Learn about the New Media Courses at UC Berkeley

Our New Media courses include an intensive combination of skills, practice, and intellectual rigor for not only producing richly engaging digital content, but understanding the nature of the web and how it works.

This is a course sequence for students wishing to specialize in New Media at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Many of the classes are open to everyone at the school. But in order to gain a specialization, we require students doing a master’s project in New Media take several of our skills-based courses depending on their specific area of specialty.

A qualifying New Media master’s project can be:

  1. A multimedia story that has multiple segments or elements with an intuitive navigation scheme and compelling overall design;
  2. A continuously published news site or blog featuring original and curated content,
  3. A prototype for a new concept or innovative idea related to digital journalism, performed as a research project and submitted as research paper with appropriate source citations.

Our New Media specialization currently focuses in the areas of New Media Visuals, Interactive Web Development, and Data Journalism. We may be expanding to include entrepreneurial journalism and social media journalism in the future.

Prospective students interested in applying to our program, please visit the official admissions page of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Data Journalism Future Storyforms Advanced Coding Interactives Data Visualization Coding Interactives J283: Video Reporting These are 3rd semester classes for New Media students refine their skills in preparation for their master’s project. Priority enrollment is given to students specializing in New Media. NEW MEDIA COURSE SEQUENCE J200: Intro to Reporting J282: Intro to Visual Journalism J215: Web Skills J298: Public Records and Data Reporting J222: Interactive Narratives Seminar This is a 2nd  semester course required of all New Media students. It is open to students pursuing other concentrations of journalism. These are 1st  semester required courses that everyone in the school is required to take regardless of concentration. J216: New Media Master’s Project Seminar This is a 3rd and 4th semester class open only to New Media students. It allows students a structured workshop to perform their master’s project. In addition to Interactive Narratives, New Media students are also required to take one or more of these classes in their 2nd  semester depending on their area of specialty.

Intro to Visual Journalism

This is a required course to help all students gain a literacy in visual journalism, which includes photography, video, and design. As information on the web is often communicated through pictures and sound, it becomes necessary for students to speak a more visual language when creating content for the web. Intro to Visual Journalism is also taught by several instructors spread among a variety of disciplines at the school.

Web Skills

This is a required mini-course that is only five sessions long, taken at the end of the first semester. It teaches students about HTML and CSS and the theories that underlie the semantic structure of the web. Students learn about markup content, create an HTML document, then later style it with CSS to build a basic website.

Interactive Narratives

This is a seminar course open to the whole school, but specifically required for New Media students. In this class, students will study how to combine multiple media forms into cohesive narratives. They must take into account the nature of each form — the cognitive load, the learning curve, the various senses it stimulates — and learn how to combine these into various narrative forms (linear and non-linear) to deliver maximum impact. This is not a production course so there won’t be any reporting assignments. This is by design to allow time to do work in other production-based New Media classes that are held the same time.

Data Journalism

Students in this course will be introduced to the concept of data driven journalism with a strong focus on its use in investigative journalism. They will explore ways to obtain data, use tools to analyze and clean data and learn how to deploy these tools and workflows in their work. They will be introduced to basic concepts in making public record requests for electronic data, using optical character recognition scanning, and building data sets. They will learn a basic commands of spreadsheets and will be introduced to database management software.

Data Visualization

This is a class in finding and telling visual stories from data. It covers fundamental principles of data analysis and visual presentation, chart types and when to use them, and how to acquire and interrogate data. Students make static and interactive charts and maps using free software. There will be some coding, but no prior experience is required. The emphasis is on gaining practical skills that students can apply in a newsroom setting.

Intro Coding Interactives

This is a class that teaches students how to build multifaceted online news packages. Students will construct web presentations that combine multiple media forms, and learn how to design a longform story in a way that connects each piece into a cohesive narrative structure. Students will learn the technical skills for building web packages — HTML, CSS and jQuery — as well as design concepts for presenting content on different devices, with emphasis on how each medium influences the content. This is a production class where students will have to build a news package on a real news story they reported on. Students in this class are encouraged to take a complementary reporting class like New Media Visuals.

Advanced Coding Interactives

This is the next step in those wanting to learn coding and producing interactive stories for the web. Students will learn JavaScript, as well as general programming fundamentals. These skills give students tools for conceiving new and innovative ways for telling stories. Some of these examples are interactive videos, animations, data visualizations, or news games.

New Media Visuals

This is the next step after Intro to Visual Journalism for those who want to go into New Media forms of visual storytelling. This includes web video, but also design, experimentation and innovative forms of journalism. This is a production class, and students will be reporting a story to be produced as a final project.

New Media Master’s Project Workshop

This is our capstone course where New Media students will workshop their master’s project in preparation for graduation. A typical New Media master’s project is an in-depth piece of journalism that demonstrates their proficiency in both reporting and production of digital journalism. This class is open only to students specializing in New Media.

Other Courses

Other courses taught by New Media faculty are:

Animating The News is a mini course that teaches students about illustration and motion graphics. This could be as simple as text moving on the screen (called kinetic typography), or creating mini-narratives through illustrations, drawing or other artwork. Student will learn Adobe After Effects.

Future Storyforms is a course that explores emerging platforms like virtual reality, POV, mobile devices, augmented reality, and other forms of immersive storytelling.