JRN355 Writing at the Margins

Lead Faculty: Dr. Sara Ellen L. Amster

Course Description

This course examines the social welfare beat, covering the segment of American society that relies on the government and private charities for basic survival. This beat is often challenging for reporters because of privacy considerations and fear of social stigma that can make authorities reluctant to allow interviews or access to the places where the poor live. Students focus on intractable social dilemmas such as welfare reform, homelessness, child abuse and neglect, drug dependency, and mental illness. Students plan and orchestrate projects on issues that they wish to learn more about or delve into the charitable agencies that seek to bring assistance and attention to disenfranchised groups.