The Master of Arts in Journalism: Media Innovation track was designed with a single goal in mind: retrain journalists to become digitally fluent storytellers.
The one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary program empowers journalists, both seasoned and newcomers, to think creatively about the future of the news, and provides the digital tools they need to thrive in today’s newsrooms. Based in Boston with its vibrant media and technology scene, students gain real world experience in newsrooms in the city and across the country through Northeastern’s Cooperative Education (co-op) program.
In the Media Innovation track we embrace this time of rapid change in our industry. We don’t have to reinvent journalism. We get to reinvent journalism.
Students choose a personally tailored area of study with focuses ranging from video, design, data, entrepreneurship, and game design.
Students hone and apply their storytelling skills within the School of Journalism with four required courses (16 credit hours):
- JRNL 6340 Fundamentals of Digital Journalism
- JRNL 6305 Telling Your Story with Data
- JRNL 6306 Media Innovation Studio 1
- JRNL 6307 Media Innovation Studio 2
Through elective courses (16 credit hours) students can focus on topics such as:
- Video: Students learn to become video journalists with courses in introductory video through documentary filmmaking.
- Game Design: Learn the fundamentals of game design that can help educate and bring awareness and empathy to social and political issues told through an interactive journalistic lens.
- Design: Courses in the Department of Art + Design introduce students to the elements of design, coding, and interactive design.
- Data Journalism: Classes both in the School of Journalism and the College of Computer and Information Science train students in gathering and asking questions of data.
- Data Visualization: Take courses from the Information Design and Visualization program where students learn to create data-based infographics, maps, diagrams, and charts.
- Entrepreneurship: Take courses in Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. These courses foster innovative, entrepreneurial thinking and prepare students to create their own ventures in media. Students study disruption, build business plans, and develop marketing strategies.
Sample Elective Courses:
- JRNL 5310 Photojournalism
- JRNL 6355 Seminar in Investigative Reporting
- ARTG 5100 Information Design Studio 1 – Principles
- ARTG 5330 Visualization Technologies
- GSND 5110 Game Design and Analysis
- GSND 6320 Psychology of Play
Media Innovation students need eight courses, 32 credits and a GPA of 3.0 to graduate.Course Descriptions
Portfolio of Stories
At the core of the program is the production of a series of stories told in digital form, often based around a theme and assembled as a collection. The pieces are produced in the two studio courses with the close guidance of faculty and can range from interactive documentaries and podcasts to data driven investigations.
Topics have included:
- Drug treatment programs for young mothers facing time in prison
- Male victims of sexual abuse
- Gentrification of a Boston neighborhood
- Investigation into a World War II lynching on an army base
- Evictions in an immigrant neighborhood of Boston
Students apply their skills and acquire new ones in full-time four to six month jobs, part of Northeastern’s internationally renowned Cooperative Education Program. Students can do a co-op in the summer after their first year of study or at another point in their studies.
Our students have had co-ops as part of The Google News Fellowship, at The Marshall Project, Yik-Yak, Public Radio International, and at WGBH among other media organizations.
Nine projects that came out of Northeastern’s Media Innovation program this year
Alexa Mills tells of the 1941 lynching of Pvt. Felix Hall in her multimedia piece featured in The Washington Post
Jorge Caraballo discusses his co-op at Google News Lab
View Adam Glanzman’s photo essay featured in The New York Times
Giluia Afiune reports on the evictions ahead of the Rio Olympics
Emily Hopkins talks about being a production intern at The Marshall Project
Meredith Berg writes about an effort to treat addicted moms for The Marshall Project
Storybench serves as a cookbook for digital storytelling. With contributions from both faculty and students, Storybench provides an under the hood look at the latest and most inventive examples of digital creativity – from data visualization projects to interactive documentaries to gamified journalism—as well as the tools and innovators behind them.
Jonathan Kaufman, Director, School of Journalism
Mike Beaudet, Professor of the Practice, School of Journalism
Jeff Howe, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism
John Wihbey, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism
Aleszu Bajak, Instructor, School of Journalism – Media Innovation
Dina Kraft, Instructor and Program Coordinator, School of Journalism – Media Innovation
Gladys McKie, Graduate Coordinator, School of Journalism
We believe in getting our students work out into the world. As students progress through the program we work with publishing partners, both national and local, to find the ideal outlet for publishing pieces.
Students have had pieces published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Marshall Project and Fusion.