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Tufts OpenCourseware
The instructor uses a hands-on approach to aid students in the creative process.
Highlights of this Course

Through a film screening at the end of the semester open to the campus and the surrounding community, students in the class hope to elevate the dialogue on campus about important public issues and demonstrate the power of media to create an institutional culture of civic discourse. Here is an example of a student film created in the course. Please click here to see the full version of all of the films produced for this course. The Fall 2005 films, in particular, showcase the skills students have learned throughout the semester.

Course Description

This is an intensive, hands-on editorial and production course in which students pitch their ideas and then research, report, produce, shoot, write, and edit their own short documentary films on social issues affecting the local community, the U.S., or the world. Readings and discussions focus on current news, media ethics, media literacy, the declining credibility of the press, journalists? responsibilities to the public, social justice issues, First Amendment principles, corporate media ownership, media images of women and people of color, and the powerful role of media (TV news, documentaries, new media, digital storytelling) as tools for civic engagement and positive social change.

We will cover the basic principles and techniques of video journalism, including directing, lighting, camera work, composition, interviewing, and character development. The classroom will be run like a newsroom, working collaboratively under deadlines with editorial guidance from Senior and Executive Producers. Students work in production teams on their films. The aim of this course is to help students become media literate and to sharpen their skills as producers and consumers of news through screenings, critiques, and guest lectures by prominent journalists, filmmakers, activists, and policy makers.

This course is sponsored by the Communications and Media Studies program and the The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Please visit their websites for more information about the media studies program and related courses.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Roberta Oster Sachs
Course Length
77 Hours