Course Offerings

To see current term syllabi for selected courses in the Department, please go to https://managementtools3.wlu.edu/CourseOfferings/, search "Jour" in the Subject field, and click on any course. Syllabi that course instructors have made public will be indicated by a link.

Winter 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Finch, Kevin D.

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Colon, Aly A.

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Broadcast-Announcing Practicum

JOUR 162 - Finch, Kevin D.

Students learn the skills required to effectively anchor news, weather, or sports on the weekly Rockbridge Report newscast, which appears on a local cable access channel. May be repeated for up to three degree credits.

Beyond Google and Wikipedia: Finding and Evaluating Information Sources in the Digital Age

JOUR 190 - Cumming, Douglas O. / Mickel, Jason T.

An introduction to information sources that academic researchers, journalists, public relations and advertising professionals rely on increasingly in the digital age to conduct scholarly research, report and write news stories, and to find, analyze and present research on trends in mass communications. Students learn how to evaluate sources of information for credibility and quality, while they strengthen their basic research skills to go beyond Google and dig below the surface of today's high-tech world.

Introduction to News Writing

JOUR 201 - Cumming, Douglas O.

Students are taught the principles and techniques of information gathering and news writing, with emphasis on fulfilling the role of the news media in a democratic society. Extensive laboratory work enables students to prepare assignments for online and other digital media, while stressing accuracy, clarity and skepticism in reporting and writing.

Introduction to Digital Journalism

JOUR 202 - Coddington, Mark A.

Concepts and practices of news gathering and presentation in a multimedia, interactive environment. Combines classroom instruction with a converged news media lab in which students contribute to a website, television newscast, and newspaper. Note: The laboratory requirement is limited to three sessions during the term, as arranged with the instructor.

Global Public Relations

JOUR 222 - Bhalla, Nandini

An introduction to the global and international perspectives of public relations. Corporations, governments, and non-government organizations (NGOs) actively seek to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with the publics in other countries beyond their national boundaries.

Public Relations Writing

JOUR 227 - Bhalla, Nandini

A writing course to teach the many forms of persuasive writing used by public relations practitioners to reach diverse audiences. Through frequent writing assignments and revisions, students master the art of press releases, media pitches, media alerts, features, public service announcements, newsletters, press kits, backgrounders, and coverage memos for appropriate media outlets. Students are exposed to social media and video skills as well as writing.

Data-Driven Storytelling

JOUR 230 - Coddington, Mark A. / Khalifa, Moataz

The ability to gather, analyze, and tell clear and compelling stories with data is becoming one of the most valuable skills in professional communication. More than just learning new tools, it is a different way of thinking about the building blocks of stories and information. Students apply the values and practices of journalistic storytelling to data, learning how to gather it, break it down, report on it, contextualize it, and display it in clear, creative, engaging ways. Students learn data analysis and visualization in R and apply what they learn to a full-term, news-style data storytelling project. 

Beat Reporting

JOUR 258 - Locy, Toni R.

Using the community as the laboratory, students develop competence in the principles and techniques of reporting and writing news for online, broadcast and social media in a democratic society. Working on assigned beats, students learn source development, news judgment, information gathering, news presentation and time management. Work is published and aired on the Rockbridge Report website and newscast.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Locy, Toni R.

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

The Documentary

JOUR 338 - Finch, Kevin D.

A critical study of the documentary in film and television, with analysis of prominent directors and genres.

Media Ethics

JOUR 345 - Colon, Aly A.

This course enables students to explore ethical challenges that arise within the various communication practices of contemporary media: journalism, public relations, advertising, documentary film, blogging and fictional programming. The course offers a grounding in moral reasoning and an understanding of professional ethics as an evolving response to changing social and industrial conditions in the media industries.

Editing for Print and Online Media

JOUR 351 - Coddington, Mark A.

The principles and techniques of editing copy for digital and print media, with emphasis on clarity of thought, legal and moral responsibilities, and effective communication. Classroom work and assignments includes production of publications for both journalism and strategic communication majors, using InDesign, among other applications and software.

Producing for Broadcast and Online Media

JOUR 362 - Finch, Kevin D.

Preparation for leadership roles in electronic media. Extensive work in decision-making and management in the newsroom through television news producing and Internet content construction.

Reporting on the Economy

JOUR 372 - Swasy, Alecia

Required for the business journalism sequence and appropriate as an elective for journalism, strategic communication, and business administration majors. Reporting and writing techniques used by journalists who cover global economics. Students learn basics of the reporting and analysis of Federal Reserve reports, economic indicators, and data via the Bloomberg terminal and other resources. Writing emphasizes storytelling about people behind the numbers of the wealth and wage gaps, consumer trends, and worker issues in the global supply chain.

News Internship

JOUR 451 - Kao, Stacey

Professional service, arranged and supervised individually, with newspapers, radio and television stations, online news sites, or other news media or business institutions, as appropriate. Students proposing to undertake an internship must meet and coordinate their plans with the department's internship supervisor by November 15 of the year in which they plan to serve the internship.  May be carried out during the summer.

