Magazine Writing Advising Guide

Magazine Writing Advising Guide

The magazine writing interest area uses an intradisciplinary approach grounded in magazine traditions, theories and practices. Students learn to tell stories with frankness and intimacy by using the narrative storytelling tools of character, key moments, dialogue, telling details and place.

This advising guide provides magazine writing students with information such as course sequencing, special enrollment requirements, course load recommendations, journalism elective recommendations and contact information.

Interest Area Curriculum Structure

Students begin planning their course schedule for their junior and senior years after being admitted to an interest area. This commonly occurs near the conclusion of the sophomore year. Students beginning their interest area curriculum are required to take 31 credits of journalism courses and 29 credits of upper-level non-journalism courses. Each semester students are encouraged to enroll in a combination of journalism and non-journalism courses. Students should plan to enroll in no more than nine credits of journalism courses per semester.

Enrollment Planning

The first and fourth semester are considered the most challenging semesters for students in magazine writing. In these semesters students are expected to increase the amount of hands-on work they perform due to the nature of Missouri Method courses. These courses require students to be resourceful, committed and hard-working to produce professional-level work.

The following semester plan may apply to many students’ situations. Students are encouraged to work with a faculty adviser and an academic adviser to create a plan that fits their needs.

First Semester in the Interest Area

Courses Credits
JOURN 3000 History of American Journalism* or JOURN 4000 Communications Law 3
JOURN 4450 News Reporting or JOURN 4804 Convergence Reporting 3
Upper-Level Non-Journalism Electives 8

Total Credits 14

*Students can enroll in JOURN 4568 History of Photojournalism as an alternative to JOURN 3000 History of American Journalism.

All students are required to take JOURN 4450 News Reporting or JOURN 4804 Convergence Reporting during their first semester in magazine writing. Each course provides knowledge that lays the foundation for all future magazine writing courses. Both courses are prerequisites for other magazine writing courses.

Students enrolled in JOURN 4450 News Reporting work for the Columbia Missourian. Assignments are on a daily city newspaper covering community news, city, county and state affairs, sports and lifestyle issues. Students gain experience in gathering and writing news under deadline conditions.

Students enrolled in JOURN 4804 Convergence Reporting work in a variety of news settings, including the Futures Lab, Missourian, KBIA-FM and KOMU-TV to produce feature stories, in-depth pieces and other special reports.

Both courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters. JOURN 4450 News Reporting is also offered in the summer semester.

Students are permitted to enroll in the courses after they have been fully admitted to the interest area. The advising office will email detailed enrollment instructions to each student during the semester prior to beginning the interest area.

Students are encouraged to complete JOURN 3000 History of Journalism or JOURN 4568 History of Photojournalism and JOURN 4000 Communications Law during the first year in the interest area. Students commonly enroll in one of the courses during the first semester in the interest area and pick up the additional course during the second semester.

Students in magazine interest areas frequently take JOURN 3000 History of Journalism due to its broad perspective of the journalism industry.

Second Semester in the Interest Area

Courses Credits
JOURN 3000* History of American Journalism or JOURN 4000 Communications Law 3
JOURN 4408 Magazine Editing 3
JOURN 4410 Intermediate Writing** 3
Upper-Level Non-Journalism Electives 6

Total Credits 15

*Students can enroll in JOURN 4568 History of Photojournalism as an alternative.
**Can be substituted with any of the following: JOURN 4412 Lifestyle Journalism, JOURN 4416 Science, Health and Environmental Writing or JOURN 4480 Will Write for Food (and Wine).

During the second semester in the interest area, students should focus on enrolling in journalism courses and upper-level non-journalism electives.

JOURN 3000 History of Journalism or JOURN 4568 History of Photojournalism and JOURN 4000 Communications Law should be completed by the end of the second semester in the interest area.

Third Semester in the Interest Area

Courses Credits
JOURN 4360 Fundamentals of Design 2
JOURN Electives 5
Upper-Level Non-Journalism Electives 9

Total Credits 16

 

During the third semester in the interest area, students should focus on enrolling in journalism and upper-level non-journalism electives. Students can choose to specialize in magazine writing or choose from a variety of journalism courses.

All University of Missouri students are required to complete a capstone in their major. On occasion, magazine students choose to take two capstones and enroll in a journalism capstone course in both the third and fourth semesters. This approach is for students seeking to maximize their experience in high skill-level courses. In other instances, students pursuing a dual degree will take a journalism capstone during their third semester and the capstone for the additional degree during the fourth semester or vice versa.

Fourth Semester in the Interest Area

Courses Credits
JOURN 4986 Advanced Writing (Capstone) 3
JOURN Electives 6
Upper-Level Non-Journalism Electives 6

Total Credits 15

 

Students typically enroll in a journalism capstone for the fourth semester. Much like the first semester in the interest area, the semester in which a student enrolls in the magazine journalism capstone is considered another challenging semester. In this semester students are expected to, once again, increase the amount of hands-on work they perform due to the hands-on the nature of Missouri Method courses.

