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Journalism (MJ)

Overview

Ryerson University has developed a reputation as one of Canada’s leading institutions for professional journalism education over the last 60 years. Ryerson’s School of Journalism is known for its highly experienced and award-winning faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and close connections with all of Canada’s major journalistic institutions. Students in the two-year Master of Journalism program receive rigorous and intensive preparation for professional work in newspapers, broadcasting, magazines or digital journalism. They learn how to report stories to professional standards, while gaining a sophisticated understanding of journalism’s historic mission and its present-day possibilities, learning advanced research skills, embracing innovation, and focusing on the challenges of covering Canada’s largest, most diverse and most dynamic city. Ryerson’s location makes it the ideal place to lay the foundations for a career as a journalistic leader.

Degree awarded: MJ

Administered by: Faculty of Communication & Design

Journalism graduate program website

PDF fileJournalism graduate program calendar

Curriculum

  Degree Requirements: Master of Journalism (2 Year Program) Credits

 

Major Project

(Milestone)

JN8101

Covering the City    

2

JN8102

Internship

2

JN8103

Reporting and Data Methods  

2

JN8104

Urb Poli and Soc for Journalists

1

JN8107

Law and Ethics for Journalists  

1

JN8108

Journalism and Innovation  

1

JN8111

Essential Editing

Pass/Fail

JN8201

Producing the News

1

JN8202

Digital Journalism Studio

1

JN8203

Narrative Journalism

1

JN8501

MRP I: Story Development

Pass/Fail

JN8502

MRP II: Storytelling Seminar

Pass/Fail

JN8503

MRP III:  Branding Seminar

Pass/Fail

 

Two Credits from Advanced Journalism Electives

2

 

Three Credits from Advanced Specialized Electives

3

Electives
Course code Course name Credits

 

Advanced Journalism

 

JN8301

Journalism Masthead - News

2

JN8303

Journalism Masthead - Narrative

2

JN8310

Journalism Masthead

2

 

Advanced Specializations

 

JN8106

The History of News

1

JN8109

Directed Studies

1

JN8401

Television Documentary

2

JN8402

Adv Rsrch Mthds: Invst Techniq

2

JN8403

Business Journalism

1

JN8404

International Journalism

1

JN8405

Health and Science Journalism

1

JN8406

Visions of Literary Journalism

1

JN8407

Radio Documentary

2

JN8408

Journalism Masthead – Narrative II

2

JN8409

Journ & the Political Arena

1

JN8410

Justice and the Courts

1

JN8411

Photojournalism

1

JN8412

Podcasting

1

JN8413

Critical and Opinion Writing

1

JN8414

Journalism and the Arts

1

JN8415

Data Journalism

1

JN8416

Reporting Religion

1

JN8420

Special Topics:  Journalism

1

JN8501

MRP I: Story Development

Pass/Fail

JN8502

MRP II:  Storytelling Seminar

Pass/Fail

JN8503

MRP III:  Branding Seminar

Pass/Fail

IS8922

Changing Multicult Mosaic: GTA

1

CD8310

Topics in Cross-Cultural Comm

1

CD8320

Media Lang: Forms and Apprches

1

CD8330

Audiences and the Public

1

MP8110

Exponential Potential  

1

 

Major Project

The student is required to complete a Major Project. This is to be a substantial and original work of journalism, demonstrating mastery of the chosen medium and competence in carrying out research. It is not required that the Major Project be published, but it should be of publishable quality. The Project's subject matter and methods should also reflect the student's awareness of journalism's important role in civil society. The research topic is selected in consultation with the student's supervisor(s); a formal proposal is submitted for approval; and the research is carried out under the direction of the supervisor(s). On completion, the finished Project (accompanied by a reflective essay) is submitted to the supervisor(s) and one additional reader, who assess and grade it. This is a “Milestone.” Pass/Fail

JN8101 Covering the City

Using the city as a laboratory, students will learn the fundamental skills of journalism by carrying out demanding, practical reporting and writing assignments in various urban locations and settings. Students will learn how to generate and assess story ideas; how to research, observe, interview and otherwise gather information; and how to write for publication across multiple platforms, bearing in mind the requirements of clarity, thoroughness, balance, and accuracy.  2 Credits

JN8102 Internship

Each student will be placed as an intern in a professional newsroom. On completing the internship, each student will be required to write a substantial paper of theoretical and practical reflection on his or her experience, focusing on what has been learned about the possibilities of introducing new journalistic forms and approaches into professional newsrooms.

