Department of Media, Journalism and Film Courses

The Department of Media, Journalism and Film (MJFC) prepares students for the media world of today and the future through core and cluster courses. The MJFC department draws from the fields of digital audio/radio, digital video/television, and film production, scriptwriting and reporting, and broadcast (i.e. radio and television), print, mobile and online news. The MJFC Department addresses current industry standards, technological trends of convergence and community needs, while meeting the university’s historical mission. The Department unifies several intellectual and creative strands within the School that share the common concerns of communicating in effective ways at the local, regional, national and global levels. Beginning in August 2013, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts specializing in media and Film, Journalism, and Interdisciplinary Studies (build a major) and a Master of Fine Arts in Film.
Award-Winning
The MJFC Department was created by combining programs from Howard University’s two ACEJMC-accredited Departments of Journalism and of Radio, Television and Film. The MJFC Department has award-winning, internationally and nationally renowned filmmakers, journalists, media producers, documentarians, and research scholars among its faculty and has strong ties with
major communications organizations. NABJ ranked HU’s journalism program as number one in the nation. The film program produced an elite Director’s Guild Fellow. The film program was named as one of the best university cinematography programs.

SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS  CORE COURSES

SCOM 120. DIGITAL MEDIA LITERACY. (3 credits) This course will equip students with the tools to access, analyze, evaluate and communicate messages in a globally-connected environment in a variety of platforms. This course will help students develop critical thinking skills to analyze message quality, credibility and point of view, as well as to understand the social, cultural and ethical issues that accompany the use of digital technology in communications.

SCOM 120   DIGITAL MEDIA LITERACY (3 Credits) This course will equip students with the tools to access, analyze, evaluate and communicate messages in a globally connected environment in a variety of platforms. This course will help students develop critical thinking skills to analyze message quality, credibility and point of view, as well as to understand the social, cultural and ethical issues that accompany the use of digital technology in communication.

SCOM 130   ETHICAL ISSUES IN COMMUNICATIONS (3 Credits) In-depth evaluation and analysis of ethical choices encountered by 21st century communicators and the impact of those choices in a larger political and social framework.

 

MJFC CORE COURSES

MJFC 101   INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATIONS (3 Credits) Explores the world of mass communication in its entirety and all critical efforts that affect this area. (Prerequisite SCOM 120 Digital Media Literacy)

MJFC 201. INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA PRODUCTION. (3 credits) This hands-on lab focuses on the application of appropriate software and hardware tools used in storytelling and design. Students are introduced to the latest methods and best practices in the use of text, graphics, audio and video. It would include hands-on training for Final Cut Pro (iMovies, Windows Moviemaker), Photoshop, Illustrator, ProTools (Audacity, Garageband, Premiere, etc) and Soundslides. Prerequiste MJFC 100 and MJFC 120.

MJFC 310   MULTICULTURAL MEDIA HISTORY (3 Credits) The political, social and economic history of broadcasting and film in the United States. Emphasis placed on technological, institutional and programmatic development, and their mutual influence on world culture. (Prerequisite Sophomore standing)

Audio Courses

MJFC 211 ANNOUNCING AND INTERVIEWING (3 credit hours) This lecture-laboratory course provides students with an understanding of the techniques and skills for producing effective audio for broadcast. Students learn to perform scripts for news, features, commercials and entertainment programming that can be aired on radio and/or the Internet. In pre-production and planning, production and post-production, students learn how to use the voice through the microphone, produce compelling audio interviews and create audio dramas. The course also explores radio broadcasting and production voiceover opportunities. Productions with exceptional broadcast quality may be published through the Howard University Radio Network. Prerequisite: MJFC 200 (3-0) F/S

MJFC 301 CO-CURRICULAR (1 credit hour) Students gain supervised, hands-on experience at one of the following Howard University media outlets, the Howard University Radio Network, including but not limited to WHBC 96.3 HD3 and glasshouseradio.com; HUNewsService.com; and 101Magazine.net. Prerequisite: None (1-0) F/S

MJFC 330 MULTIMEDIA AUDIO PRODUCTION (3 credit hours) This course provides students with basic knowledge of radio/audio storytelling and production techniques via practical experience for broadcast and Internet. Students work on projects designed to develop skills in audio writing, recording, editing, mixing and mastering techniques using digital audio software. The course also focuses on the science of sound and the history and business of radio. Exceptional productions of high quality will be published through the Howard University Radio Network. Prerequisites: MJFC 200; Audio majors are also required to take MJFC 211 (3-0 or 1-3) F/S

