Journalism (JOUR)

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JOUR Courses

JOUR 102. Introduction to Journalism. 1 unit

Introduction to current practices in American news media with a focus on emerging technologies and traditional print and broadcast operations. Exploration of changing career opportunities in news and public relations. Overview of student media organizations and requirements for academic success in journalism. 1 lecture.

JOUR 201. News Media and Democracy. 4 units

Survey of historical influences in the development of today's journalism. Contributions of women and minorities to American mass media. Rise of technology in the communication industry. 4 lectures.

JOUR 203. News Reporting and Writing. 4 units

Introduction to the fundamental techniques of reporting and writing news articles from print and online perspectives. Extensive laboratory and field practices in gathering and evaluating information. Writing basic news stories under close supervision. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 205. Agricultural Communications. 4 units

Survey of the media of agricultural communication. Newspaper farm pages and sections, general and specialized agricultural magazines. Radio and TV farm broadcasts. Digital media sources. Public and private agencies involved in agricultural communication. Role of California minorities in agriculture. Writing on agriculture-related issues. 3 lectures, 1 activity.

JOUR 218. Media, Self and Society. 4 units

2019-20 or later catalog: GE Area E

2017-19 or earlier catalog: GE Area D4

Overview of the interaction between mass media and individuals in American society. Drawing on theoretical perspectives from mass communication and psychology to explore how individuals develop a coherent understanding of self within a highly mediated world. The power and influence of media messages and practices. Individual responsibility in an information society. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as COMS/JOUR 218. Fulfills GE Area E (GE Area D4 for students on the 2017-19 or earlier catalogs).

JOUR 219. Multicultural Society and the Mass Media. 4 units


The role of the mass media in a democratic multicultural society. Portrayal and stereotyping of ethnic minorities by different mass media forms throughout U.S. history. The growing impact of minorities in the United States. Achievement and goals of current American ethnic media, with special attention to Latinos/as and African-Americans. 4 lectures. Fulfills USCP.

JOUR 220. Introduction to Radio Broadcasting. 2 units

Prerequisite: Acceptance as a KCPR staff member and consent of instructor.

Development of skills and knowledge to produce live and recorded radio shows for the campus radio station KCPR-FM. Basic station operations, FCC compliance standards, and basic station management. Required for KCPR staff. 2 lectures.

JOUR 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

JOUR 285. Introduction to Multimedia Journalism. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Introduction to the social, editorial and technical issues surrounding the web as a form of communication. Fundamentals of gathering, writing and publishing content for the web that includes using photographs, sound, pictures and video to tell a story. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 302. Mass Media Law. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Legal basis for freedom of expression. Court decisions resolving conflicts between First Amendment and right to fair trial, privacy, reputation. Source confidentiality, freedom of information, contempt, copyright. Federal and state laws and regulations affecting mass media reporters, editors, publishers, news directors. Course may be offered in classroom based or online format. 4 lectures.

JOUR 303. Web Audio and Video. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Concepts and technologies associated with bringing video, still images and audio online. Process of web-based audio and video creation, production and publication, from inception to publishing. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 304. Public Affairs Reporting. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Experience leading to advanced skills in reporting and writing stories about contemporary issues, government and courts. Field and laboratory assignments in beat reporting, public meeting coverage, writing style, investigative techniques, and online journalism research. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 312. Public Relations. 4 units

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Overview of the history, growth and ongoing development of public relations as an information management function in a multicultural environment. Public relations practices used in commercial and non-profit sectors, and firsthand application of public relations skills. 4 lectures.

JOUR 320. Cal Poly Radio Laboratory. 1 unit

Prerequisite: JOUR 220 and consent of instructor.

Field experience in radio station operations at KCPR-FM, the campus radio station. Emphasizes support functions such as recording announcements, planning and carrying out promotions, underwriting, events and other station management duties. Required of students also hosting live or prerecorded on-air programs. Total credit limited to 8 units. Open only to students on staff at KCPR-FM. 1 laboratory.

JOUR 331. Contemporary Advertising. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A3 with a grade of C- or better.

Principles of advertising, copy, layout, and production across media platforms, including online, mobile, social, print and broadcast. Economic, political, and social function of advertising in a free market society. Advertising ethics. Social responsibility of advertising in a multicultural environment. Emerging advertising technologies. 4 lectures.

JOUR 333. Broadcast News. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A3 with a grade of C- or better.

Beginning broadcast news writing and reporting for radio and television. Emphasis on developing news judgment and producing radio newscasts. Introduction to television studio equipment and procedures. Lab experience includes writing and reporting live on-air for KCPR. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 334. Editing. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Editing for print and online publication. Using the Associated Press style. Writing headlines, captions, summaries and other display text. Repurposing various media content for the web and other formats. Legal and ethical issues for the editor. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 342. Public Relations Writing and Editing. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 312.

Theory, strategic planning and practice in writing persuasive public relations copy for diverse internal and external audiences. Emphasis on gathering information, preparing news releases, newsletters and other communications vehicles. Analysis of various media case studies. 4 lectures.

JOUR 345. Social Media for Strategic Communication. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Exploration of emerging technologies and media that influence strategic communication, including public relations and advertising practices. Knowledge, insight and analytical skills necessary to create, evaluate, and execute social media campaigns. 4 lectures.

JOUR 346. Broadcast Announcing and Production. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203. Recommended: JOUR 285.

Develop on-air skills in the performance of voice-overs, stand-ups, hosting and the production of televised public service announcements. Emphasis on the effective use of audio and non-linear video editing techniques as well as broadcast writing. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 348. Electronic News Gathering. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203 and JOUR 333.

