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Specialized Journalism and Special Topics Courses

In your 4th year you must choose one Specialized Journalism course from a range of options.

You may also choose from a menu of Special Topics courses, which vary from year to year.

To register for these courses, use the search feature in Carleton Central.

Fall/Winter 2016-17


Politics and Government
JOUR 4201A – Fall/Winter Terms 
Instructor: Elly Alboim

Accreditation to the Parliamentary Press Gallery is your passport to an in-depth exploration of Canada’s government, public policy and politics. Witness the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debate and committee hearings, reporting from the very centre of the action. Immerse yourself in a specialized area of public policy, writing about it regularly with a final, year-end feature and presentation. Each week, there will be in-class discussion of the country’s major events, policy announcements and political developments.

Science, Health and the Environment
JOUR 4201D – Fall/Winter Terms 
Instructor: Kathryn O’Hara

Science can be rough terrain to explore as a young journalist. But here you become familiar with the culture of research and major trends in natural and health sciences. You’ll hone your science writing skills as we explore the key challenges confronting researchers around the world. We learn to be wary of sources who can get it wrong and to follow best practices for getting it right. Through weekly encounters with scientists and top science journalists, you are encouraged to tackle complicated subjects and tell stories with clarity, elegance and insight.

Business and Finance
JOUR 4201E – Fall/Winter Terms 
Instructor: Chris Waddell

The world needs journalists who understand why corporations succeed or fail, how the economy works and why stock markets move. Here you learn to analyze the performance of individual firms, track trade issues and government fiscal policy, spot trends in personal finance and monitor the role of financial institutions. You will share news and insights about major developments in industry and entrepreneurship and review the very best of business journalism. Online assignments and class projects will provide hands-on experience in the field — a key step towards a potential career in business reporting.

Social Issues
JOUR 4201H – Fall/Winter Terms 
Instructor: Norma Greenaway

From sexual harassment and transgender rights to race relations and religion, this course covers it all. Should Canada embrace doctor-assisted death? Is the country too soft on crime?  Too generous to refugees? You choose your own beat and develop it by generating ideas, writing stories and making class presentations. The course assumes all policy is social policy, and you will be encouraged to follow your passion wherever it leads.

Legal Affairs
JOUR 4201J – Fall/Winter Terms 
Instructor: Anna Keller (fall)/Janice Tibbetts (winter)

From birth to death, law touches every aspect of our lives as citizens. It also underpins so much of what we do as journalists. This course will give you a deep understanding of the world the law from the perspective of journalists and storytellers. In the fall term you’ll learn how the Internet is governed and how it affects your work; in the winter term you’ll plunge into the world of Canada’s highest court. *Note: Fall term Thursdays 1800-2100/Winter term Thursdays 835-1125



Sports Journalism
JOUR 4100A – Fall Term 
Instructor: Brett Popplewell

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.

Multimedia Journalism: Design and Storytelling
JOUR4100B – Winter Term
Instructor: Chris Waddell

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.

Arts and Culture Journalism
JOUR4100C – Winter Term
Instructor: David Sacks

Arts and culture journalism remains the most satisfying of writing genres, with opportunities for analysis and storytelling, and an avid readership online. This course introduces key issues while teaching hands-on techniques for writing profiles, reviews, etc. Topics include our celebrity cult, the unholy power of publicists, how to recognize bias or manipulation from sources, the pitfall of “fan-ism,” and the indispensable uses of digital media for your reporting.

Covering Indigenous Canada
JOUR4100D – Winter Term
Instructor: Hayden King

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.

Journalism and Conflict
JOUR 4101B – Fall Term 
Instructor: Allan Thompson

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.