J219 – Research Methods (Required of all 1st years) 7 weeks 8/30 – 10/11

This is a required course for all first-year students that will teach investigative research techniques that can be applied in your J200 Intro to Reporting class. Topics we will cover include how work with data in the context of journalism; using spreadsheets to sort, clean, interrogate and summarize data; how to request documents from local, state and federal government agencies and understand the respective laws that govern such requests; how to use third-party informational services like LexisNexus or Netfile to find people, information about companies, or perform clips searches on topics related to your story; learn to use services like PACER, Census.gov, DocketBird, CitizenAudit, FEC.gov and others to obtain court and government documents; and finally, how to scrape and verify information from social media using a variety of open source intelligence (OSINT) tools, in order to perform digital forensic analysis.

Beyond learning a variety of tools through hands-on practice, the ultimate goal of this class is to teach students how to be discerning skeptical journalists that are relentlessly dedicated to accuracy, habitually corroborate information, and seek truth even when it disappoints. The persistent emphasis on accuracy in this course will help students to bulletproof their work, and build a sense of authority behind their journalism. All of the tools shown in this class are designed to create a sense of depth, credibility, and accountability, and to prove—by evidentiary standards—the information that sources provide during interviews is accurate.



Time:  T 4:00PM - 7:00PM

Location:  To be determined

Class Number:  34077

Section:  010

Units:  1

Length:  7 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  50

Restrictions & Prerequisites