Undergraduate Courses

The following are courses that the Merrill College offers, or has offered in previous terms. To see the current offerings, visit the Schedule of Classes.

JOUR150 Introduction to Mass Communication (3) This CORE/GenEd course, open to all majors, is an analysis of the information, values and underlying messages conveyed via television, newspapers, the internet, magazines, radio and film. The course examines the accuracy of messages and explores how media shape views of politics, culture and society.

JOUR199 Survey Apprenticeship (1) College-monitored experience in approved journalism organizations and industries. For majors only. Credit will not count toward the journalism degree.

JOUR200 History, Roles and Structures (3) Introduction to the critical study of journalism from the standpoint of media history and sociology.

JOUR201 News Writing and Reporting I (3) Prerequisite: A grade of "C-" or better in  ENGL101, JOUR181 and JOUR200 and permission of department. Introduction to news for the print and electronic media, development of news concepts; laboratory in news-gathering tools and writing skills.

JOUR202 News Editing (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR201. Copy editing, graphic principles and processes, new media technology.

JOUR203 Introduction to Multimedia Skills (3) Prerequisite: JOUR201. Examining the basics of producing and editing digital photos, video, and audio. Topics inlcude: framing, lighting, and other aspects of composition; sequencing, using wide, medium, and tight shots; and ethical considerations when collecting sound and visuals.

JOUR240 Advertising in America (3) Survey of history, regulation and organization of advertising; advertising strategies and effects.

JOUR289i Information 3.0: Exploring Technological Tools (3)  This interactive "I" Series course, open to all majors, combines multiple technologies to investigate how digital information is produced, used and shared for school, work, and play.  Students engage with social networks, blogs, mobile devices, and multimedia.  Not applicable toward the journalism major.

JOUR300 Journalism Ethics (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR201. Examination of ethical problems in news writing and reporting.

JOUR320 News Writing and Reporting II: Print (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR201, JOUR203. Principles and practices of news reporting; covering news beats and other news sources, including researching a news story for accuracy, comprehensiveness and interpretation.

JOUR324 News Commentary and Critical Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320 or JOUR360. Journalistic interpretation and analysis; editorial and critical writing.

JOUR325 Print News Bureau (6) Prerequisite: JOUR320 and admission to Capital News Service Program. Advanced training in public affairs journalism. Students report state and federal news as part of the college's Capital News Service.

JOUR327 Urban Affairs Reporting (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320 or JOUR360. Students are immersed in coverage of issues affecting cities, working on a semester-long multi-platform reporting project based in Baltimore. Students will use Baltimore as a working laboratory to report on urban issues. Course meets in Baltimore.

JOUR328 Specialized Topics in News Writing and Reporting (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320 or JOUR360. Advanced training and practice in writing and reporting news of one specialized field of interest. Repeatable to a maximum of six credits provided the topic differs.

JOUR328B Specialized Topics in News Writing and Reporting: Sports Reporting and Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320.  Skills course designed to give students a wide-range experience in all aspects of sports journalism, including new media, social media, the history of the craft, reporting, writing, layout and editing.

JOUR328J Special Topics in News Writing and Reporting; Journalism about Children, Youth, and Families
Prerequisite: JOUR320 or permission of the instructor. This course focuses on stories that can change lives. A quarter of the U.S. population is under the age of 18. What is it like to grow up (or be a parent) in America today? This class will introduce students to best practices in reporting on a range of complex family issues. Students will engage in research and creative content projects for the Journalism Center on Children and Families, while working with the director of the Center.

JOUR337 Patch U: Hyper-Local News Production (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320 or JOUR360; and JOUR352. The Patch U class is a capstone course on hyperlocal reporting. Students are assigned to specific Patch sites and work with the local editors to cover government, education and community news and write short features.

JOUR350 Graphics (3) formerly JOUR373 Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR202 or JOUR262. Introduction to visual components of news content and design type and typography, printing processes, illustration.

JOUR351 Advanced Graphics (3) Prerequisite: JOUR350. In-depth analysis of news graphics.

JOUR352 Online Journalism (3) Prerequisite: JOUR202 or JOUR262. Reporting and writing online, using Web attributes of interactivity, individualization, immediacy, and multi-media applications.