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Bhalla, Nandini

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Coddington, Mark A.

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Broadcast-Announcing Practicum

JOUR 162 - Finch, Kevin D.

Students learn the skills required to effectively anchor news, weather, or sports on the weekly Rockbridge Report newscast, which appears on a local cable access channel. May be repeated for up to three degree credits.

FS: First-Year Seminar

JOUR 180 - Bhalla, Nandini

Topic and applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies.

Fall 2020, JOUR 180-01: Introduction to Global Public Relations (3). First-Year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. This course introduces students to the global perspectives of public relations. Corporations, governments, and non-government organizations (NGOs) actively seek to build and maintain mutually-beneficial relationships with the publics in other countries. Research indicates that multinational corporations (MNCs) often struggle to build reputation among local people. In this class, we will discuss various key differences among nations such as culture, media system, political system, and economic structure, which will help us to understand the basic fabric of the country. We will also learn the tactics and strategies of effective public relations in different countries. We will study and discuss various case studies from different countries. Bhalla.

Beyond Google and Wikipedia: Finding and Evaluating Information Sources in the Digital Age

JOUR 190 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo) / Mickel, Jason T.

An introduction to information sources that academic researchers, journalists, public relations and advertising professionals rely on increasingly in the digital age to conduct scholarly research, report and write news stories, and to find, analyze and present research on trends in mass communications. Students learn how to evaluate sources of information for credibility and quality, while they strengthen their basic research skills to go beyond Google and dig below the surface of today's high-tech world.

Introduction to News Writing

JOUR 201 - Locy, Toni R.

Students are taught the principles and techniques of information gathering and news writing, with emphasis on fulfilling the role of the news media in a democratic society. Extensive laboratory work enables students to prepare assignments for online and other digital media, while stressing accuracy, clarity and skepticism in reporting and writing.

Introduction to Digital Journalism

JOUR 202 - Artwick, Claudette G.

Concepts and practices of news gathering and presentation in a multimedia, interactive environment. Combines classroom instruction with a converged news media lab in which students contribute to a website, television newscast, and newspaper. Note: The laboratory requirement is limited to three sessions during the term, as arranged with the instructor.

Social Media: Principles and Practice

JOUR 220 - Coddington, Mark A.

In this course, students dive deep into social media, learning how to use it as thoughtful and ethical professionals, and examining its growing roles in society, politics, identity, and relationships. Students get hands-on experience in producing news for social media by running a multi-platform social news service. They also learn how to plan a strategic social media campaign, how to use metrics to analyze social media effectiveness, and how to use social media in reporting.

Public Relations Writing

JOUR 227 - Bhalla, Nandini

A writing course to teach the many forms of persuasive writing used by public relations practitioners to reach diverse audiences. Through frequent writing assignments and revisions, students master the art of press releases, media pitches, media alerts, features, public service announcements, newsletters, press kits, backgrounders, and coverage memos for appropriate media outlets. Students are exposed to social media and video skills as well as writing.

Beat Reporting

JOUR 258 - Swasy, Alecia

Using the community as the laboratory, students develop competence in the principles and techniques of reporting and writing news for online, broadcast and social media in a democratic society. Working on assigned beats, students learn source development, news judgment, information gathering, news presentation and time management. Work is published and aired on the Rockbridge Report website and newscast.

Principles of Public Relations

JOUR 273 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

This class focuses on understanding what public relations is and what those who practice public relations do. Students examine the origins of public relations, the nature and role of public relations, the major influences that affect organizational behavior, the ethics of public relations, and the professional development of public-relations professionals. Emphasis is placed on the planning, writing, and management functions, working with media and developing effective public-relations strategies.

Covering Courts and the Law

JOUR 280 - Locy, Toni R.

Courthouses make the best beats by providing a window on what is important to the American people. This course introduces students to the U.S. court system, its players, language and impact on the public at large. Students learn how to identify newsworthy legal stories, read court documents, and make sense of them in order to write clear, compelling, fair and accurate news stories for mass audiences.

Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications

JOUR 295A - Artwick, Claudette G.

Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Fall 2020, JOUR 295A-01: Digital Content Production in the Age of COVID-19 (3). When the coronavirus pandemic forced TV studios to shut down in March 2020, late-night shows quickly pivoted to online and social platforms. Following the lead of Trevor Noah's "The Daily Social Distancing Show," this course has adapted as well, shifting out of Reid Hall's Studio 311 to virtual formats. In this experiential learning (EXP) class, students will produce content for brands, academics, non-profits, and peer audiences. We will engage with industry professionals through Zoom and will learn concepts and skills to research, interview, write, record, and edit digital media. C. Artwick.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

Communication Theory and Research Methods

JOUR 330 - Coddington, Mark A.

