Skip to main content

Special Topic Classes

College of Journalism & Mass Communications Special Topics Classes

Register Now
bubble pattern

Special topic courses are new or emerging classes offered for three credit hours during a regular academic session - fall, spring or summer semesters.

Register in MyRed.

Spring 2022

ADPR 291.001 | 3 credit hoursKeeping Up with the Kardashian BrandTR 2pm-3:15pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

In our ever-connected society, you couldn’t escape the Kardashians if you tried. Their photos overload our newsfeeds, products fill our online shopping carts, and behavior dominates our conversations. This course will take a deep dive into the Kardashian culture that has dazzled the U.S. and globe for nearly two decades. We will explore how this powerhouse family has built an empire on celebrity, materialism, sexuality and aspiration through mastering branding, influence and social media. Digging deeper, we will seek to understand how the family’s media and financial success leaps across verticals, thriving amidst consumerism, appropriation and authenticity criticisms. We will consider and evaluate the Kardashian personal and branded social media successes and missteps that illuminate best practices for brands.

Faculty: Kelli Britten

ADPR 491/891.001 | 3 credit hoursDigital Motion GraphicsR 5:30pm-8:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Creating digital motion graphics and animation using compositing and animation software. Covers project creation, techniques, workflow management, and related post-production work.

*This section is for ADPR/SPMC/JOUR majors only. BRDC majors should enroll in BRDC 433/833

ADPR 491/891.792 | 3 credit hoursSocial Media Data Mining and AnalysisONLINE Jan. 18 - Mar. 11

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Social media provides a wealth of data that can generate invaluable insights for journalists, advertising professionals and public relations practitioners. Luckily, many social media companies share public data that can be harvested for free. This class teaches students methods to harvest Big Data from popular social media sites with R and other programs, analyze the data and write research reports/papers based on insights gathered from social media data mining and analysis.

*Students should have a basic understanding of statistics (such as measures of central tendency and dispersion) and be familiar with social media.

Faculty: Bryan Wang

BRDC 391.001 | 3 credit hoursAdvanced Audio Content CreationTR 3:30pm-4:45pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Advanced Audio Content Creation is designed to facilitate growth in audio theory, performance and production. Learn advanced skills in audio production including refined use of the voice, digital editing, use of sound effects, complex music editing, writing and audio content creation planning for a variety of audio platforms.

Prerequisite: BRDC 227

Faculty: Kaci Richter

JOMC 491/891.001 | 3 credit hoursThe News Business- Pathbreaking ModelsTR 3:30pm-4:45pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

In this course, you’ll learn how journalism organizations use non-traditional business models stay relevant in a media environment that’s constantly changing. Throughout the semester you’ll hear from leaders at news organizations across the country and make lasting connections with professionals in the industry. Interested in entrepreneurship or growing as a leader? At the end of the semester you’ll have conducted an entire case study on how to organize a business using a non-traditional business model of your choosing.

Faculty: Joe Weber

SPMC 391.003/JOUR 391.003 | 3 credit hoursSports PhotojournalismTR 2pm-3:15pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

This course will focus on capturing great storytelling moments of organized and competitive sports for the editorial market. Topics covered in the course will include how to prepare to cover an event, equipment needs, pregame and postgame workflow, editing on deadline and working as a team for complete coverage of a sporting event. Understand the strategies involved with covering sporting events as an individual photographer or as part of a team of photographers.

    • Capture and understand the distinction between sports action, sports feature, dejection photos, jubilation photos and sports picture stories.
    • Understand the in-depth processes involved with shooting, editing and submitting
    • storytelling photographs on tight deadline from sporting events.
    • Utilize skills to light sporting venues with large and small strobes and the ability to set up and use remote cameras.
    • Add more in-depth and quality sports photos that will help round out a student’s photojournalism portfolio.

Preferred prerequisites: JOMC 130s completed or DSLR camera proficiency.

