Some people learn early on that they have a knack for telling stories. Others find a thrill in doggedly pursuing the truth. For centuries, both types of people have been drawn to journalism. If you are pursuing an online journalism degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Ashford University offers a wide array of online courses in journalism. Through these courses, you will create an electronic portfolio of work to showcase professional journalistic skills. Courses include a wide range of topics, from composition and editing to research and analysis. Browse the course and course descriptions below to learn more.
Journalism Class Descriptions and Credit Information
JRN 101 Digital & Media Literacy
This course is designed to teach students to critically examine the impact of digital media and mediated messages on their everyday lives. Throughout the course, students explore the underlying power relationships of the media industry, the construction of media messages, and the influence of digital media on individuals, groups, and society.
JRN 200 Elements of Journalism
Elements of Journalism provides students with an understanding of the field of journalism. The course focuses on developing the students’ skills in the areas of grammar, spelling, punctuation, Associated Press (AP) style writing, the inverted pyramid, news gathering, interviewing and other elements of journalism. Prerequisites: ENG 121 and 122 or equivalents.
JRN 201 Multimedia News Writing and Editing
This course is designed to provide the principles and techniques of effective writing and editing for news in various platforms. There will be an emphasis on accuracy of information, presentation, clarity, precision, and efficiency in the use of language. Students will also begin to discover the various career opportunities and the field and begin to develop their goals through the Career Services Integration pieces built into the course. Prerequisite: JRN 200.
JRN 301 Newsgathering & Reporting
This course focuses on gathering, evaluating, writing, and editing information for news stories tailored to various forms of media. Prerequisite: JRN 201.
JRN 321 Visual Journalism
This course will teach students the importance of visual elements in news, and how to effectively incorporate visual elements into news stories for various media platforms. Students will also be introduced to industry-standards related to the design of visual news and the various software programs that are used. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 330 Media Law & Ethics
Media Law and Ethics familiarizes students with the major laws and ethical guidelines associated with news and information media. This course will explore the fundamental principles of media law and the ethical responsibilities of media practitioners. Prerequisite: JRN 201
JRN 331 Advanced Writing & Editing for the Media
This course is designed to provide the principles and techniques of good writing for the mass media with an emphasis on accuracy of information, presentation, clarity, precision and efficiency in use of the language. Additionally, students will focus on the standards of writing for the Web, which differ substantively from the traditional media.
JRN 333 Ethics in Journalism
Ethics in journalism begins with an overview of ethical foundations and philosophy with a focus on case studies in the media and the application of ethical standards and decision making to issues faced by journalists on a daily basis. Prerequisite: JRN 200.
JRN 339 Global Journalism
This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of the major issues facing global journalism. It focuses on the social, cultural, and governmental aspects of the international media and their relationship to journalism from the perspective of a democratic system. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 341 Specialized Journalism
This course introduces students to the various genres of journalistic writing. Students learn to employ skills acquired from previous journalism courses to specific types of news reporting. Genres include the following: investigative journalism, sports journalism, entertainment journalism, business journalism, and environmental journalism. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 410 Journalism Law
The study of the law of journalism and mass communication is a vast field. This course provides a broad overview of the rule of law, the First Amendment, disruptive speech, libel, protecting privacy, reporter’s privilege and electronic media regulation. Prerequisite: JRN 200.
JRN 412 Advanced Editorial & Feature Writing
Students in this course will apply journalistic skills to opinion writing for editorial pages. It provides tools for evaluating critical thinking and argumentation for evaluating editorial writing. Additionally, students will learn the skills and requirements for feature writing. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 415 Methods of Research & Analysis in Journalism
This course teaches students research methods of utility and analysis in journalism with a focus on survey research, electronic database searching, government sites, and the evaluation of data sets in journalism research studies.
JRN 425 Journalism & Politics
This course is designed to aid students in determining how the media shape the context of American government and politics. Students will study American political journalism theory, current practice, convergence, and emerging technological change and their impact on public opinion and policy. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 450 Investigative Journalism
This course teaches students to create more in-depth news reports for various forms of media. Students will utilize research and evaluation skills learned in previous courses to produce investigative news reports suited for real-world publications. Prerequisite: JRN 301.
JRN 497 Journalism & Mass Communication Capstone
Students will demonstrate mastery of the programmatic outcomes of the journalism major by creating an electronic portfolio of work completed during the program and by adding newly developed material that showcase professional journalistic skills. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the General Education Capstone course & all program courses.