Specialized Journalism courses
Fall/Winter – 1.0-credit option
JOUR 4201 – Politics and Government
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.
Specialized Journalism courses
Winter Term – 0.5-credit options
JOUR 4302 – Specialized Journalism: Business and Canadian Society
Decisions by businesses shape every aspect of Canadian society. During the term you will explore the role of business on climate change and energy policy, trade and trade agreements, individual and public pensions as well as assessing the impact of corporate social responsibility measures and ethics for business and business journalists. You will also examine the role of labour in business reporting. With the annual federal budget released during the term, you will become familiar with how the federal government raises and spends money and join members of the Parliamentary press gallery in the annual media budget lockup on the day of its release.
JOUR 4303 – Specialized Journalism: Health and Science
Strong journalism about health science is vital to an informed public. Misinformation spreads like a virus on social media and still finds a spot in legacy media: consider the harm caused by anti-vaccine advocacy, food faddism, disease mongering. This course will teach you how to report accurately on new studies and emerging treatments. You’ll learn to use sound research, credible sources, and compelling techniques in health and medical story telling while you meet and interview leading scientists and health journalists.
JOUR 4305 – Specialized Journalism: Canada and the US
There is no more successful relationship in the world than Canada and the United States. In Journalism 4305, we look at how the two counties have lived together peacefully for almost two centuries. We begin by examining the values of Donald Trump’s America and the values of Justin Trudeau’s Canada. Each week, we examine a different part of the relationship – diplomatic, cultural, financial, military. We look at the differences between Canadians and Americans, and ask if we are becoming more alike each other or moving farther apart. We visit the Embassy of the United States, and hear from journalists, diplomats and experts. Like Journalism 4306, which this course follows, the emphasis is on analytical writing.
JOUR 4308 – Specialized Journalism: Sports and Sport 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 4311 – Specialized Journalism: Justices and Journalists
The Supreme Court of Canada has an enormous effect on our everyday lives. The highest court’s justices routinely make decisions on our rights, free speech, healthcare, criminal justice, religion, immigration and refugees and other pressing issues of our time. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the law intersects with almost every area of journalism at one time or another. In this workshop course, you will cover the Supreme Court of Canada as a beat. You will attend court proceedings as a class and there will be latitude for you to explore your particular interests by writing an enterprise piece for your final project.
Winter Term – 0.5-credit options
JOUR 4100A – Media and International Development
At least since the end of the Second World War, journalism has been used as a tool for international development in disadvantaged nations. The Guardian launched an International Development Journalism Competition, the Aga Khan Foundation supported internship placements in development journalism, and many young, aspiring journalists still hope to effect change for the better in the developing world. This course critically examines the use of journalism as an instrument of international development, historically and currently. To what extent have these efforts been successful? How have they been funded? On what grounds are they justified? In what regard have they been instruments of propaganda?
JOUR 4100B – Freelancing for Media Professionals
Beginning with a freelancer’s toolkit, you will learn to compete in a workforce that increasingly values the skills and mindset of the entrepreneurial journalist. You’ll be trained to find and sell real stories and grow your brand. You’ll study innovative ways to reach audiences and investigate different platforms to fund and advance your career as a media professional. You’ll study the art of the pitch, from the 150-word news pitch to the 500-word feature query to the 10,000-word book proposal or documentary deck. And you’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation for Don Draper’s motto — “Make it simple, but significant.”
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 4100D – Covering Indigenous 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 Canada in the era of reconciliation.