JOUR353 Advanced Online Journalism (3) Prerequisite: JOUR352. Advanced reporting and writing in an online environment.

JOUR355 Online News Bureau (3) Prerequisites: JOUR352 and permission of department. Advanced online journalism training. Students work as online reporters, editors and producers for an online newsmagazine. Students also package copy from the print and broadcast news bureaus.

 JOUR356 Kaiser Health Multimedia Reporting (3) Prerequisites: JOUR203; and JOUR320 or JOUR360; and permission of department. Opportunities are provided for advanced reporting and writing on health topics, using traditional and multimedia storytelling tools.

JOUR360 News Writing and Reporting II: Broadcast (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR201. Writing and reporting for broadcast media; production of news stories.

JOUR361 Television Reporting and Production (3) Prerequisite: JOUR262 and JOUR360. Writing and editing for the broadcast media. Interpretive and documentary news stories.

JOUR362 Broadcast News Management (3) Formerly JOUR461. One hour of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: JOUR262 and JOUR360; and must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in JOUR361. Management of a broadcast station's news operations.

JOUR363 Long Form Broadcast Journalism (3) Formerly JOUR486. Prerequisite: JOUR361 or permission of department. Production of a daily television news program.

JOUR367 Broadcast News Bureau (6) Prerequisites: JOUR361 and permission of department. Advanced broadcast journalism training. Students report as part of the College's Capital News Service program.

 JOUR368B Topics in Broadcast and Electronic Media: Broadcast Sports Reporting (3) Prerequisite: JOUR361.  This course allows students to work on a sports television program that involves writing, editing and producing skills.

JOUR 368P Topics in Broadcast and Electronic Media: Photojournalism I (3) Prerequisite: JOUR 320 or 360.  The basics of photography and telling stories through images.  An examination of composition, lighting, camera technique and the ethical and legal issues facing photographers.

JOUR371 Feature Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320. Research and writing feature articles.

JOUR372 Writing the Complex Story (3) Formerly JOUR481. Pre- or corequisite: JOUR371. Explanatory journalism technique applied to complex subjects (such as science, economics and large scale social change) for books, magazines and newspaper series.

JOUR380 Science Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320, or permission of department. Writing of scientific and technical material for the general audience.

JOUR 389B Broadcasting the Games: Covering Sports in Action
(3) Prerequisite: JOUR262 and JOUR360; or permission of department.

JOUR398 Independent Study (1-3) Individual projects in journalism. May be repeated to a maximum of three credits.

JOUR399 Supervised Internship (1) Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in JOUR320 or JOUR360. Supervised internship experience; relation of academic training to professional experience.

JOUR400 Law of Public Communication (3) Prerequisite: Junior standing and JOUR320 or JOUR360. Legal rights and constraints of mass media; libel, privacy, copyright, monopoly, and contempt, and other aspects of the law applied to mass communication. Previous study of the law not required.

JOUR451 Advertising and Society (3) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Advertising as an institution with manifest economic purposes and latent social effects. Influences of advertising on people, and related issues of ethics and social responsibility.

JOUR452 Women in the Media (3) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Participation and portrayal of women in the mass media from colonial to contemporary times.

JOUR453 News Coverage of Racial Issues (3) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Analysis of news media coverage of issues relating to racial minorities in the United States, with special attention to Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans and Native Americans.

JOUR459 Special Topics in Journalism (3) Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Issues of special concern and current interest. Open to all students.

JOUR462 Professional Seminar in Public Affairs Reporting (3) Prerequisite: Admission to Capital News Service, or permission of department. Explore theoretical and practical issues in the press coverage of governments. Examine the complex press-government relationship.

JOUR470 Journalism and Public Communication Research (3) Formerly JOUR477. Prerequisite: A University statistics course. Journalism and public communication research methods used in measuring public opinion and media programs and materials.

JOUR471 Public Opinion Research (3) Prerequisite: A University statistics course. Measurement of public opinion and media habits; role of the media in the formation of public opinion.

JOUR472 Computer Assisted Reporting (3) Introduction to computer-assisted (database) journalism; obtaining, manipulating and analyzing complex government data for journalism projects.

JOUR479 Special Topics in Data Gathering and Analysis (3) Special research topics for reporting and writing. Repeatable to a total of six credits, provided content differs.