An examination of the major bodies of communication theory within a media framework and the process of conducting research within that framework. Regarding theory, we cover both social/behavioral and cultural/critical perspectives and their historical development. Regarding methods, we cover both the general process of forming and measuring a research question or hypothesis in communication research as well as the particulars of some of the central methods of communication research. 

Ethics of Journalism

JOUR 344 - Colon, Aly A.

A study of the moral issues arising from the practice of modern journalism and communications. Includes examination of philosophical and theoretical foundations of ethics, the place and role of journalism in the larger society, and moral choices in the newsroom. Topics include: First Amendment freedoms, privacy, confidentiality of sources, conflicts of interest, cooperation with law enforcement, free press/fair trial, photojournalism, and issues of accountability.

Producing for Broadcast and Online Media

JOUR 362 - Finch, Kevin D.

Preparation for leadership roles in electronic media. Extensive work in decision-making and management in the newsroom through television news producing and Internet content construction.

Reporting on Business

JOUR 371 - Swasy, Alecia

Required for the business journalism sequence and appropriate as an elective for journalism, strategic communication, and business administration majors. Reporting and writing techniques for journalists who cover Wall Street and publicly-traded companies. Students learn reporting fundamentals of financial statements, researching corporate documents, and data analysis using the Bloomberg terminal, and how to write industry analysis and narratives.

Communications Internship

JOUR 461 - Kao, Stacey

Professional service, arranged and supervised individually, in public relations, advertising, corporate communications, or other mass media-related businesses, as appropriate. Students proposing to undertake an internship must meet and coordinate their plans with the department's internship supervisor by March 1 of the year in which they plan to serve the internship. May be carried out during the summer.

Spring 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

The Magazine: Past, Present, Future

JOUR 215 - Cumming, Douglas O.

Magazines are probably the most resilient mass medium we have, which is good news in the digital age. Even though the magazine business was hit hard in recent years, a look at its past and future is far more cheering. In this class, students learn how to investigate a magazine from the past as a way of understanding the magazine business from the inside. They also learn from current magazine editors, writers, and publishers, with a four-night trip to New York City (additional fee required). And students create teams to produce a tablet-ready magazine prototype.

Digital Media and Society

JOUR 270 - Artwick, Claudette G.

Facebook, YouTube, and iPhones are popular, if not essential elements in college students' busy lives. Being born into the digital age, students have grown up with profound and rapidly changing media and communication technologies, yet likely take them for granted. This course takes an in-depth look at digital media, exploring the relationship between technology and social change. The concept of technological determinism guides our examination of social networking, online news/information, digital entertainment, and health online.

Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications

JOUR 295 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Spring 2020, JOUR 295-01: Say What? Landmark First Amendment Cases and their Implications for Speech in the 21st Century (3). This course helps students to understand the First Amendment in context and the different forms of expressions that have shaped its jurisprudence. The U.S. Supreme Court's interpretations of expression have implications for all aspects of American political life and often involve protection of minority, often unpopular, viewpoints from being overpowered by the majority, or by the government. Abah.

Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications

JOUR 295 - Bhalla, Nandini

Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Spring 2020, JOUR 295-02: Media Stereotypes: Women, Minorities, and Yoga (3). No prerequisite. A media-literacy course to help students better understand the mass media's representation of minorities, and especially women through different lenses including yoga practice. We examine whether and/or how this has changed over time, what forces have affected change (or not), and the current state of their representation. Students become improved critical consumers of the mass media, particularly as it relates to the representation of minorities and women, and to use critical thinking skills to understand (1) how media is stereotyping, (2) media's target audience, and (3) the impact of stereotyping. Bhalla.

Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications

JOUR 295 - Colon, Aly A.

Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Spring 2020, JOUR 295-03: Religion and Reporting (4). Open to non-majors. This class explores how the news media cover religion and whether this coverage helps or hinders understanding. Where do reporters turn for facts about religions? Do journalists reflect accurately and authentically religious lives? How do the news media depict people with extreme beliefs? Students examine these and other questions through readings, discussion, and interviews with experts and people of faith. Field trips allow personal exposure to places of worship. Colón.

In-depth Reporting

JOUR 356 - Locy, Toni R.

The principles and techniques of developing and creating enterprising, heavily researched journalistic work for the mass media. Students produce in-depth work that they showcase on a website. Extensive group work is required.

Media Management & Entrepreneurship

JOUR 377 - Swasy, Alecia

An examination of trends and challenges in media management, including a close examination of industry economics, changing reader and viewer habits, revenue and profit pressures, and labor and management issues unique to the news profession. For Spring 2020, the seminar's focus is on women in the media business, an exploration of how a diverse group of women are reshaping the media business through creation of niche news beats at legacy companies --such as the Washington Post's Tracy Jan covering the intersection of race and the economy--or building new hybrid business models like "American INNO" that mix news, branded content, and events to attract more millennial readers and customers.