Pass/Fail.  2 Credits

JN8103 Reporting and Data Methods

This course will focus specifically on reporting and research methods required for journalists, including the essentials of data journalism. Students will learn digital research skills to determine the accuracy and veracity of information, as well advanced library and bibliographic skills, allowing them to inform themselves quickly about unfamiliar subjects and specialized techniques such as access requests, title searches and corporate searches and methods of interviewing.   1 Credit

JN 8104 Urban Politics and Society  for Journalists

Students in this course will gain a solid base of knowledge about urban affairs, broadly defined, that will help them produce insightful coverage of different aspects of urban society, including diversity, public health, business, race and Indigenous issues. The course involves critiques and analyses of news reporting on urban issues as well as lectures by experts in such areas as municipal politics, citizens’ movements, cultural scenes and multiculturalism.  1 Credit

JN8106 The History of News

This course will study the evolution of journalism from 1600 to the present, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on developments in Canada. It will examine the various forms that news took at different periods and in different places; how news influenced culture and was influenced by it, as well as by changing technology, business organization, and markets; how different audiences used and responded to news; and how the producers of news understood their work in relation to their society, their audiences, their employers and their peers. 1 Credit

JN8107 Law and Ethics for Journalists

This course will examine and compare legal and ethical constraints and dilemmas faced by reporters, editors and producers in fulfilling duties owed to sources, subjects, audiences, peers, and employers. These issues will be probed and debated in light of case studies, readings from legal and philosophical works, and the insights of guests including lawyers,

ethicists and professional journalists. Included will be the law of libel and contempt, and the intricacies of court reporting, such as the treatment of juveniles involved in crimes. 1 Credit

 

JN8108 Journalism Innovation

Working in small groups, students will explore the challenges facing journalists and the industry today by developing and pitching an entrepreneurial journalism project with potential solutions to address specific issues. Using startup methodologies and design-thinking approaches, they will address industry challenges such measuring engagement, growing revenue and keeping up with emerging technologies.  1 Credit

JN8109 Directed Studies

Individual directed study of subject areas in journalism not addressed in the current curriculum will be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member. A program of supervised, advanced study related to the student’s area of concentration will be negotiated on an individual basis with the supervising faculty member.  1 Credit

JN8111 Essential Editing

In this course students will learn the essential concepts and skills of editing stories and visuals across multiple platforms. Subjects covered include editing for style, grammar, accuracy and substance; best practices for digital news, features and interactives; basics of design for web and mobile journalism.  Pass/Fail (equivalent to 0.5 Credits)

JN8201 Producing the News

In this course, students will learn essential audio and video skills to produce news and short feature stories for broadcast and digital platforms, with a focus on deadline-driven coverage and the particular requirements of gathering and presenting information for each platform. Working in teams, students will learn several aspects of production to prepare and present their own reports. Detailed group and individual critiques of student work will be a key method of learning.  1 Credit

JN8202 Digital Journalism Studio

Students report, edit and produce digital journalism in correlation with their work in Producing the News and Narrative Journalism. Students will learn how to use with new and evolving digital tools, use social media to collect and distribute information, produce multimedia stories, write and edit digital news and features, as well as understand principles of reader engagement. Group and individual critiques will play a key role in this learning process.  1 Credit

JN8203 Narrative Journalism

Students learn longform journalism techniques, methods of interviewing and approaches to narrative structure across multiple platforms, with a focus on in- depth features for magazines and newspapers. Examples of award-winning work, written and multimedia, will be studied and analyzed, and students will learn to produce their own longform feature. Methods of interviewing and approaches to narrative structure will be among the topics covered. Detailed group and individual critiques will be a key method of learning.  1 Credit

JN8301 Journalism Masthead- News

This is the central professional course in the program's second year. In it, students will use everything they have learned so far to produce The Ryersonian, a digital, broadcast and newspaper platform that covers the campus and the city. The focus will be on producing highly polished work and on meeting high standards of newsworthiness and thoroughness. Through detailed group and individual critiques, students will reach professional standards of achievement.   Antirequisite: JRN903.  2 Credits

JN8303 Journalism Masthead- Narrative

This is the central professional course in the program's second year. In it, students will use everything they have learned so far, both practical and academic, to produce an issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism, an award-winning magazine with extensive digital outputs. The focus will be on producing highly polished work across multiple platforms. Through group and individual critiques, students will reach professional standards of achievement. Antirequisite: JRN95  2 Credits

JN8310 Journalism Masthead

This lab course acquaints students with the challenges of producing daily news and current affairs across multiple media platforms. Students will refine and build on skills in writing, reporting, interviewing, newsroom leadership, journalistic initiative, newsgathering, and the technical skills that accompany information dissemination. Through daily production, students will meet the demands of maintaining an online news site, as well as producing a regular television newscast and a weekly community newspaper. Antirequisites JRN910, JN8301, JN8302, JN8304.  2 Credits

JN8401 Television Documentary

This is a laboratory course in documentary production. The emphasis is on effective storytelling through the medium of the television documentary.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between the audiovisual and written elements of a documentary. Students will form production teams that will plan, write, shoot, and edit documentaries. A significant amount of work will be done outside of class time. Antirequisite: JRN800.  2 Credits

JN8402 Adv Rsrch Mthds: Invst Techniq

In this course, students will learn the theory and various techniques of investigative journalism. The emphasis will be on how investigative journalism serves the profession's civic mandate; how to identify appropriate subjects for investigative approaches; how to gather and analyze relevant data systematically and rigorously; and how to circumvent common obstacles. Antirequisite: JRN315.  1 Credit

JN8403 Business Journalism

This course will prepare students to work as business journalists. Topics covered will include basic economic and financial concepts, Canadian business structure and organization, specific techniques for locating and interpreting financial information and different approaches to business coverage. Toronto is Canada's financial capital, and students will have opportunities to discuss the field with guest speakers from the financial press and the business community.  Antirequisite: JRN502, NNS502.  1 Credit

JN8404 International Journalism

This course will give students an in-depth background in international journalism. It will have a combined practical and academic focus. Topics covered will include the international political and economic system, globalization, and the role of news media in international affairs. Case studies will allow students to develop their knowledge of particular areas of the world or specific international issues. The practical and cultural challenges of working internationally in journalism will be emphasized.  Antirequisite: JRN 506.  1 Credit

JN8405 Health and Science Journalism

This course will give students an in-depth background in journalism dealing with health and science, focusing on the challenges and possibilities of presenting scientific and medical information to a popular audience in a responsible and insightful way. Students will be taught how to assess and interpret statistics and how to locate expert opinion on different subjects. Critical approaches to health and science will also be covered.  Antirequisite: JRN505.  1 Credit

JN8406 Visions of Literary Journalism

Students analyze and critique various historical as well as current conceptions of what literary journalism was, is and should be, in both the United States and Canada. They will be encouraged to think philosophically about the value of taking risks in literary journalism, the need to search for meaning when constructing long‑form narratives, the desire to layer nonfiction stories with metaphor, and debate the value of the daily news hook versus what constitutes everyday experience.  Antirequisites: JRN508, ENG520.  1 Credit

JN8407 Radio Documentary

This is an advanced laboratory course in the craft of planning and preparing radio documentaries.  Attention is given in the classroom to the technical, editorial, ethical, and artistic issues that are involved in documentary production.  Students then go into the field and assemble a variety of radio documentaries that will vary in length, form and technique.  Antirequisite: JRN801.

