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 and Special Topic Elective 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
Learn how to wield the digital tools you likely use in your everyday life in ways that will enhance your professional storytelling. This course will complement the fundamental reporting skills introduced in JOUR 2201 as you apply the basics of photography, audio and video recording and data visualization to journalism.
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 has always been a leading source of breaking news and a medium for long-form documentaries. Now, audio is becoming the ultimate mobile medium with the increasing popularity of podcasts. In this workshop course you will learn to pitch stories, report from the field, write conversationally, record voice and natural sound, edit audio files and produce compelling audio reports, radio newscasts and podcasts.
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 4003 The Digital Hub: Advanced Multimedia
Welcome to our new digital publication. Capital Current (tagline: “Covering Ottawa Communities”) is part of a longstanding tradition of local outreach for our Journalism program. And with roughly 100 third- and fourth-year students working on the publication at any given time, plus additional content gleaned from the best classroom assignments produced by their peers, journalists-in-training will be able to polish the digital storytelling skills they’ll need to work in the industry. Read all about it.
JOUR 4402B Professional Skills: Longform Writing
Fall section and Winter section. Winter section has a sports focus. Welcome to the world of longform writing – but from a sportswriter’s perspective. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you’ll discover that the world of sports is rich with stories of human complexity. You’ll study the specifics of narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction and literary journalism. You’ll develop and practice advanced feature-writing skills and you’ll get to meet some of this country’s most gifted longform editors and writers.
JOUR 4401 Professional Skills: Data 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 4403 Professional Skills: Strategic Communication
This course is about the practice and business of strategic communication. Designed for students intending to pursue careers in journalism or communications, it’s a lab-based course built around a collaborative approach to producing professional-level strategic communications plans for selected organizations. The student teams produce workable strategic solutions to meet the real communications issues and needs of their client organizations.
JOUR 4404 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 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. You’ll explore innovative ways to reach audiences and investigate different platforms to fund and advance your career as a media professional.
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 4503 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 4504 The 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, 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 4505 The Power and Politics of 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.