Instruction on electronic news gathering (ENG) that includes advanced news writing, field reporting and editing for broadcast. Emphasis on developing research techniques, interviewing skills, responsible and effective non-linear video editing, compelling use of natural sound and professional on-air delivery. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 350. Data Journalism. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 285; and one of the following: STAT 130, STAT 217, STAT 218, or STAT 251.

Introduction to the techniques of finding stories in data sets and presenting them visually via interactive online displays. Emphasis on adapting emerging tools for digital storytelling. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 352. Advanced Newspaper Reporting Practicum. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 304 or JOUR 334.

Reporting lab for the print and digital editions of Mustang News. Total credit limited to 8 units. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 353. Advanced Broadcast Journalism Practicum. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 333, JOUR 346, or JOUR 348.

Students produce a live 30-minute CPTV newscast per week, or a one-hour KCPR segment that incorporates news, information, talk and entertainment. Emphasis on news producing, reporting and announcing skills. Total credit limited to 8 units. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 378. Advanced Sportscasting. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 285 and JOUR 303 or JOUR 346.

Develop advanced skills in sports reporting and writing for broadcast, web and social media. Play-by-play. Job search in sports journalism. Field trip may be required. Course offered in hybrid format with classroom-based and online learning. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 385. Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 4 units

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Recommended: BUS 310 or COMS/JOUR 218.

Innovation and entrepreneurship in journalism. Human-centered design. Business plan development. Designing content to reach and engage an audience. Identifying opportunities to create sustainable journalistic enterprises for real-world application in Cal Poly's student-run media organizations. 4 lectures.

JOUR 387. Sports Communication. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Examination of the interrelationship between sports and community including participant, sports organization, sports media, and sports fan. Explores how these interrelationships reinforce social values, challenge social norms, and social identities relevant to sports and cultural values. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as COMS/JOUR 387.

JOUR 390. Visual Communication for the Mass Media. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Theory and application of visual communication in today's media. Visual communication's power to inform, educate and persuade. Production of visual media across digital, broadcast and print platforms. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

JOUR 401. Global Communication. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203 and junior standing.

Global communications facilities and operations; world transmission of information; survey of world wire services and international print and electronic media. Analysis of press operations under varying government ideologies, including third world countries. 4 seminars.

JOUR 402. Journalism Ethics. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Current issues revolving around the social responsibility of the mass media. Role of the public, government, and media in considerations of media accountability. Professional behavior in media organizations. 4 seminars.

JOUR 403. Multimedia Production for Public Relations and Advertising. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 303 or JOUR 346.

Development of fundamentals pertaining to the technical and aesthetic proficiencies used in video communication for public service, public relations, marketing and advertising. All aspects of pitching, planning, production, editing and post-production in addition to historical and regulatory aspects of communication policy and mandates. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 407. Feature Writing. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Practice in researching, interviewing and the writing and marketing of both long and short form nonfiction articles for various media outlets. Analysis of similar work in current distribution. 4 lectures.

JOUR 410. Advanced Digital Journalism. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 285.

Apply the theories and applications of digital journalism to the development and publication of innovative digital content. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 412. Public Relations and Crisis Management. 4 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Apply contemporary public relations theory to turn crisis into opportunity. Analyze Homeland Security and FEMA best practices using public relations framework and strategy. Practical exercises in planning, implementing, and evaluating public relations messages in a variety of media platforms. 4 lectures.

JOUR 413. Public Relations Campaigns. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 312 and JOUR 342.

Development of skills needed to plan and conduct internal and external public relations campaigns for corporate and non-profit organizations. Includes goal setting, management of resources, budgeting, creation of campaign communications, and outcomes analysis. 4 lectures.

JOUR 415. Advanced Public Relations Practice: CCPR. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 413; or BUS 453, JOUR 331, JOUR 342, and one of the following: GRC 338, GRC 377, or JOUR 390.

Proposing, creating, managing, and implementing public relations campaigns through the student-run agency, Central Coast PRspectives. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 418. Copyright, Trademark, Patent and Commercial Speech in Digital Media. 4 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing; and completion of GE Area A with a grade of C- or better.

Examination of intellectual property rights covered by copyright, trademark and, to a limited degree, patent law as well as commercial speech rights in a digital media age. Emphasis on intellectual property rights as they affect content creators and other publishers in a digital world. 4 lectures.

JOUR 444. Media Internship. 3 units


Prerequisite: JOUR 352, JOUR 353, or JOUR 413; and internship coordinator approval.

Application of techniques on daily basis with media under supervision of department faculty. Credit/No Credit grading only.

JOUR 455. Media Management Laboratory. 1 unit

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Field experience in management of Cal Poly student media. Emphasizes planning, leadership, media integration, goal-setting and measurement. Required of students in elected leadership positions in KCPR-FM, Mustang News, Central Coast PRspectives and MNTV. Total credit limited to 8 units. Intended for students in leadership positions of student media. 1 laboratory.

JOUR 460. Senior Project. 4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor; Journalism majors only.

Selection and completion of a project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates must solve in their fields of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 120 hours total time.

JOUR 462. Senior Media Practicum. 4 units

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Capstone experience that applies principles and tools of print, broadcast and digital journalism and public relations to tell engaging stories across multiple platforms. Emphasis on integrating text, video, audio, graphics, search engine optimization and social networking to produce content for digital publication. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor; junior standing.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

JOUR 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.