The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is opening up top-flight mini-courses, such as “Using Social Media for Background and Storytelling,” “Smart Photos with Smart Phones,” and “Freelancing Workshop” to the greater CUNY community in January.
These classes and others – “Non-fiction Book Writing,” “Travel Writing,” and “Food Writing,” among others – are part of our rich January Academy enrichment series, usually reserved for Journalism School students and alumni. This year, we’re offering a limited number of seats to others in the extended CUNY universe at extremely affordable prices.
Seats are limited. Sign up soon.
Freelancing Workshop – Ellen Walterscheid and Prof. Frederick Kaufman
Monday, Tuesday, Jan. 7 and 8
We’ll cover such topics as: generating ideas, understanding the market, getting to the right editor, pitching the story, revising the pitch, understanding the contract, negotiating a good price, working with editors, and polishing the freelance piece. Taught by Prof. Frederick Kaufman, a consortial faculty member at the CUNY J-School and veteran freelancer who has published his essays and articles in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, Saveur, GQ, New York, Interview, Allure, Spin, Spy, Salon, Vice, Men’s Health, Popular Science, and The New Yorker, among many others; and Ellen Walterscheid (The Sciences, AARP The Magazine, National Geographic World, among others), the J-School’s original career services director. Guests will include a legal expert and top editors from The New Yorker, Vice, and Family Circle, who will critique student pitches. Focus is on the magazine/web market.
Be Your Own Brand – Toddi Gutner
Friday, Jan. 4
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Increasingly, today’s young journalists are following new, much more entrepreneurial career paths than their predecessors did. Instead of getting a job at a single media organization, these “indies” are going out into the world with their backpacks full of multimedia equipment and selling their work to multiple employers. In this workshop given by former BusinessWeek personal finance editor Toddi Gutner, now a successful independent writer and media consultant, students will learn the importance and particulars of building their own brand. The discussion will include advice on marketing yourself using social media and networking, pricing your services, structuring your business, and managing your finances and taxes.
Food Writing Workshop – Rachel Wharton
Monday, Jan. 14
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Writing about food must be as simple as eating it, right? Wrong. Food writing requires more than a fine-tuned palate, a table at the hottest, hot-hot restaurant, or a good recipe for authentic Neapolitan pizza dough. Locavores, the Farm Bill, food safety scares, commodity prices, environmental justice, pop-ups, CSAs, molecular gastronomy, buying clubs and the DIY movement – in this post-Michael Pollan, post-twitter era, food writing is increasingly complex. The good news is it’s also a growing field. Gourmet mag is gone, but the app still lives on, and the fertile landscape of localized or specialized food websites, TV and video, podcasts, blogs, and food zines is still expanding. General interest publications have also increased their food coverage. James Beard award-winning food writer Rachel Wharton leads this workshop that will introduce students to the fundamentals of the beat. Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, spent four years as a New York Daily News features food reporter, hosted a weekly segment on NY1 for two years, hosts a weekly talk show on Heritage Radio Network, and freelances for everyone from Saveur to Time Out.
Travel Writing – Tim Harper
Tuesday, Jan. 15
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
One reason most of us got into journalism was to see the world, and tell people about it. CUNY J-School Craft Prof. Tim Harper leads this workshop that aims both to inspire and inform, whether your goal is to become a full-time travel writer or you merely want to supplement your day job with stories you do while on vacation. The sessions will cover everything from how to find and pitch travel stories to what you can write off on your taxes when you get home, with an emphasis on what travel editors are buying now. Tim has a broad range of travel writing experience – books, magazine articles, newspaper stories and online – with datelines from China, the Middle East, Central America and across Europe and the U.S. One session will include a pitch slam, so bring your own ideas for travel stories. A freelancer writer and editor, Tim Harper has extensive experience from around the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Central America, and the Far East.
Secrets to Compelling Page Design, Online and In Print – John Smock
Wednesday, Jan. 16
This workshop is an introduction to basic principles of good layout and design. The personality of a news publication online and in print are often defined by appearance. Smart use of design elements such as typeface, color, and a variety of other graphic elements can make a publication appear more professional while also making it easier to navigate. The course will study an assortment of publications and identify underlying graphic elements useful to students interested in better design of their own online publications or those who simply want a better understanding of design’s role in the increasingly visual world of journalism. Smock teaches photojournalism and interactive journalism at the CUNY J-School.