MJFC 331 AUDIO FOR TV & FILM (3 credit hours) This production course focuses on the techniques of recording sound for film and television and the post-production processes necessary to create the soundtrack. Students use microphones, separate digital audio recorders and digital audio software to capture sound on location and in studio. Working in teams, students cooperate to produce creative projects that build and/or enhance audio production skills. In pre-production, production and post-production, students develop an understanding of audio responsibilities for visual media; become familiar with the legal and ethical issues facing the industry and explore the effective use of sound to help tell a story. Prerequisite: MJFC 200 (3-0) F/S

MJFC 436-440 DIRECTED STUDIES: AUDIO (3 credit hours) Independent research or study, designed to help students pursue interests not served in formal courses. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and faculty/department permission. (Various) R

MJFC 410 AUDIO ENGINEERING (3 credit hours) Students explore the theoretical fundamentals of acoustics, electronics, synthesis, sound design in and for music production and digital audio recordings. Along with building vital academic proficiency, students acquire a strong foundation in the use of a digital audio workstation in a music production setting. Students will begin to develop and apply practical skills relating to studio construction, microphones, microphone placement, mixing consoles, recording and signal processors. Audio engineering involves an introduction to software-based recording systems with an emphasis on editing, arranging and mixing. Prerequisites: senior standing and MJFC 330 (3-0) F/S

MJFC 457 PRACTICUM-INTERNSHIP: AUDIO (1 credit hour) Continued ongoing work within the student’s chosen area of audio involving placement in a professional setting in a supervised internship. Prerequisite: MJFC 330 Multimedia Audio Production, senior standing.(Various) R

MJFC 462 UNDERGRADUATE THESIS: ADVANCED AUDIO PRODUCTION I (3 credit hours) An advanced study of production methods with an emphasis on studio training in producing multimedia and complete radio programs. Students learn advanced mixing and mastering techniques while creating projects with experimental audio. In-depth study and application of effects processing, dynamics processing, analogue routing and mixing, and mastering are studied. During various critical listening assignments, students will be required to write analysis and commentary. Students will be expected to produce an audio electronic portfolio that contains completed productions including audio for film, radio (commercial and non commercial) and multimedia audio for the web (podcasts, SoundSlides). Prerequisites: senior standing, MJFC 330 and MJFC 340. (Various)

Journalism

MJFC 100. FUNDAMENTALS OF JOURNALISM. (1 credit) Students learn writing rules/styles unique to journalism with a focus on Associated Press Stylebook, Yahoo! Style Guide, grammar, punctuation and mathematics for journalists.

MJFC 202. MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING. (3 credits) This course emphasizes reporting, writing and editing skills—the foundations of storytelling across media platforms. Students explore the techniques used to research and report complex social, political and economic issues with a focus on education, zoning and development, crime, courts and government operations. Students cover news beats and produce publishable content. Prerequisites MJFC 201.

MJFC 203. MULTIMEDIA AUDIO PRODUCTION. (3 credits) The course builds on skills acquired MJFC 201 to offer students an opportunity to build proficiency in reporting and scriptwriting, audio recording, editing and storytelling. This course provides students with the practical skills for writing for broadcast news and producing quality audio story packages for radio broadcast and digital distribution. Students practice reporting and producing techniques including researching, interviewing, sound recording, voicing, editing and mixing news feature packages under deadline. Students cover events on and off campus. Prerequisite MJFC 202.

MJFC 308. INTERACTIVE EDITING. (3 credits) Students master the essentials of editing across media platforms as well as critical thinking, research, conceptual skills along with the search engine optimization. Course includes traditional copyediting skills as well as text editing skills for broadcast. Prequesites MJFC 203.

MJFC 309. DIGITAL DESIGN. (3 credits) The class will introduce students to the principles of layout, design and production of newspapers, magazines, websites and other digital media. Students develop a discerning eye for good design and a competency in graphic communication through use of appropriate professional design software to create a portfolio of your best work.