Capstone

Students enrolling in a magazine journalism capstone will have demanding workloads as they increase their hands-on skills and critical thinking. JOURN 4986 Advanced Writing students will focus on writing stories for publication with an emphasis on gaining published work for their portfolios.

Journalism Electives

In addition to the required journalism courses, 11 credits of journalism elective courses are required for graduation. Choice of electives depends on the student’s career plans.

Students who have a specific focus in their interest area can seek enrollment in the recommended electives listed below. The different kinds of electives can help students develop versatility in their magazine writing skills, which might provide more career options.

Students who wish to study abroad during a fall or spring semester through the School of Journalism Global Programs can earn up to nine journalism elective credits and 3-6 credits of non-journalism requirements. Summer programs are also available. Students typically earn 3-9 credits during the summer program.

Highly Recommended Journalism Electives

Highly recommended electives are courses that will prepare students for industry work in this interest area.

  • JOURN 4148 Interviewing Essentials: (1)
    [JOURN] [4148] [Interviewing Essentials]
    This class allows students to focus on the journalistic interviewing process, from spot news interviews to the sort of interviews required for personality, sports and in-depth work.
    • This course is offered on a non-regular basis. Students interested in this course should enroll in it during the second or third semester in the interest area when it is available.
  • JOURN 4301 Topics in Journalism: (1 - 3)
    [JOURN] [4301] [Topics in Journalism]
    Selected current topics in journalism. Specific topics to be announced at time of registration. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required.
    • This course is offered on a non-regular basis. Students interested in this course should enroll in it during the second, third or fourth semester in the interest area when it is available.
  • JOURN 4430 Computer-Assisted Reporting: (3)
    [JOURN] [4430] [Computer-Assisted Reporting]
    How to negotiate for, transfer and process electronic information; the unique opportunities computers provide for analyzing information. Prerequisites: Restricted to Journalism and Science and Agricultural Journalism majors only. Junior Standing.
    • This course is offered each fall and spring semester. Students interested in this course should enroll in it during the third or fourth semester in the interest area.
  • JOURN 4436 Investigative Reporting: (3)
    [JOURN] [4436] [Investigative Reporting]
    Advanced course designed to acquaint reporters with public issues. Students write two in-depth projects and other shorter assignments. Students meet weekly with instructor for editorial suggestions. Prerequisites: JOURN 4450 and instructor's consent.
    • This course is offered each fall and spring semester. Students interested in this course should enroll in it during the third or fourth semester in the interest area.
  • JOURN 4460 Advanced Newspaper Reporting: (3)
    [JOURN] [4460] [Advanced Newspaper Reporting]
    Assignments to more difficult beat areas, team reporting and some investigative reporting for community newspaper. Individual conferences and weekly class sessions on contemporary reporting problems. Prerequisite: JOURN 4450.
    • This course is offered each fall and spring semester. Students interested in this course should enroll in it during the third or fourth semester in the interest area.

Additional Electives

Other elective suggestions are provided to help students fulfill elective requirements. Students’ choices are based on personal preference. Students can also choose from journalism special topics courses. Check MyZou for course availability.

