Columbia Journalism School

Cross Registration Fall 2015

Registration Information for Non-Journalism Students

Graduate students from other Columbia Divisions/Schools looking to register for Fall 2015 classes at the Journalism School must follow the steps outlined below . All classes listed below are 3 point courses and detailed information including course description have been listed. 

Cross-registration will be open on Monday, August 24, at 10am and it will close Friday, September  18, at 10am.

To cross register, students must submit this form:





3 points

Day/Time: F 1:30pm-4:30pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 9/11/15 - 12/18/15


Instructor: Jonathan Stray

The course is a hands-on introduction to the areas of computer science that have a direct relevance to journalism, and the broader project of producing an informed and engaged public. We will touch on many different technical and humanistic topics: information recommendation systems but also filter bubbles, principles of statistical analysis but also the social processes which generate data, social network analysis and its role in investigative journalism, visualization techniques and the cognitive effects involved in viewing a visualization. Assignments will require programming in Python, but the emphasis will be on clearly articulating the connection between the algorithmic and the editorial.





3 points

Day/Time: R 6:00pm-8:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 9/10/2015 - 10/22/2015

Instructor: Sam Freedman

Writing family history is not merely a function of memory. It requires the same kind of rigorous reporting as other forms of journalism, as well as the primary-source research skills of a scholar. This course will use the form of family history to imbue students with the research, reporting, and writing techniques essential for long-form narrative of any kind.



3 points

Day/Time: W 6:30pm-9:30pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 11/4/2015 - 12/16/2015

Instructor: Ari Goldman

Just about every journalist has to cover death, whether a fireman’s funeral, a fatal car crash, a memorial service or a simple obituary of a community leader. This seven-week course will equip students to cover end-of-life issues, including terminal illness, murders, suicides and fatal accidents in both the personal and public spheres. With the help of experts on trauma, students will discuss best practices about interviewing the bereaved and survivors. The reading list will include some of the great journalism on death and dying, including classic obituaries and accounts of disasters such as 9/11, Katrina, and the Indian Ocean tsunami. The class will also look at some of the digital media outlets that are increasingly being used to memorialize the dead. Finally, the class will explore the cross-cultural and cross-theological practices surrounding death. Over the course of the semester, each student will visit a public memorial and a funeral home and write a story from each venue. There will be weekly research, writing and re-writing assignments with the goal of producing three 1,200-word articles.



3 points

Day/Time: W 2:00pm-5:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 11/4/2015 - 12/16/2015

Instructor: Lonnie Isabel

This course will explore a versatile, durable, lively and evolving approach to news writing. Using writing exercises and story assignments students will develop skills in the elements of narrative writing--imagery, theme, characters and dialogue even with tight word counts. The news feature gives journalists a vehicle for examining a topic or event through firsthand accounts, background facts, and context. It is widely used in publications and online. Assignments will range in length from 500 words to 1,200. The objective is to produce sparkling news features that are sharply and tightly written, and fit these characteristics outlined a few years ago by Roy Peter Clark: “You can read it, if you want to, in a single sitting on the day the story was published. You can read a short one in five minutes and a long one in 15 minutes. It is not a news story but can be inspired by the news. It has, at its heart, human interest. It illuminates lives lived in our times.”



3 points

Day/Time: R 9:30am-12:30pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 11/5/2015 - 12/17/2015

Instructor: Jonathan Weiner

All of the best stories in journalism, whether as short as a column or as long as a book, share the same basic narrative principles, and the aim of this course is to master those principles, to study them in the work of others, and to apply them to your own. The first few sessions are spent in an overview of the narrative form, discussing how to recognize, report, structure and write stories that move confidently through time, place and character. The remaining weeks proceed through a series of more specific technical issues using dialogue, choosing and depicting characters, compressing and expanding time, managing transitions, providing historical context, establishing a voice.


3 points

Day/Time: W 12:10pm-2:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 9/8/2015 - 12/9/2015

Instructor: Andie Tucher

An exploration of the traditions, conventions, values, assumptions, and dilemmas that have shaped the institution of journalism and its central role in public life. Through readings, class discussions, and close observations of journalistic work past and present, we take on some of the Big Questions: what is journalism for? How does it work, why, and what happens when it doesn't? Is objectivity dead, or should it be? What are the relationships between journalism and the truth? Between journalism and storytelling? How do new technologies and new economic structures change what journalism does and what publics expect? And what's the future of journalism?


For the most part, spots in J-School classes are assigned to non-Journalism graduate students on a space available basis (with top priority given to IMC SIPA students).

To request cross registration in a Journalism School course, please complete the form.

The form will be active as of Monday, August 24, at 10am.

Please note that this is only a REQUEST and we cannot guarantee your request will be accommodated.

Cross registration request forms are processed on a first come, first served basis.

If your form is submitted correctly you will receive a request confirmation e-mail within 24 hours. Please remember to include the after your UNI.

You will NOT receive an e-mail from my office saying that your request was granted or not granted.

To learn if your request was granted, you must keep checking your class schedule on the web using All requests remain on file during the cross registration period (August 24 - September 18 at 10:00 a.m.).

You do not need to submit multiple forms for the same cross registration request. If I am able to grant requests I do it as soon as possible but sometimes it takes days for a space to open in a class. Sometimes the space never opens up.

Please remember that you are submitting a cross registration REQUEST. There is no guarantee that I will be able to approve your request. Until you see a change reflected on your class schedule on STUDENT SERVICES ONLINE (, your request has not been approved.

If you have more than one course for which you want to be considered, please submit a separate form for each class.

Also, please be certain that you are not requesting a class that conflicts with any of your other classes.

Direct any questions to Melanie Huff at


Select the academic degree that interests you: