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BJ Courses & Descriptions

Featured Courses

We offer a rich menu of mandatory and optional courses. Here are a few highlights. The full listing is in the Undergraduate Calendar.

You can also check the Special Courses listing for 2016-2017 senior specialized journalism and special topics courses.

Foundations of Journalism - JOUR1001 Journalism in Context / JOUR1002 Journalism in Practice

This pair of introductory courses (one in fall, one in winter) introduces you to the context, concepts, issues and challenges in the contemporary Canadian media world that will shape your professional role as a practicing journalist. You’ll examine the state of the media, advocacy, social media and ethics. You will also have an opportunity to practice some basic journalistic skills.

Fundamentals of Reporting – JOUR2201

Learn how to think and work like a journalist in this course. Small classes allow for detailed feedback and mentoring from experienced journalist-instructors. You’ll build skills in interviewing, writing, storytelling, editing and ethics while you cover a wide scope of topics out in the community.

Digital Journalism Toolkit – JOUR2202

From Twitter to FlickR, Storify to Soundcloud, you’ll learn how to wield basic digital tools in ways that will enhance your storytelling. This course will complement the fundamental reporting skills you’ll learn in JOUR 2201 as it introduces you to the basics of photography, audio and video recording, and data visualization.

Media Law - JOUR2501

Whether you’re a traditional reporter or a blogger, you need to know something about the law: what you can and can’t – or shouldn’t – do. We’ll explore the Canadian legal system and the responsibilities of media practitioners and will look specifically at defamation, privacy, and contempt of court.

Introduction to Audio - JOUR3207

Radio remains an important medium for breaking news and long-form documentaries. And online, audio is an increasingly popular format for creative and innovative storytellers. This is where you’ll learn to pitch stories, report from the field, write conversationally, record voice and natural sound, edit audio files and produce compelling audio reports and radio newscasts.

Introduction to Video - JOUR3208

Pictures are powerful – and this is where you’ll learn how to handle them. As you master visual literacy skills, you’ll report, shoot and edit video stories. You’ll work “live” in the studio and from the field, producing a range of material – from packages to interviews – using smartphones and professional-grade DSLRs.

Covering Indigenous Canada - JOUR4100D

What role should journalists play on the path towards reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples? This course explores how journalism in Canada has been associated with colonialism, from the foundational narratives of Indigenous peoples during westward expansion through to contemporary stereotypes. The seminar will challenge students to confront misrepresentation in the news media but also consider new strategies and ethical frameworks for covering Indigenous Canada in the era of reconciliation. 

Multimedia Journalism: Design and Storytelling – JOUR4100B

You’ll team up with BIT Interactive Multimedia and Design students on a self-initiated project that could use an immersive game-engine environment and multi-dimensional representations to tell stories. Using design practices and principles of game construction and immersive environments, you’ll steer your project from initial concept to final realization and presentation to the class.

Sports Journalism - JOUR4100A

More than play-by-play – you’ll cover live sporting events and learn to look beyond the field to find stories. You’ll read some of the greatest works of sports journalism and analyze some not-so-good sportswriting in order to spot the difference. You’ll meet real athletes and sportswriters and dive into discussions about how best to master the craft.

Journalism and Conflict - JOUR4001B

Conflict is at the heart of human society and for as long as people have been fighting among themselves, someone has been there to observe what is happening and relay information to others. This course examines a range of issues dealing with journalism and conflict with a particular emphasis on the vantage point of the journalist but also through discussion of interdisciplinary literature and academic research. The capstone experience is a military simulation exercise held on a Canadian Forces base, with students playing the role of journalists reporting from a war zone.

Strategic Communication - JOUR4208C/D

This course is about the practice and business of strategic communication. It is designed for students intending to pursue careers in journalism or communications. It is a lab-based course built around a collaborative, group-based exercise aimed at producing a professional-level strategic communications plan for a selected organization. The student teams work with, and produce workable strategic solutions, to meet the real communications issues and needs of their client organization.

Data Journalism Storytelling - JOUR4208E

Don’t let the numbers scare you – this is all about storytelling. You’ll learn how to analyze and map data, and turn numbers into powerful and important stories about everything from restaurant inspections to aircraft safety. No 21st century storyteller is complete without the skills you’ll learn in this course.

Specialized Journalism & Special Topics Courses 

Not all the courses listed above are offered every year. Contact your undergraduate administrator and check the Undergraduate Calendar.

Capital News, Centretown and iPolitics

This year we are offering an interesting opportunity in the Capital News and Centretown News workshops. The School has made an arrangement with iPolitics, the widely respected, Ottawa-based digital news company that will involve senior students with an interest in political coverage (particularly but not exclusively municipal affairs).

Up to 24 BJ4s and MJs enrolled in those workshops will be able to immerse themselves in iPolitics’ downtown Ottawa newsroom while producing content for course assignments (including online and print publication) that will be collaboratively produced with and potentially posted simultaneously by iPolitics. This partnership is in conjunction with iPolitics’ planned expansion into the local news market — first in Ottawa and possibly in other cities across the country.

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The opportunity to experience a professional digital newsroom for a stretch of six weeks (principally during class time) will be available to as many as 12 students (eight from Centretown News and four from Capital News) in each of the Fall and Winter terms.

Because spots are limited, interested students must first register in the workshop of their choice and then apply for an iPolitics spot by August 1, 2016 – click on either Centretown-iPolitics or Capital News-iPolitics for details.