Core Course Descriptions

Integrated Journalism

Integrated Journalism (iJournalism) is our core journalism course, designed to familiarize students with the grammar and syntax of media across platforms, including text, audio and video. It provides hands-on experience in a simulated multimedia environment.  Emphasis is placed on accuracy, meeting deadlines, and learning the elements of journalistic style.

A team of professors teaches the course, each professor lending his or her own expertise.  Professors have worked at a variety of media outlets, including the BBC, CBC, The Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, 60 Minutes, etc.

Student projects are posted on TheThunderbird.ca, the school’s award-winning online news service.

Journalism Practices and Standards

Journalism Practices and Standards, in conjunction with iJournalism, deals with the core elements of being a journalist for all media.  Hands-on training in journalism skills is regarded as fundamental for anyone working in the field: recognizing a story, researching, asking good questions, verifying the information, organizing and writing the story.  Emphasis is also placed on accuracy, meeting deadlines, and learning the elements of journalistic style.  The course will cover news values in all media and story-telling in many different ways, depending on the medium.

Media Ethics and Leadership

The course will discuss, study, and debate the leading ethical issues while encouraging students to develop an ethical framework for their journalism practice. The focus of the course is on the ethical questions raised by the current transition of journalism from traditional, ‘local’ and non-interactive media to global and interactive new media. After studying the principles of traditional journalism ethics, the course explores new ethical problems at the digital frontier.

Media Law

Students begin by learning about the Canadian legal system, court procedures and terminology, and will be exposed to court decisions and statutes, enabling them to understand and report on legal matters.

The course will then explore the legal issues and pitfalls faced by journalists, including defamation, contempt, publication bans, privacy, intellectual property, freedom of expression, roadblocks to reporting, dealing with police situations and the law affecting online media, blogs, digital forum issues and citizen journalism. Students will also learn how to use legal tools such as access to information legislation and legal research techniques to gather information and improve their stories.

Classes are designed to teach concepts and immediately engage students in applying the knowledge to real news situations. Practical examples and problems are used to teach students how to recognize and avoid legal pitfalls.

In addition to mid term and final exams, students will prepare an article in the style of a magazine feature on an area of media law they wish to explore, and its implications for freedom of the press.

Final Research Project or Thesis Project

Students can choose between completing a Final Research Project or an Academic Thesis in their second year of study. Both represent a major project in journalism and journalism studies, jointly supervised by faculty of the UBC Graduate School of Journalism and a journalist or academic expert with a deep background in the subject covered by the project. The Final Research Project and Thesis are an in-depth investigative exploration of a topic, issue or problem considered newsworthy and timely. Final Research Projects may be executed in any journalism format: multimedia, text, audio, video, or online, whereas the Academic Thesis must be formatted as a traditional print based thesis. Both the Final Research Project and Thesis should be a culmination of the student’s program of studies, allowing for a convergence of subject area and medium specialization, research interests and journalism skills.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Graduate School of Journalism
6388 Crescent Road,
Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z2, Canada
Tel: 604-822-6688
Fax: 604-822-6707
Email:

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