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Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* JRN 441 (LA)   na, npdf

The McGraw Seminar in Writing - Covering Hostile Governments

William Englund

This seminar will focus on the tools journalists use to cover hostile governments. International correspondents face particular obstacles in writing about countries and governments that do not want to be written about. This course will explore how reporters--both inside and outside their respective countries--deal with efforts to avoid transparency and obstruct independent journalism. Students will write blog posts based on research, reporting, and aggregation. This is not about war coverage.

Sample reading list:
Suzy Hansen, Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad
Masha Gessen, The Future is History
Souad Mekhennet, I Was Told To Come Alone
Rob Schmitz, Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams
Columbia Journalism Review, "How Foreign Correspondents Use Chat Apps to Cover

Reading/Writing assignments:
6-8 hours of preparation per week, consisting of reading, reporting, and writing. Short- to medium-length writing assignments due every one to two weeks. One long-form final project due by Dean's Date (January 15). Bi-weekly individual meetings with professor required. Course may include a trip to a major news organization.

Papers - 70%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
If the course fills, you may email Margo Bresnen, Journalism Program Manager, at to be put on a wait list. Please include a paragraph explaining your interest in the course..

Other information:
Will Englund is a foreign assignment editor at The Washington Post, where he directs the paper's coverage of Russia, other former Soviet states, and East Asia. He has reported from more than 22 countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and previously worked for The Baltimore Sun and as a White House correspondent for National Journal. Englund has received a Pulitzer Prize and an Overseas Press Club Award. He is the author of March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution.

Reserved Seats:
Sophomores Only 6
Juniors Only 5


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22184 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm M   Henry House   16   Enrolled:8 Limit:16