Journalists hold great responsibility in society: they must assess the newsworthiness of events, issues, and people in the world; gather and verify facts; and present those facts—as well as the perspectives of people affected by and driving the news—in clear and engaging prose. Journalism exists to inform and empower readers to come to their own decisions and opinions, whether it be breaking or straight news, investigative reporting, profiles, features, commentary, or criticism.
In this workshop, we will hone skills key to writing a variety of journalistic articles: finding stories, interviewing, reporting, researching, and understanding and engaging with audiences. For models, we will read from a wide range of newspapers, magazines, and websites. We may consider works ranging from the staff of the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s series on the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to Sarah Maslin Nir’s New York Times investigation on the exploitative working conditions of nail salons, to Adam Serwer’s political commentary for The Atlantic, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s profile of Dave Chappelle for The Believer, and Kathryn Schulz’s New Yorker feature on the Cascadia fault line and the inevitability of a massive earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, students will write a straight news article, a profile, a work of commentary or criticism, and a feature.
This course will incorporate a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.