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Magazine Mashup Seminar

This course provides an overview of narrative strategies in the rapidly changing and expanding world of magazine journalism. It’s designed to provide an overview of the domain for graduate students who aim to report on, write for, edit in, or curate for magazines broadly defined (print, online, or both). The course is intended as a magazine-inflected complement to the other major course of the term -- reporting and revising in your project-based learning class during the first quarter.

Our work together is primarily based on reading, viewing, and analysis of major magazine titles – legacy as well as newcomers – to explore the fundamental qualities of strong narratives. No matter what role you envision for yourself in media, our work will be relevant. Is it your ambition to create new knowledge through writing journalistic pieces for existing outlets? Or to edit, curate, produce, or otherwise serve as a team leader on investigative projects? Or to become an entrepreneur launching something brand new?

This is the place to consider the heart of the matter – the power of diverse story forms for different purposes – and to deepen your understanding of them as you prepare yourself for a year-long exploration of your own talents. Every person involved in the creation of meaningful journalism, after all, should be literate in key elements of compelling journalism.

The course is designed, in particular, for students who will move in the next three quarters of study to magazine presentation, digital media, magazine editing, and feature writing. For students who intend to finish up in the Narrative Capstone, here’s the first step on that pathway.

Each week we’ll sink deeply into the editorial architecture of a particular magazine outlet. We’ll regularly hear directly from writers and editors, in person and via Zoom or Skype. We’ll build toward a broad view of what’s currently happening in the domain, helping each student clarify where s/he would like to put her effort during the year.

The overarching idea is to reveal varied approaches to immersion reporting, story framing, and sustained narrative.

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