Faculty: Shoun Hill

BRDC 391.002 | 3 credit hoursAdvanced VideographyTR 2pm-3:15pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Audiences watch an average of 16 hours of online video content weekly. Advanced Videography focuses on the use of current industry and experimental techniques in video editing and production. Learn advanced skills to improve the quality of your video production. This includes concepting ideas, storyboarding, video content creation planning for a variety of video platforms, live streaming, video editing techniques, postproduction effects, working with audio, and editing 360 video.

Preferred prerequisite: BRDC 269

JOUR 391.001 | 3 credit hoursNews Literacy: Trusting news in hyper-polarized eraTR 3:30pm-4:45pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Seventy-four percent of Americans can't tell the difference between real news and fake news-between fact and opinion according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. Nearly seven in 10 Americans said they worry about fake news being used as "a weapon." Almost two-thirds (63 percent) said the average person does not know how to tell good journalism from rumor or falsehoods. (Source: Pew Research Center) In the U.S. and abroad, anxiety over misinformation has increased alongside political polarization and growing fragmentation of the media. Faith in expertise and institutions has declined, cynicism has risen, and citizens are becoming their own information curators. All of these trends are fundamentally changing the way people arrive at the kind of informed opinions that can drive effective governance and political compromise. In this class, you'll learn how to detect and measure the bias, accuracy, and reliability of news stories you read, hear and watch every day.

Faculty: Barney McCoy

SPMC 391.004 | 3 credit hoursRacial Reckoning and Sports CultureMWF 12:30pm-1:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Sport is one of the few places in American society in which we find a confluence of race, gender, class, economics, politics, commerce, and popular culture. To study sport is to take a close examination of who we are and what we stand for as Americans and citizens of the world. We will use this broader context to study race and sport, in its historical and contemporary understanding. We will examine issues among a variety of institutions, including college and professional sports, the media, the sports business, and fans.

*There are only 10 spots open for non-honors students

Faculty: John Shrader

JOUR 391.002 | 3 credit hoursAdvanced MultimediaTR 12:30pm-1:45pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

This is a class that will focus on using more advanced multimedia techniques to tell stories. We'll use drones and mobile cameras on gimbals to tell stories from the Census about Nebraska. We'll show people the changing landscape through mobile videography and storytelling. We'll experiment with ways of explaining data and trends without overwhelming the audience with numbers. And we'll adapt our work to different platforms to examine what works on YouTube vs what works on TikTok.

*Students should take the Drone License Pop Up in the winterim session if they haven't already taken it. They should also remove all fear of experimentation and failure because those will be rewarded, not punished.

Faculty: Matt Waite

JOUR 491/891.001 | 3 credit hoursRacial Reckoning & Journalism: Omaha World Herald Depth ReportingMW 8:30am-9:45am

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

How do journalists report topics with a nuanced understanding relationships between race and social justice, topics such as education, criminal justice, transportation, and community issues. The course will analyze the roll the Omaha World Herald has played in the state's history through archival research and multimedia storytelling.

Required prerequisite for CoJMC students: JOUR 200B

Required prerequisite for non-CoJMC students: Junior standing

Permission code required. Request a code here.

Faculty: Shoun Hill, Joe Weber

Additional Elective Options

ADPR 488 | 3 credit hoursMedia Sales and PromotionTR 12:30pm-1:45pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Techniques for print and electronic media sales and promotion. Rate structures, legal requirements, and social and economic effects.

Faculty: Kern Dant
Contact your adviser with questions
Andrea Gaghagen portrait

Andrea Gaghagen
Assistant Director of Advising
402-472-3074
agaghagen@unl.edu

Anne McCloskey portrait

Anne McConkey
Academic Adviser
402-472-3041
anne.mcconkey@unl.edu

Bridgett Grant portrait

Bridgett Grant
Academic Adviser
402-472-3042
bgrant2@unl.edu

Karez Hassan portrait

Karez Hassan
Academic Adviser
402-472-9853
karezhassan@unl.edu