Courses and Materials

Glad to share syllabi, assignments and ideas with fellow professors. Feel free to holler at me to talk more.

JOUR 75102 Community Engagement, CUNY-J  (2015-present)

This is a course in listening to a community: understanding and empathizing with its needs and learning how to help a community share its own knowledge. We talk to ambassadors from communities of various definitions — geographic (neighborhoods, towns), demographic (ethnic groups, age groups), interest (topics such as cancer, parenting, or sports), and business (organized around an industry or a job description.) These ambassadors will be journalists, community organizers, topic experts, and business proprietors who serve communities and who will, in turn, introduce the students to members of these communities so the students will develop skills in listening and discerning communities’ needs. We also draw upon disciplines from outside of journalism such as cultural anthropology, public health, and community and political organizing to help us hone our listening skills. Through this course, students will begin to identify the communities they plan to serve in the practicum and start to interact with those communities where they gather online and in person.


Members of our inaugural class work on a design project with


JOUR 75302 Community Practicum, CUNY-J (2015-present)

The practicum requires students to apply what they have learned in the social journalism program in a culminating real-world journalistic experience. The practicum is designed with some flexibility to allow it to conform to the needs of particular communities and the career goals of each student, but each project must be approved in advance by the instructor of this course. Students propose an individual project designed to serve the community they have selected. These projects will vary tremendously depending on the needs of the community. At the beginning of the social journalism program, students chose a community to serve, and they have been learning about and engaging this community in multiple ways in previous semesters. This knowledge will allow them to develop and execute on a plan tailored to the community and the problems or needs they have identified.

Students in the class of 2017 give their final presentations; I’m the MC (bottom right)

JOUR 7100/4802 Entrepreneurial Journalism and Media Management, University of Memphis (2012- 2014),

The goal of this course is to better prepare students for entering a tumultuous media environment by fostering  an understanding of business dynamics and opportunities in media industries in the context of digital disruption. Students get a basic grounding in the skills and knowledge they would need to not only potentially start their own businesses, but also to bring entrepreneurial, innovative thinking into legacy organizations. Students work in teams to build business plans and investor pitches for their own startups with guidance from accelerator and local entrepreneurs. 

Co-instructor Andre Fowlkes of StartCo helps students launch startup ideas
Co-instructor Andre Fowlkes of StartCo helps students launch startup ideas

JOUR 7330/4910  Social Media Theory and Practice, University of Memphis (2011-2014)

Graduate and undergraduate courses exploring the latest trends, research and theory on social media.  Students practice applying their knowledge through strategic, professional use of blogs, Twitter, Foursquare, and a host of other services and tools in the course. This course is designed to engage students in active participation in digital communities and explore how to effectively engage audiences online. The graduate and undergraduate sections of the course are similar, but the former includes a stronger emphasis on theory.


#SocialJ spring 2014 end of semester gathering
#SocialJ spring 2014 end of semester gathering


Jour7050 Mass Communication Theory, University of Memphis, (2008-2014)

Graduate seminar course introduces students to important theories in journalism and mass communication.  Students conduct a literature review and read many classic and contemporary articles in the field, lead discussions and engage in wide-ranging exploration of a host of research on media effects, persuasion, cultural studies, the production of mass media products, and more.

 Jour3120 Reporting, University of Memphis, (2009-2014)

This course helpss students hone interviewing, reporting, writing and multimedia skills, with a special emphasis on developing an ability to report in multiple media forms, from blogging to video to more traditional narrative. Students also learn to comprehensively cover a beat, build sources and develop audience.

J2121 Media Writing, University of Memphis, (2008-2009)

This is our basic introductory course on the basics of news writing and reporting. Students learn how to interview, craft leads cover events, and break news. They also study AP Style and  story structure, and work on honing their grammar and basic writing abilities.

 J2100 News, University of Missouri (Summer 2007)

Introductory course on the basics of news writing and reporting for print, television, and online media.

J1100 Principles of American Journalism, University of Missouri (Spring 2007)

This introductory, 235-student lecture course for freshmen and sophomores covered the elements of journalism, the current state of the news industry, media law, and ethics.

 J8080 Mass Media Ethics, University of Missouri (Fall 2006)

This master’s level online course emphasized ethical theory and its application to media organizations.