Non-Fiction Book Writing – Prof. Glenn Lewis
Tuesday, Jan. 15
10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Take this one-day crash course on the essentials of conceptualizing, researching, organizing, and writing a professional-level non-fiction book proposal. The seminar also focuses on techniques for reporting and writing non-fiction books. Students are given insights into negotiating book contracts as well. The session draws on Prof. Glenn Lewis’ experiences as a book packager, agent, writer, and book proposal doctor. A guest editor will also participate. Prof. Lewis is director of the journalism program at York College and is a consortial faculty member at the CUNY J-School.
The Crash Course on Covering Economics, Finance, and Business – Greg David
Monday – Thursday, Jan. 14-17
Want to know why the Great Recession has so devastated the country? Why China is the world’s economic super power and whether the Euro will survive? Why Wall Street is so hated? Why Apple is the most successful American company? Over these four nights, you’ll get a crash course on the basics of covering economic, financial, and business stories. Some reading in advance of each class will be required. Greg David is director of the Business & Economics Reporting Program at the CUNY J-School.
Using Social Media for Background and Storytelling – Jennifer Preston and Barbara Gray
Friday, Jan. 11
This workshop is led by Jennifer Preston (@JenniferPreston), the first social media editor for The New York Times and currently staff writer on the The Lead Blog, and Barbara Gray (@barbgray), CUNY J-School Research Lecturer. Preston will cover the elements and ethics of using user-generated content for breaking news and multimedia narrative storytelling. Gray will discuss how to do research and get background for your stories and find people using the latest social media resources.
Excel for Journalists – Benjamin Lesser
Thursday, Jan. 10 and Thursday, Jan. 17
You’ll learn how to work in a spreadsheet to add context and depth to an existing story or find a new stories to pursue. You’ll learn how to import data in Excel and how to analyze it. Among the concepts you’ll learn include how to sort data, apply formulas, and create a chart. I’ll also provide list of the most useful and easy to access data sets for future reference. Many computer-assisted reporting stories can be done using just Excel. This class will give you the tools necessary to start doing those stories. Ben Lesser has more than a dozen years of municipal and investigative reporting experience at newspapers such as the New York Daily News and The Bergen Record. He was also an adjunct at the CUNY J-School who taught investigative reporting and computer-assisted reporting.
Smart Photos with Smart Phones – Scott Mlyn
Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 8 and 9
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Smart phones have created a new realm of photographic possibility for both professional and citizen journalists alike. Images produced with today’s smart phones now have sufficient quality to be published on all media platforms from digital to print. This course will concentrate on making better pictures with your smart phone. We’ll discuss composition, exposure, moment, as well as conceptualizing and developing an approach. We’ll also examine the use of some popular apps – and controversial journalistic issues relating to apps. The classroom session will be followed by a photo walk where students will take pictures the instructor will critique. The workshop will be led by Scott Mlyn, a photo editor, photographer, author, teacher and a director of multimedia projects using still pictures. For many years, he was deputy picture editor of BusinessWeek magazine, and recently he was a picture editor on a daily iPad news publication. He has taught photography at the International Center of Photography and smart phone photography at the Adorama Photography Workshops.
Math for Journalists – Benjamin Lesser
Thursday, Jan. 3
In this class, you’ll learn how to deal with numbers and statistical concepts that often come up while working on a story. You’ll learn a variety of concepts including simple formulas such as determining percent change and how to adjust for inflation. Understanding these concepts will allow you to produce more accurate, meaningful stories. Ben Lesser has more than a dozen years of municipal and investigative reporting experience at newspapers such as the New York Daily News and The Bergen Record. He was also an adjunct at the CUNY J-School who taught investigative reporting and computer-assisted reporting.
Covering New York City (The Short Version) – Prof. Sarah Bartlett
Thursday, Jan. 10
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This three-hour seminar will give a fast-paced overview of the critical details reporters need to know about how New York City works. The session will begin with some brief historical and demographic background, and then introduce students to the city’s political structure, the key economic and business players, and the web of nonprofits and advocacy groups that provide essential social services.