2 Credits

JN8408 Journalism Masthead – Narrative II

This is an advanced laboratory course in which students act as editors and produce an edition of the Ryerson Review of Journalism. All aspects of digital and magazine editing and production are covered, including determining the appropriate editorial mix, substantive editing and line editing, fact-checking, proofreading and proof correction, use of display type, art direction and design and all stages of production. Prerequisite JN8303.  Antirequisite JRN090.  2 Credits

JN8409 Journ & the Political Arena

How governments work at the local, provincial and national levels, and how journalists can cover them effectively.  The watchdog role of the media, the mechanics of government and the relationship between journalists and politicians are explored.  While sharing a common lecture, students will be enrolled in labs with a view to the amount of journalism experience they bring, and assignments will be tailored to these differing levels of experience.  Antirequisite: JRN509.  1 Credit.

JN8410 Justice and the Courts

This courses covers the context, professional values and disciplines of court and legal reporting at all levels.  Classes may include readings, guest speakers and field practice with the potential for cross-media assignments.  Antirequisite: JRN507, NNS507.  1 Credit.

JN8411 Photojournalism

This course is an introduction to photojournalism with an emphasis on the importance of photographs in the media, print and online.  Practice in the production of photographs desired by publications, to include composition, depth of field, and cropping. Antirequisite: JRN201, JRN215. 1 Credit

JN8412 Podcasting

This course introduces the fundamental skills of production and reporting for podcasts. Students will learn how to record and edit audio, to write for broadcast and to produce and perform short news stories.  Antirequisite: JRN318. 1 Credit

JN8413 Critical and Opinion Writing
For students who aspire to write opinion pieces, this course will offer instruction in a variety of forms and types of critical journalism, including editorial and column writing, drawing on examples across forms of media. As in all ‘beat’ or specialty courses, classes may include readings, guest speakers and field practice with the potential for cross-media assignments. Antirequisite: JRN503. 1 Credit

 

JN8414 Journalism and the Arts
This course immerses students in issues associated with writing about the arts in this country and beyond. It provides an overview of the arts journalism landscape in Canada and invites students to connect arts coverage to a diverse range of questions, including Canadian cultural identity, digital transformations, celebrity and pop culture. A focus of this course will be reviewing--a unique feature of the arts beat. Antirequisite: JRN500. 1 Credit

JN8415 Data Journalism

Students benefit from visual news research in order to tell stories using static and animated graphics for print, broadcast and online media. As well as learning the technical and compositional skills necessary, students will be introduced to ways in which people synthesize visual information.  Antirequisite:  JRN204  1 Credit

JN8416 Reporting Religion

This course will introduce students to the practical and social aspects of religious representation. Among the practical topics to be discussed: how to spot a religion story, how to cover familiar and new religions, dealing with the 'hot button' issues and how to find religious experts. Issues to be explored include media use by religious groups, the role of the media in globalized religion and the importance of representation to the negotiation of religious and civil spheres.  1 Credit

JN8420 Special Topics: Journalism

A seminar course for special initiatives in the department. Topics will vary from year to year. 1 Credit

JN8501  MRP I:  Story Development

This course is the first in a sequence of courses designed to assist students in researching, developing and producing their Major Research Projects. Students will explore current journalism practice in relation to student project objectives, focusing on the preliminary stages of research and story development. The fundamentals of effective digital, narrative, audio and video feature projects will also be taught. Pass/Fail

JN8502  MRP II: Storytelling Seminar

This is an advanced seminar that focuses on specific methods and techniques of digital, narrative, audio and video storytelling, including interviewing subjects, editing images, writing for documentary and creating multimedia interactives. Students work in smaller groups to develop and refine their approach to their Major Research Project. This is a hands-on course designed to prepare students to produce their final project. Pass/Fail 

JN8503  MRP III: Branding Seminar

In this final Master’s Project course, students will learn and apply story pitching skills through developing a comprehensive plan to publish their final project. Students will apply marketing principles, digital content-building techniques and social media analytics towards the process of conceiving a personal brand. The coursework also drives toward the launch of a professional, personally branded website to promote the student’s journalistic work. Pass/Fail