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Special Topic Classes

College of Journalism & Mass Communications Special Topics Classes

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

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Summer 2021

JOMC 491/891.101 | 3 credit hours Experiences and Responses to Colonialism & Racial Injustice in Kenya & South Africa ONLINE May 17 - June 4

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Engage with historical and present-day issues of racial injustice and oppression in Kenya and South Africa. Get a first-hand account of South African anti-Apartheid activism with former Robin Island prisoner Lionel Davis. [Mr. Davis served several years alongside former President and anti-Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela]. Learn from Mau Mau veterans on the struggle for independence in Kenya. [The Mau Mau movement was a nationalist armed peasant revolt that was formed in the early 1950s to rise against colonial rule in Kenya]. Engage with local Kenyan and South African artists, students, media practitioners, and academics for a closer look into how various groups were and are still responding to social injustice.

Faculty: Dane Kiambi

ADPR 491/891.202 | 3 credit hours Social IntelligenceONLINE May 17 - July 9

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Every day millions of people across the globe discuss brands on social media, write reviews, post on reddit and YouTube and share their life experiences online. These online posts are key signifiers for businesses, brands and organizations to utilize social listening to track, analyze and respond to what's being said about them. Social listening allows businesses and organizations to track online sentiment, adjust strategies in real time, provide the best customer service, identify influencers, gain insight on their competitors and even find new sales leads. This course will equip you with the strategies and tools needed to establish a social listening program to achieve business and organizational goals.

Faculty: Tyler Thomas

JOMC 291.501 | 3 credit hours | June 7 - July 9 Black Lives Matter and the Media: A Global MovementWeb Conference MTWR 2pm - 4:15pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

This course will examine mass media’s coverage of the impact of a worldwide crusade against violence, systematic racism and police brutality towards Black people. After laying a foundation of racial inequality in the U.S., learners will investigate and consider social issues, systemic racism and inclusion movements in Canada, Ecuador, Germany, Japan, South Africa and others.

Faculty: Trina Creighton, Marnie Nelson

JOMC 291.601 | 3 credit hours | 9am - 12pmPassport LNK: Exploring diverse culturesJuly 12 - August 12 | IN PERSON MWF

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Explore the many world cultures represented in Lincoln’s vibrant communities of refugees and immigrants through a variety of hands-on experiences. Learn why they came, what they offer and how aspiring communicators and storytellers can engage them.

Faculty: Michelle Hassler

Fall 2021

ADPR 491/891.791 | 3 credit hours The Fitness of Social Media: Wellness, Sports, and MindfulnessONLINE Oct. 25 - Dec. 17

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

This class explores the wellness of social media by theory and practice. Engage in research-based and practical assignments across platforms and apps to develop a balanced sense of the current and future uses of digital space for wellness, fitness, sports, mindfulness, and health. Understand platform-based wellness data collection and privacy regulations set forth by governments, states, and companies. Explore ethical guidelines and digital violence case studies. Survey wearable data collected, usage, and implications. Complete practice-based tasks on social media platforms focused on fitness, sports, mindfulness, meditation, wellness, and health. Document findings, insights, and recommendations for the platforms, users, and industry. Develop a case study report on a wellness platform, a social media influencer on that space, and propose wellness guidelines to be adapted based on those findings.

Faculty: Madeline Wiseman

JOUR 491/891.001 | 3 credit hoursDepth Reporting: Environmental ReportingMW 12:30pm-2:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Across Nebraska, thousands of residents are living in communities with contaminated drinking water. In this environmental depth reporting class, students will shed light on this problem by reporting on and producing longform audio stories on the environmental justice issue of pollution in drinking water in Nebraska. They will also take field reporting trips to gather sound and interview people. Students will learn about longform audio production as well as environmental reporting. This course will be co-taught by Jessica Walsh and Kaci Richter in partnership with NET, Nebraska’s NPR station.

Preferred prerequisites: JOUR 200A or ENGL 150/151

Faculty: Jessica Walsh

BRDC 491/891.001 | 3 credit hoursDepth Reporting: Environmental Podcast ProductionMW 12:30pm-2:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Across Nebraska, thousands of residents are living in communities with contaminated drinking water. In this environmental depth reporting class, students will shed light on this problem by reporting on and producing longform audio stories on the environmental justice issue of pollution in drinking water in Nebraska. They will also take field reporting trips to gather sound and interview people. Students will learn about longform audio production as well as environmental reporting. This course will be co-taught by Jessica Walsh and Kaci Richter in partnership with NET, Nebraska’s NPR station.

Preferred prerequisites: JOUR 200A or ENGL 150/151

Faculty: Kaci Richter

BRDC 491.002 | 3 credit hoursShort Form TV Series Pilot Writing & ProducingW 5:30pm-8:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

We are in a new golden age of television with more original programming available than at any time in history. With the internet and smart-phone applications giving ordinary people easy access to “broadcasting” themselves and their creations, we have seen the rise of self-made creators like never before. The UNL CoJMC SHORT FORM TV SERIES PILOT WRITING & PRODUCING class will instruct excited creators in their quest to write and produce an original short-form TV pilot (under 10 minutes). You will spend the semester learning everything a young writer/producer needs to know about how to plan a short-form TV series, write a pilot, tackle rewrites, experience a simulated writers room, shoot the pilot, edit it and cap it off with a screening of all the pilots produced.

Faculty: Michael Svoboda

ADPR 491/891.700 | 3 credit hoursSocial Media Data Mining and AnalysisONLINE

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

Social media provide a wealth of data that can generate invaluable insights for journalists, advertising professionals and public relations practitioners. While professional social media monitoring tools are available, they are often expensive and inaccessible to small businesses or organizations. Luckily, many social media companies share public data we can harvest for free. This class teaches students methods to harvest social media data with R and Python, analyze these data and write research reports/papers based on insights gathered from social media data mining and analysis. More specifically, students will learn to harvest data from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and TikTok. Data analysis techniques will involve topic modeling, sentiment analysis, social network analysis, machine learning, image analysis and multiple regression. While prior knowledge of R or Python is not required, students are expected to have a basic understanding of statistics and be familiar with social media.

Preferred prerequisites: ADPR 221, ADPR 283

Faculty: Bryan Wang

SPMC 391.001 | 3 credit hoursAdvanced Sports Feature WritingMWF 1:30pm-2:20pm

Open to All UNL Students. Register in MyRed.

This course covers advanced techniques in reporting and writing for sports media and will give students a better understanding of the theory and practice of advanced sports writing. Students will research and create sports features on sport-related topics, analyze published work and explore the journalistic and ethical questions that arise in the production of long-form feature stories, begin their own sports blog and write several articles, including two in-depth pieces. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course.

Preferred prerequisites: JOUR 200A, JOUR 200B or SPMC 250

Faculty: Jenn Sheppard

Grad Only Fall 2021

JGRD 891.791: News Engagement | 3 credit hours News EngagementONLINE Oct. 25 - Dec. 17

Learn how to engage today's distracted readers and viewers and better connect with communities to provide the important news and information they want and need. In this class, you will study the engagement practices and strategies of U.S. news organizations and learn how they connect with digital audiences across platforms.

Faculty: Kurt Gessler
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
402-472-3034
anne.mcconkey@unl.edu


Bridgett Grant portrait

Bridgett Grant
Academic Adviser
402-472-3034
bgrant2@unl.edu

Karez Hassan portrait

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