MJFC 311. PUBLIC AFFAIRS REPORTING. (3 credits) Students explore how the federal government works and its impact locally and globally. Students cover beats and report on public affairs issues, taking advantage of Howard University’s setting in Washington, D.C. Prerequisites MJFC 202.

MJFC 411. SENIOR CAPSTONE. (3 to 6 credits) Required of all MJF majors. Students produce content for broadcast, radio and online platforms. Prerequisite MJFC 312.

TV and Film

MJFC 200   INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA PRODUCTION (3 Credits) This course is designed to introduce and test the student on video camera operation, basic lighting, basic audio, video editing and script format. Video projects will be uploaded to our website.   A class internship at glasshouseradio.com is required. A three-minute video project and a two-minute audio project are included in the final class projects. (Prerequisite SCOM 120 Digital Media Literacy)

MJFC 220   MEDIA PRODUCTION II (3 Credits) Theory and practice of the basic principles governing the disciplines of video and film. The primary concern of the course will be to understand photo-optics, the photochemical process and the television studio through exposing students to a variety of problem-solving exercises. (Prerequisites – SCOM 120 Digital Media Literacy; MJFC 101 Introduction to Mass Communications; MJFC 200 Introduction to Media Production)

MJFC 221   CONTEMPORARY TOPICS: RACE, GENDER AND MEDIA (3 Credits) Race, gender and class are socially and culturally constructed and represented in media.  As an introduction, this course examines the mass media as economic and cultural institutions that shape our social identities and are shaped by them.   This is accomplished through analyses of popular mass media including film and television.  Some attention will be paid to media producers and the media audience.  Using the techniques of reviewing personal experience, reconstructing knowledge and conducting media assessments, this course is designed to stimulate critical thinking and thoughtful discussion.

MJFC 222   DOCUMENTARY FILM CRITIQUE (3 Credits) This course offers a general survey of the history of American documentaries and teaches students to critically examine the modes, styles, elements, processes and techniques of documentary storytelling.  It explores what is documentary as well as ethical and legal considerations for the genre.  It examines varieties of approaches adopted by non-fiction filmmakers engaged in producing social documentaries focused on diverse political, economic, cultural, racial, social, personal, and historical attributes and topics.

MJFC 302   CO-CURRICULAR TV/FILM (1 Credit) Students get a supervised, hands-on experience at one of the following Howard University media outlets: The Howard University Radio Network which includes WHUR-Radio 96.3 HD1, WHUR-World 96.3 HD2, WHBC 96.3 HD3, glasshouseradio.com, H.U.R. VOICES Sirius XM Channel 141, HBCU Sirius XM Channel 142, and WHUT-TV. (Prerequisite MJFC 220 Media Production II)

MJFC 318 MEDIA PROGRAMMING  Survey of radio and television programs and on-the-air presentations, using advanced techniques in psychological and sociological principles of programming. Prerequisite MJFC 310 Multicultural Media History

 MJFC 331   AUDIO FOR TV & FILM (3 Credits) This production course focuses on the techniques of recording location sound for film and television and the post-production processes necessary to create the soundtrack. In this hands-on course, students use microphones, separate digital audio recorders and digital audio software to capture sound on location and in studio. Working in teams or groups, students cooperate to produce creative projects that build and/or enhance audio production skills. Working through the 3 phases of production: pre-production, production and post-production, students develop an understanding of the responsibilities of various professionals who work in the field of audio for visual media; become familiar with the legal and ethical issues facing the industry and explore the effective use of sound to help tell a story. (Prerequisite MJFC 220 Media Production II)

MJFC 340   SCRIPTWRITING (3 Credits)  This course serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of film, radio, and television script writing. The course will focus on character development, story outlines, treatments and narrative script formats for the web, film, television, and radio as well as commericials for radio and television. Students will finish the course with a short film script, webisode or 30 pages of a television pilot. (Prerequisites MJFC 200 Introduction to Media Production)

 MJFC 341   NON-LINEAR VIDEO EDITING (3 Credits) Editing Theory and History; Advanced FCP Proficiency – Post Production: From assembly to final mix. (Prerequisite MJFC 220 Media Production II)

MJFC 342   VIDEOGRAPHY (3 Credits) An intermediate course in video, studio and field production,, operations and techniques, editing and mixing. (Prerequisite MJFC 220 Media Production II)

