality of journalism in our political life.
J 302F Digital Storytelling Basics
Today’s multimedia storytelling requires mastering multiple technologies. Learn the basic skills journalists need in the digital age.
Level 2 – Applications (6 credits)
All good journalism begins with reporting -- the gathering of a wide range of information in a comprehensive, independent, even-handed, thorough and ethical manner and the critical processing of that information. J 310F Reporting: Words focuses on reporting, writing and editing skills. Its companion course, J 311F Reporting: Images does the same with documentary video. They are both required for journalism majors. You must complete Level 1 coursework with a C- or higher before taking Level 2 courses, and journalism majors must earn a B- or higher for each Level 2 course.
Courses in this level (both required)
J 310F Reporting: Words
Technology may change, but crucial reporting, writing and editing skills remain vital. Learn the basics from faculty with professional journalism experience.
J 311F Reporting: Images
Images have always told stories in powerful ways, and digital tools expand that storytelling. Learn about video from faculty with professional journalism experience.
Level 3 - Specialized Issues and Skills (9 to 15 credits)
Having acquired basic digital journalism tools, skills and sensibility in Levels 1 and 2, you are ready to drill down into specialized, content-driven courses that give you the opportunity to do in-depth reporting and go deeper into various subjects and themes, as well as the chance to develop more specialized journalistic skills. The idea is to deepen your skills, knowledge and critical thinking, while at the same time prepare you for a professional world. You must complete Level 2 coursework with a grade of B- or better before attempting coursework at Level 3 or above.
You must take one course from each of three categories:
Level 4 – Professional Principles (3 to 9 credits)
This level explores the role of journalism, the news media and news consumers in American society. Majors are required to complete J 350F Media Law in order to understand the First Amendment and other press rights. Some Level 3 coursework can be used to fulfill Level 4 requirements.
Courses in this level
J 350F Media Law (required)
Lessons in legal rights and restrictions for journalism, including Constitutional guarantees, libel, invasion of privacy, and contempt of court.
J 351F Journalism, Society and the Citizen Journalist
Examines contemporary social, professional and cultural concerns about journalism's role in society and the evolution of the citizen journalist.
J 352F Ethics in Journalism
Analyzes the ethical choices individual journalists face and the ethical implications of how news media operate in a larger social and political framework.
J 353F Historical Perspectives in Journalism
Examines the evolution of journalism and mass media, including social, economic, and political factors contributing to changes in news gathering and distribution.
J 354F Journalism and Press Freedom in Latin America
Focuses on journalism in Latin America, with an emphasis on the struggle for democracy and press freedom in the region.
J 355F Living in the Information Age
Examines communication and information technologies with particular emphasis on the internet and its components. Explores how digital and mobile technologies are used by the Millennial Generation and with what effects.
J 355P Business of News
Through on-site, interactive conversations with news professionals and entrepreneurs, students will learn about trends and innovations shaping the business of news - from rapidly evolving content consumption patterns to emerging storytelling platforms like streaming, podcasting, and AR/VR. The course will provide students a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the business of news, for-profit and non-profit alike, essential for those planning a career in media.
J 358C Citizen Journalism
Examines the evolving role of citizen journalists -- with smartphones and social media as their tools of communicating what they perceive as news.
J 358N Online Incivility
Critically assesses the impact of incivility on public discussions online and how that influences journalists and other media practitioners.
J 358P Pop Culture and the Press
Explores the relationship between the news media and American popular culture -- including television, fashion and film -- the ways pop culture helps shape our attitudes and identities.
J 359S Media Management
How the news industry operates as a business, with emphasis on ways news coverage affects media management and vice versa.
J 359S Introduction to Global Media
J 359S Media and the Middle East
J 359S Media Literacy / Civic Engagement
J 359T Contemporary Issues in Sports Journalism
Contemporary professional skills and techniques in the practices of journalism.
Level 5 – Professional Practices (6 credits)
This stage offers you the opportunity to produce high-impact journalism across multiple platforms. All students are required to take two courses at this level, which will help prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the professional world.
Courses in this level
J 360F Internship
Professional internships are a crucial experience for anyone seeking to enter and understand the fast-changing world of modern journalism. Internship to be arranged by student and approved by instructor. Offered on the pass/fail basis only. May be taken only once. Students must first complete both Level 2 courses with a B- or higher.
J 361F Reporting Texas (replaced by J 363N Newsroom Capstone starting fall 2019)
Students work as online reporters, photographers and editors for the School of Journalism's Reporting Texas news website. To take this course, you must have completed six hours of upper-division coursework in journalism with a grade of at least B.
J 362F Journalism Portfolio
A synthesis experience offering students the opportunity to polish their skills across journalistic platforms. As part of the course requirements, you will submit a professional online portfolio. To take this course, you must have completed six hours of upper-division coursework in journalism with a grade of at least B.
J 363D Digital Innovations Capstone
The development of cutting-edge media products for The Dallas Morning News and other outlets. Ender the guidance of a professor, graduate students and professional mentors, students conceive, pitch, plan, design and create projects inspired by their own passions or by the needs of news media organizations.
J 363N Newsroom Capstone
Newsroom Capstone provides an opportunity for students to learn and put into practice the varied techniques required of today’s journalism professional. An outgrowth and enhancement of the school’s former Reporting Texas and Advanced TV Reporting and Producing courses, this new capstone experience will guide students in producing news in a variety of formats including in-depth print stories and a weekly television newscast, Reporting Texas TV. Participants will practice innovative techniques for promoting stories through social media channels. The newsroom will publish its collaborative work on the school’s Reporting Texas website, as it helps students hone skills in print, visual and other forms of multimedia storytelling.
J 363V Visual Capstone
J 379 Journalism Independent Study
Restricted to journalism majors. Designed to give students the opportunity to pursue special studies for which separate courses have not been organized. The equivalent of nine laboratory hours a week. May be repeated for credit. You must have completed the two courses at Level 2 with a B- or higher to qualify for this course, which also requires the director's consent.
J 160G Practicum
A second optional internship for those who have completed J 360F.