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BJ Courses & Descriptions

Featured Courses

We offer a rich menu of mandatory and optional courses over the four years of the program – here are just a few highlights.

Check the Undergraduate Calendar for the complete list.

You can also check the full list of senior Specialized Journalism & Journalism Electives course descriptions.

Foundations of Journalism - JOUR 1001 Journalism in Context / JOUR 1002 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.

JOUR 2201 Fundamentals of Reporting

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.

JOUR 2202 Digital Journalism Toolkit

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.

JOUR 2501 Media Law

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.

JOUR 3207 Audio Journalism

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.

JOUR 3208 Video Journalism

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.

JOUR 4100D Journalism, Indigenous Peoples and Canada

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 peoples in the era of reconciliation. 

JOUR 4100C Multimedia Journalism: Design and Storytelling

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.

JOUR 4308 Specialized Journalism: Sports and Sports Culture

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.

JOUR 4502 Journalism and Conflict

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. To be confirmed: a capstone military simulation exercise held on a Canadian Forces base, with students playing the role of journalists reporting from a war zone.

JOUR 4208C/D Professional Practices: Specialized Media - Strategic Communication

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.

JOUR 4208E Professional Practices: Specialized Media - Data Journalism Storytelling

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.

JOUR 4205 Centretown, iPolitics and Artsfile

Take advantage of a special work opportunity with the Centretown News workshop in partnership with iPolitics, the widely respected, Ottawa-based digital news company.

Up to 16 students – eight in the fall and eight in the winter – will be immersed in iPolitics’ downtown Ottawa newsroom for a stretch of six weeks while producing content (from politics to the arts) for course assignments that will be collaboratively produced with and potentially posted simultaneously by iPolitics.

Spots are limited, so register in the Centretown workshop and then apply for an iPolitics spot by August 1, 2017. Click on Centretown-iPolitics-Artsfile for details.

See the full list of Specialized Journalism & Journalism Electives courses 

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