Media Platforms

Though the craft of journalism is platform-independent, knowing how to take advantage of the unique qualities of each platform can add resonance and power to your story. You’ll choose your platforms, working with our instructors and facilities to develop advanced skills in audio journalism, documentary, multimedia, narrative writing, photojournalism and video journalism.

Audio Journalism

Concentration Overview 

Berkeley’s audio journalism curriculum helps students build a solid foundation in all aspects of professional audio journalism and storytelling, from research, reporting and writing for the ear, to production, performance and pitching. Accomplished professionals in audio journalism teach small, hands-on courses in which students produce broadcast-quality stories, some actually broadcast on campus radio and published as podcasts. Students are also encouraged to offer the work they complete in class to professional outlets, and will meet top audio reporters, producers, editors and podcasters who come in regularly as guest speakers. Throughout their training, students have access to professional audio equipment, and to the Madeleine H. Russell Radio Lab and other studio spaces.

Career Paths

Reporter, producer, podcaster, host or anchor, writer, general manager, program director, operations manager, news director, public affairs director, editor, engineer.

Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

4 units
Journalism 275
Introduction to Audio Journalism/P (second, third, or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 212
Advanced Audio: Podcasting (third semester)

3 units
Journalism 212
Advanced Audio Journalism/P (fourth semester)

1 unit
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semesters)

Additional Courses

3 units
Journalism 260
Investigative Reporting/M (second, third, or fourth semester)

Masters Project

Project requires 29 minutes of audio programming and can be either one program or a series of shorter stories on the same theme.

Instructors

Mary Kay Magistad, Millicent Jefferson, Anna Sussman, John Fecile

Documentary

Concentration Overview

The Berkeley documentary program is grounded in the values of professional journalism—accuracy, clarity, aggressive research and reporting, and ethical practices—to which we add rigorous training in the fundamentals of good filmmaking. Documentary courses are chiefly practical rather than theoretical and are built around teaching the skills and the sensibility required to make compelling documentaries suitable for national distribution.

All students wishing to pursue documentary production are required to take the Video Reporting and Storytelling course sequence and History of Documentary during their first year. In the second year, students take Documentary Production combined with their Master's Project Seminar in a year-long intensive seminar in which they produce a professional half-hour documentary.

Career Paths

Filmmaker, producer, director, editor, funder, curator, executive producer, instructor, cinematographer, camera person.

Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

3 units
Journalism 282
Introduction to Visual Journalism/P (first semester)

5 units
Journalism 282
Video Reporting and Storytelling/P (second semester)

3 units
Journalism 286
History of Documentary/S (second semester)

1 unit
Journalism 219
Picture and Sound/M (third semester)

1 unit
Journalism 219
Videography/M (third semester)

1 unit
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semesters)

4 units
Journalism 284
Documentary Production/P (third and fourth semesters)

Additional Courses [S1]

1 unit
Journalism 219
MINI: Associate Producer/M (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 260
Investigative Reporting/S (second, third or fourth semester)

Masters Project

Projects are single half-hour films, conceived, written, directed, shot, and edited by students, using our HD video equipment and facilities. They must be at once bold, original, and aimed at a wide general audience. While some documentaries involve extensive travel, use of archive material, and complex production, others are produced with simple clarity close to home. We have few restrictions on style, subject, or genre, but all projects must be resolutely documentary in nature, journalistically sound, and suitable for broadcast to a large nationwide primetime audience on commercial, public, or cable television, or via digital distribution.

Instructors

Andres Cediel, Cassandra Hermann, Carrie Lozano, Chris O’Dea

Multimedia

Concentration Overview

The Multimedia concentration refers to digital-first platforms of journalism. Students pursuing this area of focus will produce multimedia stories that are exclusive to the web or other digital platforms like virtual reality, social media, etc.

Examples of multimedia pieces include web videos, data-driven text stories, interactive graphics, online photo essays, and audio accompaniments to visual pieces of journalism. While many of the forms produced in multimedia might seem similar to other concentrations at the school, the key differences is that we combine several of these pieces together into an online multimedia package. Generally, the constituent pieces are shorter, and optimized for web consumption. A web video might be entirely animated, for example, or play a complementary role to a text piece. And a text story might be broken up into shorter segments, integrated with graphics and other multimedia. All of the pieces of media work together to present a package that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Students wishing to pursue Multimedia will need to take J216: Multimedia Workshop in their 3rd and 4th semesters. This course is where students ideate, report, and produce their master’s project. In addition, we require Multimedia students to take J222: Interactive Narratives in their second semester. This is a seminar course that moderates discussion about innovations in online storytelling.

Career Paths

Multimedia reporter, web producer, web developer, online editor, data journalist, multimedia editor/producer, content strategist, social media editor.

Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

3 units
Journalism 282
Introduction to Visual Journalism/P (first semester)

2 units
Journalism 222
Interactive Narratives (required/S (second semester)

3 units
Journalism 216
Multimedia Master’s Project Workshop/P (third and fourth semesters)

1 unit
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semesters)

AND, required to take at least one or more of the following courses for second semester:
3 units
Journalism 220
Introduction to Coding Interactives/M

3 units
Journalism 221
Data Journalism/M

3 units
Journalism 283
Video Reporting and Storytelling/P (second semester)

Additional Courses [S1]

Additional classes to take in second, third and fourth semesters:
3 units
Journalism 298
Data Visualization/M (third semester)

2 units
Journalism 298
MINI: Animating the News/M (second semester)

3 units
Journalism 298
Advanced Coding Interactives/M (third semester)

Masters Project

A qualifying Multimedia master’s project can be:
● A multimedia story that has multiple segments or elements with an intuitive navigation scheme and compelling overall design;
● a continuously published news site or blog featuring original and curated content,
● or a prototype for a new concept or innovative idea related to digital journalism, performed as a research project and submitted as a research paper with appropriate source citations.

