English Cpjr. Politics & Journalism: Workshop

Instructor: Jill Abramson
Terms: Fall Term

Wednesdays, 1-4 pm | Location: Boylston G02 (FAS)

Enrollment: Limited to 12 students.

An advanced journalism seminar for those with some writing experience and an interest in political news coverage. Students will learn how to write about U.S. politics in all the major genres, including long form narratives, profiles, commentary and opinion. There will be extensive reading from political books, including chapters from the novel All The King’s Men and non-fiction classics by T.H. White, Richard Ben Cramer, Garry Wills, and Hunter S. Thompson. Additional readings come from a wide array of reporters and columnists covering the 2016 election including Jane Mayer, Maureen Dowd, Mark Leibovch, Peggy Noonan and other political pieces from magazines, newspaper, on-line sites and blogs. The class will focus on the structure of political writing, how to incorporate interviews in narrative writing, the quality and fairness of 2016 election coverage. There will be weekly writing assignments and one in-depth final, magazine-length piece.

Supplemental Application Information: The application should include a letter saying why the student wants to take the workshop, why writing and journalism interests them, and which websites, magazines, newspapers and other news sources they read, even gossipy sites like Gawker. Additionally, besides informing voters about the candidates, what would strengthen political news stories and what kind of writing makes them interesting? Are there campaign reporters whose work you especially admire and why? A writing sample is optional for this course application.

Submit your application here. Applications are due by 4pm on 8/31.

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