Core Course Descriptions

Integrated Journalism

Integrated Journalism is a combined core course (Journalism Practice & Standards 515C and Integrated Journalism 503B), which will provide you with hands-on experience to learn how to think and operate like a professional journalist in a multimedia environment. The course is based on a core journalistic skill set of research methods, editing, interviewing, reporting and writing. We use the most current technical tools to enable students to conceptualize, plan and tell stories through a variety of media. You will be given training in key content areas, such as the city, diversity and public policy, and how to integrate research and complex context into news stories and media content.

A key component of Integrated Journalism is contributing to TheThunderbird.ca, the school’s award-winning online news service. This publication is produced by individual students and is led by a team of editors who will rotate four times throughout the year. Students will have an opportunity to learn and experience a number of editorial or supervisory roles. Students are encouraged to use a range of storytelling methods in order to present strong multimedia journalism. Each edition will have a subject focus and will allow students to publish their work, while addressing major civic and global issues.

Media Ethics and Leadership

This course will look at the role imagined for journalists and media organizations in a democracy, and consequent professional norms, obligations, dilemmas, and expectations. Using varied texts and case studies, this course will discuss, study, and debate journalism ethics and leadership in changing media landscapes. Long held journalistic tenets of objectivity, accuracy, verification, and accountability will be examined, particularly as they relate to digital and converging media where accountabilities and sensibilities shift based on diverse and dispersed globalized audiences.

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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