Instructors

Richard Koci Hernandez, Jeremy Rue, Peter Aldhous, T. Christian Miller

Narrative Writing

Concentration Overview

The use of scenes and characters, sustained suspense, and voice are some of the features of narrative writing, whether for magazines, newspapers, online outlets, mixed media projects, or multimedia packages. Reporting for narrative is a craft unto itself, requiring detailed observation, rich description, in-depth interviewing, and critical thinking--skills all of our writing courses aim to nurture. We also take advantage of narrative’s unique power to engage and illuminate readers, helping foster the ability to tell stories of broad interest and lasting significance. Combining workshop critiques and individual mentoring, the School program provides an intense, hands-on approach to developing and refining student work.

The introductory-advanced writing sequence is voluntary; a student need not take the first to enroll in the second. In addition, we offer the following topical and specialized courses: editing, profile writing, advanced magazine feature writing, science writing, community site reporting, business writing, investigative journalism, health reporting, and environmental writing. Depending on instructor availability and student interest, we sometimes offer additional topical and specialized courses, such as political reporting, opinion writing, conflict reporting, international reporting, arts and culture writing, essay writing and so on. Writing is an important component of most courses at the school, just as it will be an indispensable part of professional life following graduation. Students in all concentrations are encouraged to find ways to hone their writing skills.

Career Paths

Staff writer, contributing editor, contributing writer, freelance writer, newspaper beat reporter or reporter.

Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

3 units
Journalism 298
Introduction to Narrative Writing/P (second semester)

5 units
Journalism 243
Advanced Narrative Writing/P (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semesters)

Core Topic & Special Courses

3 units
Journalism 201
Community Sites/P (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 243
Advanced Narrative Writing/P (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 298
Editing/M (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 294
Nonfiction Book/P (every other Spring semester)

3 units
Journalism 242
Profiles/P (third semester)

3 units
Journalism 298
Reporting on Public Health Topical/P (second and fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 298
Environmental Journalism/P (third semester)

3 units
Journalism 298
Gender and Journalism/S (second or fourth semester)

Other Topical & Specialized Courses Offered Spring 2019

3 units
Journalism 298
Story Structures/M

3 units
Journalism 298
One Day Story Turnaround/P

3 units
Journalism 298
Gender and Journalism/S

3 units
Journalism 298
War Music: Covering Conflict in the Age of FOrever War/S

Masters Project

The project requires one piece or series of pieces totaling, 3,500 to 5,000 words in length, it should be publishable quality, and based on extensive reporting and interviews.

Instructors

Elena Conis, Mark Danner, Deirdre English, Adam Hochschild, Jenn Kahn, Michael Pollan, Mark Schapiro

Photojournalism

Concentration Overview

Growing demand for visual storytelling skills has strengthened interest in photojournalism in the news industry and encouraged the School to train photojournalists for all media. Each semester, photography courses are offered to give students practical experience shooting and composing photo essays. In the advanced documentary photography courses, students work on an in-depth visual storytelling project and focus on developing a personal style. Students also edit, design and publish the Center for Photography's annual student magazine, “realeyes.”

Career Paths

Photojournalist, photo editor, photojournalists, photo editor, photographer.
Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

2 units
Journalism 210
News Photography/P (second semester)

3 units
Journalism 213
Advanced Documentary Photo: Real Eyes/P (second or fourth semester)

2 units
Journalism 210
Photo Essay/P (third semesters)

3 unit
Journalism 213
Advanced Documentary Photo: Blurb Book/P (third semester)

1 unit
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semester)

Additional Courses

1 unit
Journalism 219
MINI: Associate Producer/M (second or fourth semester)

3 units
Journalism 260
Investigative Reporting/S (second, third, or fourth semester)

Masters Project

The project requires the initial production of 30 to 45 original documentary images of formal exhibition quality. The final production should include a bound book of 25-30 digital prints either with a cover image, title page, and photographs sequenced with explanatory or essay text. As well production and hanging of work in the school Reva & David Logan Gallery of Documentary Photography.

Instructor

Ken Light

Video Journalism

Concentration Overview

Video Reporting and Storytelling explores visual narratives as they are produced, designed and distributed across platforms. We seek to challenge and train journalists to find innovative, creative and responsible ways of reporting and producing news using video and sound, whether for the web or for broadcast. J283 is a semester-long deep dive into conceiving, reporting, producing and directing short-form (15 seconds to 20 minutes) video content. It is only for those who want to produce thesis work that specializes in nonfiction video narratives across platforms, across styles.

Career Paths

Video producer/news website, video producer/network news, reporter of local news, producer of local news, freelance production crew, associate producer, videographer.

Courses and instructors vary semester to semester.

Course Sequence

P = Production M = Methods S = Seminar

3 units
Journalism 282
Introduction to Visual Journalism/P (first semester)

5 units
Journalism 283
Video Reporting and Storytelling/P (second semester)

1 unit
Journalism 219
Picture and Sound/M (third semester)

4 units
Journalism 285
Longform Video Reporting and Storytelling/P (third and fourth semesters)

1 unit
Journalism 294
Master’s Project Seminar/P (third and fourth semesters)

Additional Courses

1 unit
Journalism 219
Mini: Associate Producer/M (second or third semester)

3 units
Journalism 260
Investigative Reporting/S (second, third or fourth semester)

Masters Project

The project requires the production of three well reported short-form video stories of 5 to 15 minutes in length, equally a total of 25 minutes.

Instructors

Andres Cediel, Betsy Rate, Chris O’Dea, Zach Stauffer, Richard Koci Hernandez, Sam Grant