MJFC 343     CINEMATOGRAPHY (3 Credits) Study of the basic principles governing the discipline of cinematography and the development of technical skills. Fall only. (Prerequisite MJFC 220 Media Production II) 

MJFC 344   TV DIRECTING (3 Credits) An intermediate course in video, studio and field production,, operations and techniques, editing and mixing. (Prerequisites MJFC 342 Videography)

MJFC 345     FILM DIRECTING (3 Credits) Students produce short narrative or documentary film projects to strengthen knowledge of the production process and practices in the chosen genre. Each student is responsible for breaking down the physical elements into playable steps with actors or producible steps for documentary film work. Class projects must demonstrate application of theoretical and artistic principles, unified into an organized system of visual and aural expressions. (Prerequisite MJFC 343 Cinematography)

MJFC 346     FILM ANALYSIS (3 Credits)  This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental elements of video and filmmaking, and to analyze how those elements are used together to create meaning.

MJFC 347     PRODUCING FOR TV AND FILM (3 Credits) This course provides the student with an opportunity to develop their ability to work as a creative producer in the independent film and television production sector, while furnishing the student with some key skills for obtaining employment in the film and television industry in a production capacity.

MJFC 420   DOCUMENTARY FILM PRODUCTION (3 Credits) This course is designed to engage the student in the actual conceptualization, planning and development, and execution of a short social documentary. Class will be conducted as a workshop, seminar and mentoring sessions on concept development, research, production and post-production for documentary as students pursue topics of interest to them. Because it will deal with the interpretation and translation of actualities of the real world into the medium of documentary television, this course is intended to carry the student through the rigors of production for documentary based on sound research. (Prerequisite MJFC 342 Videography or MJFC 343 Cinematography or MJFC 330 Advanced Audio or MJFC 316 Enterprise Reporting in Diverse Communities)

MJFC 421   BLACKS IN FILM (3 Credits) A survey of the history of the image of African Americans of film. Students will analyze the impact that these stereotypes have on society and on Blacks’ self-concept. The course will also examine the ways in which the images of Black people have changed (or been perpetuated) when rendered by African American filmmakers. Spring only. 

MJFC 422   FILM AND SOCIAL CHANGE (3 Credits) This course deals with critical perspective; the aesthetic as well as the ideological worldview of the films made by non-European filmmakers whose work has been categorized by cultural historians, as “Third cinema”.

MJFC 423   ADVANCED SCRIPTWRITING (3 Credits)  This course is designed for the advanced undergraduate student who has completed the required undergraduate Scriptwriting course. The student must present in class the first act of a feature length screenplay or 30 pages of a pilot for a Television series. An intense concentrated effort will focus on completing a first draft of the student’s three act screenplay or teleplay. (Prerequisite MJFC 340 Scriptwriting)

MJFC 441-455 DIRECTED STUDIES TV AND FILM (3 Credits) Independent research or study, designed to help students pursue interests not served in formal courses. (Prerequisites Junior or senior standing)

MJFC 458   TV PRACTICUM – INTERNSHIP(1 Credit) Continued ongoing work within the student’s chosen area of television involving placement in a professional setting. (Prerequisites – Senior standing and MJFC 342 Videography.)

MJFC 459   FILM PRACTICUM – INTERNSHIP (1 Credit) Continued ongoing work within the student’s chosen film area involving placement in a professional setting. (Prerequisites – Senior standing and MJFC 343 Cinematography) 

 MJFC 464(2) – 465(5) UG THESIS ADVANCED TV PRODUCTION (2 Credits) Independent study of advanced production techniques and principles, during which the student produces a major video product or studio production. The course will also broaden skills to include single camera production to facilitate the development of narrative television programs for broadcast and online distribution. Emphasis will be on taking creative program concepts from mind to screen with the technical mastery of equipment and facilities. (Prerequisite MJFC 344 TV Directing) 

MJFC 466(2) – 467(5) UG THESIS ADVANCED FILM DIRECTING (2 Credits) The focus of this course is to engage students with the technical as well as creative process of directing for film. On a very advanced level, students will learn how to interpret a classic literary drama by further translating such manuscripts into the medium of motion pictures. (Prerequisite MJFC 345 Film Directing)

Department of Media, Journalism and Film Courses
Course Information

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