Journalism (JRN)

College of Arts and Humanities

How to Read Course Descriptions

JRN 200. Introduction to Journalism. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to introduce students to journalism through developing a critical news media literacy, practicing newswriting, and learning the values of journalism. Through the course, students are introduced to the various genres of contemporary journalism. This is a studio course designed for students to collectively grow as writers. Effective writers are fluent in the conventions that characterize different writing situations, are fluent in the histories and power relations that inform these conventions, and read critically on issues that affect various communities. As such, in this course students analyze the intersection of journalistic principles with systems of power, race, class, gender, and ability.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

JRN 212. Digital Journalism. 3 Credits.

Technological changes in the 21st century newsroom demand that future journalists understand and use a variety of digital tools to gather and present news and information. Today's journalists no longer train and develop expertise for a single medium; they must be able to work in a multimedia setting. To meet this new reality, this multimedia course introduces students to various media platforms and offers them an opportunity to publish news stories, podcasts, and videos on the web.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

JRN 225. Newswriting. 3 Credits.

A course designed to develop proficiency in the writing of news stories for daily and weekly newspapers. News values, the structure and style of news, and the preparation of copy in accordance with professional standards will be stressed.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.

JRN 226. Public Affairs Reporting. 3 Credits.

Instruction and practice in basic news reporting techniques coupled with an introduction to newspaper feature writing. Outside assignments will include coverage of speeches, local government meetings, and the courts.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

JRN 250. News Editing. 3 Credits.

A course designed to acquaint students with the skills involved in the preparation of copy for publication in newspapers and magazines. Instruction and practice in the mechanics of copy editing, headline writing, layout, and photo editing.
Pre / Co requisites: JRN 250 requires a prerequisite of JRN 225.

JRN 272. Feature Writing. 3 Credits.

Practical instruction in the skills for successful feature writing for print and electronic media, with an emphasis on techniques used in personality profiles, critical reviews, column writing, and op-ed pieces.

JRN 312. Sports Reporting and Writing. 3 Credits.

Instruction and practice in basic sports reporting techniques, including live-event coverage and feature writing, as well as an introduction to routine duties associated with working on the sports desk.
Pre / Co requisites: JRN 312 requires prerequisite of JRN 225.

JRN 315. Magazine Article Writing. 3 Credits.

Practical instruction in the skills required for successful freelance magazine writing with emphasis on research, interviewing, writing techniques, and marketing. Students will write and submit for publication short features and a full-length magazine article.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

JRN 325. History of Journalism. 3 Credits.

A historical survey of the American press from Colonial times to the present, with special emphasis on the continuing struggle for press freedom and the new journalistic environment created by the emergence of mass media.

JRN 335. Ethical Issues in News Media. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to investigate ethical issues in the news media. This course is designed both for journalists and for all of us who read/watch/listen to the news. As a result, students will leave the course with concepts and guidance on ethical practices in journalism as well as tools with which to evaluate the ethics of various news coverage. Students will come to understand ethical frameworks and apply them to major problems and questions in the news media, with case studies coming from the course text and contemporary news coverage of current events.
Gen Ed Attribute: Ethics Requirement.
Typically offered in Spring.

JRN 345. Mass Media and the Law. 3 Credits.

The course explores First Amendment and other constitutional guarantees of a free press, as well as statutory and judicial protection/limitations of the media. Major issues to be covered include censorship and prior restraint, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright, obscenity, free press vs fair trial, advertising and commercial speech, broadcast regulation, media ownership regulation, access to public information, and citizens' access to the mass media.

JRN 399. Special Topics in Journalism. 3 Credits.

Each time this course is taught, the instructor will choose a relevant, timely topic in journalism. Students will engage in journalistic writing, media production, and news analysis related to the special topic. Special topics may include hip-hop journalism, grassroots journalism, women in journalism, investigative reporting, etc.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

JRN 411. Journalism Practicum. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to give students in the journalism minor practical experience in writing news stories, columns and features for newspapers and other edited news sources. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their stories to the Quad, the student weekly newspaper of West Chester University, or some other weekly or daily newspaper. See journalism coordinator for specific requirements.
Pre / Co requisites: JRN 411 requires prerequisites of JRN 200 and JRN 212.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.