  • JOURN 4340 Viewing Journalism Films: Images of the Reporter: (2)
    [JOURN] [4340] [Viewing Journalism Films: Images of the Reporter]
    (cross-leveled with JOURN 7340). The course will examine images of journalists in American films ranging from "Citizen Kane" to the present. Students will analyze award-winning movies that pose key questions about the professional responsibilities of journalists in all fields. Topics will include issues related to the practice of journalism as well as those triggered by the work of specific journalists, such as Woodward and Bernstein. Prerequisites: Instructor's consent required.
  • JOURN 4400 Introduction to News Editing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4400] [Introduction to News Editing]
    Introduces the fundamentals of editing stories and writing headlines for publication online and in print, including and emphasis on style and grammar. Emphasized editing for an online audience. Prerequisite: Journalism [JOURN] 2100.
  • JOURN 4412 Lifestyle Journalism: (3)
    [JOURN] [4412] [Lifestyle Journalism]
    In-depth research and writing techniques focused on lifestyle journalism. Students produce articles for the Missourian and school-produced magazines or other publications. Prerequisites: JOURN 4450/7450 or equivalent and instructor's consent. Substitutes for JOURN 4410. Graded on A/F basis only.
  • JOURN 4416 Science, Health and Environmental Writing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4416] [Science, Health and Environmental Writing]
    Advanced course in the reporting of science, health and environment. Write for publication. Prerequisites: JOURN 4450 and instructor's consent. Restricted to Journalism and Science and Agricultural Journalism majors only.
  • JOURN 4418 Critical Reviewing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4418] [Critical Reviewing]
    A combination of theory and practice that covers the philosophy and craft of reviewing the arts, including books, movies, television, dance, painting, sculpture and architecture. Students must attempt to publish reviews and essays locally, regionally and nationally. Reviews published in VOX Magazine. Prerequisites: JOURN _0900 or JOURN 2100 and instructor's consent. Restricted to Journalism and Science and Agricultural Journalism majors only.
  • JOURN 4420 Editorial Writing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4420] [Editorial Writing]
    Emphasizes writing and thinking. Discussion of current problems. Correct and effective use of English language. Mission, obligations and history of editorial pages. Prerequisites: JOURN 4450. Restricted to Journalism and Science and Agricultural Journalism majors only.
  • JOURN 4426 Religion Reporting and Writing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4426] [Religion Reporting and Writing]
    (same as Religious Studies 4418). Advanced seminar in religion reporting and writing. Examines the role of religion journalism in faith, public life and culture. Prerequisite: JOURN 4450 or its equivalent in professional writing experience and instructor's consent.
  • JOURN 4438 Business, Financial and Economic Journalism: (3)
    [JOURN] [4438] [Business, Financial and Economic Journalism]
    Advanced reporting course concentrating on writing and reporting about business and the economy. Emphasis on sources, records, documents and writing techniques. Prerequisites: JOURN 4408 and 4410 or 4506.
  • SCI AG-JRN 4480 Will Write for Food (and Wine) (3)
  • JOURN 4482 Field Reporting: Wine Country Writing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4482] [Field Reporting: Wine Country Writing]
    (same as SCI_AG_J 4482). Students will examine wine culture, agricultural issues in the vineyard, wine trends, the historical context of wine and Missouri settlement, and more. Come ready to shape articles into sharp focus and make them fresh with input from fellow student critiques. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: JOURN 2100
  • JOURN 4650 International Issues and the Media: (3)
    [JOURN] [4650] [International Issues and the Media]
    An advanced professional seminar on how to recognize, report and write about the domestic influence of international political, economic and cultural problems and trends. Prerequisites: JOURN 4450.
  • JOURN 4662 International Magazine Staff: (3)
    [JOURN] [4662] [International Magazine Staff]
    Online, radio, and print production for a converged media enterprise, Global Journalist. Students report, write, plan, edit, design, and produce an international magazine, radio program, and website while working under weekly deadlines. Prerequisites: Restricted to Journalism and Science and Agricultural Journalism majors. Instructor's consent required.
  • JOURN 4700 Participatory Journalism: (3)
    [JOURN] [4700] [Participatory Journalism]
    Examination of the emerging forms of information delivery by computer and related convergence of print and broadcast media. Students gain practical experience in the production of an electronic information delivery product. Prerequisites: JOURN 2100 and one of the following: JOURN 4400, 4450 or instructor's consent.
  • JOURN 4716 Women and the Media: (3)
    [JOURN] [4716] [Women and the Media]
    (same as Women's and Gender Studies 4716). Focus on portrayal of women in American mass media. Other goals: historical perspective on women as journalists; exposure to issues usually not covered by mass media; research and writing skills. Prerequisite: instructor's consent.
  • JOURN 4806 Convergence Editing and Producing: (3)
    [JOURN] [4806] [Convergence Editing and Producing]
    Practice and theory of editing and producing material for publication or broadcast in a converged environment. Students produce media for multiple outlets. Prerequisites: Journalism [JOURN] 4804, junior standing and instructor's consent. Graded on A/F basis only. Restricted to Journalism and Agric Journalism majors only.
  • JOURN 4940 Internship in Journalism: (2)
    [JOURN] [4940] [Internship in Journalism]
    Credit for approved employment in journalism. Specifications for this course appear in the Undergraduate Catalog. Prerequisite: Journalism students only. Graded on S/U basis only.
    • Internships are generally completed during the summer semester.
  • JOURN 4950 Understanding Audiences: (3)
    [JOURN] [4950] [Understanding Audiences]
    Focuses on the recipients of journalistic efforts by teaching students to identify, analyze and address media audiences. Students will learn a variety of research methods and gain hands-on experience with audience analysis through team-based practical projects. Prerequisites: JOURN 2000 and junior standing.

Upper-Level Non-Journalism Requirements

Upper-level non-journalism courses are meant to expand upon general education courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years. These courses can be used to meet dual degree or minor requirements from other academic units.

Special Course Enrollment Requests

Many journalism courses will require an enrollment request due to the hands-on nature of Missouri Method courses. Many of the courses in the magazine interest areas require placement in a media outlet. The professional nature of the work requires an additional level of screening prior to enrollment. Details regarding how to enroll in courses are listed in each course’s notes section in MyZou. The course enrollment coordinator, listed below, plays an instrumental role in the process.

Global Programs

Students can take advantage of extensive study abroad opportunities that include internships in international settings. Students in magazine interest areas commonly choose study abroad programs in London, New York and Italy. Short-term experiences of a few weeks to semester-long programs are available in a variety of countries. More information can be found by visiting Global Programs.

Resource Contacts

  • Course Enrollment Coordinator
    • The course enrollment coordinator is a key contact for course planning, scheduling and processing special enrollment requests for courses requiring faculty consent to enroll.
  • Faculty Advisers
    • Faculty advisers can help students interested in magazine writing with questions about course selection, careers and internships.
  • Undergraduate Advising Liaison
    • The advising liaison works closely with magazine writing faculty and staff to provide students with timely updates on courses and enrollment troubleshooting.