Civic Journalism and Social Justice

This Endeavor community will explore the ways that journalism has functioned as an instrument of social justice through the identification and publication of issues that include poverty, racism, health, religion, education, and other related topics. Students will study case histories in which journalists have brought public attention to important social concerns and the ways in which those concerns were resolved to bring about more just communities. As a community, we will identify contemporary issues of concern and undertake research through which we can apply basic journalism training to address specific social situations. Students will learn how democracy suffers when journalism does not flourish or is under attack. Students will also have practical experience in reporting the news through community-based learning in the City of Richmond.

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  • Coursework Overview

    The coursework for this Endeavor community involves taking a one-unit course in the fall semester and a half-unit course in the spring semester, both taught by Professor Mullen.

    Fall 2023 Semester Spring 2024 Semester
    FYS 100: Civic Journalism and Social Justice (1 unit) IDST 190:Civic Journalism and Social Justice Seminar (.5 unit)

    FYS 100 satisfies a general education requirement; students are required to take one first-year seminar (FYS) during each of their first two semesters at Richmond.

    IDST 190 is a half-unit project based course part of the Endeavor program.

  • Specific Course Information

    FYS 100: Civic Journalism and Social Justice

    In this course, students will learn that journalists don’t just report the news, they often have a responsibility to tell stories that inspire social change. This course explores the role and responsibility of journalism in identifying social issues and uncovering ways to resolve them

    IDST 190: Civic Journalism and Social Justice Seminar

    Students will write original news and feature articles for a micro-journalism outlets in Richmond that focus on civic issues. Northside Vibes is one such newspaper that covers what is considered a news desert in predominately African-American areas in north Richmond.

  • Faculty Information

    Professor Tom Mullen is the Director of Public Affairs Journalism for the Department of Journalism. He is also a member of the Chaplaincy Staff.

  • Roadmap Short Course Information

    As part of the Endeavor program, you will participate in the popular Roadmap to Success pre-orientation program, where you will take a short course led by Professor Mullen.

    Short Course Description: Fake News, Real Journalism

    Americans today face an increasingly bizarre and conflicting array of sources of information, falsehoods and factoids, coupled with an unprecedented assault on journalists and journalism. These assaults are ultimately an attack on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the right of people to obtain the information they need to remain self-governing. This short course looks at how to tell what is fake news and what is real, and why that difference is essential to a healthy democracy.