Sh*t They Don’t Teach You In J-School: Reporting & Writing With an Anti-Oppression Lens

Cost: $395

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Whether you’re an experienced reporter or fresh out of school, you’ve likely run into situations where the way things are supposed to be done doesn’t exactly line up with how it feels they should be done. Instructor Caroline Rothstein learned plenty of vital practical knowledge while getting her master’s at Columbia J-School, from crafting a compelling lede to pitching the perfect story idea. But one of the biggest gaps she found once she got out into the field was how to report in a way that most respects and empowers sources, their identities, and their lived experiences—how to write with a justice, equity, and harm-reduction lens—including for stories that aren't specifically equity-related. Caroline learned that to do her job ethically, she needed to report like an organizer, especially in an inherently unjust world. If she wanted to tell unbiased stories, it meant interrogating her own internal biases in order to treat all of her sources fairly. And so, she applied everything she’d been learning in her many years as an educator, organizer and activist to what she was doing as a journalist.

She’s since adapted these learnings to her nuanced and hard-hitting stories for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Nylon, Hey Alma, Narratively and more. In this intensive four-week class, students will learn critical lessons from the worlds of organizing, activism and anti-oppression work. Students will explore how these lessons can be applied to their journalism, research and storytelling. Guest speakers, readings and assignments will push students out of their comfort zones and help them tackle some of the most challenging issues that arise from reporting in these unprecedented times. Each session will include time for students to ask questions about challenges they’re facing with their active reporting projects. Students will learn how to balance journalistic best practices with the need to create stories that challenge the status quo, and will develop a broad set of skills that can immediately be applied to any reporting project.

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This class is right for you if…

  • You’re working on a reported project that touches on delicate issues, and you want to be sensitive to how your writing may impact real people’s lives. 

  • You want to make sure everything you do as a storyteller balances your values with your journalistic integrity.

  • You want to strengthen your reporting skills, expand your justice and equity lens and tell stories that make a difference.

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All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Instructor Bio: Caroline Rothstein is an internationally touring and award-winning writer, poet, performer, educator and documentary filmmaker. Her work has appeared in Narratively, CosmopolitanMarie Claire, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Hey Alma and elsewhere. Caroline and her work have been featured widely including in The New Yorker, MTV News, The Chicago Tribune, CBS Evening News, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost, Mic and Newsweek. She tours year-round performing spoken word poetry, public speaking, facilitating workshops and teaching at colleges, schools, performance venues, summer camps, companies and community organizations worldwide. She has a B.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

“I call Caroline when I need to produce something stellar. She pushes me to develop my own ideas, gives me the confidence to believe in them and helps shape my writing in a fresh, compelling and poignant way. I love working with Caroline because our sessions are efficient, fun and engaging, and she doesn’t waste your time. I’m proud of everything I have written [under her guidance].” —Nicole M.

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Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

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MORE: Check out all of our upcoming Narratively Academy Classes here.