This course is designed for early- to mid-career nonfiction writers, reporters, filmmakers and ‘digital journalists,’ or anyone looking to expand their work into new formats. For women journalists, changes in the ‘big media’ landscape and the proliferation of new digital platforms present exciting new opportunities. Yet many of the old challenges remain: how to get career momentum behind the ideas that are most important to you, how to create more space for journalism centered on “womens’ issues,” how to find time and funding for bigger projects, how to advance a career in competitive markets, and how to stay aware of alternative career strategies.
Students will have the option to workshop a current project, or to design a plan for a new one and move it from the concept stage onward, developing a strategy for research, marketing and fundraising according to the needs of the topic and format. Students are free to work on any nonfiction topic in any length/medium, from pitching short reported pieces/essays to developing the perfect blog to documentary film and book proposals.
The bulk of class time will be spent presenting and work-shopping drafts, pitches or research plans. The class will review and discuss three ‘case study’ examples of nonfiction work in different media (print and/or book, documentary, and digital/web, depending on students’ priorities), with the opportunity to meet with the authors/producers. We will also consider practical approaches to locating and pitching editors and for engaging confidently in the editing process. Beginning in the final third of the course, students will have the opportunity to meet with experienced journalists, agents and media executives regarding options and strategies for career advancement, skill development, and navigating the commercial side of journalism.
Nora Connor is a filmmaker and multimedia journalist with a background in labor and human rights organizing. She studied religion and anthropology at Columbia and got her journalism MA at NYU. She is the 2011 Luce Fellow in International Digital Religion at The Center for Religion and Media, where she is the international assignment editor at The Revealer.