Steven Brill ● ● (212) 332-6301
Fall 2017

DESCRIPTION:  This seminar – the core course for Yale Journalism Scholars – is for those interested in understanding the changing role of journalism, in coming to grips with the challenges and opportunities related to the business model of journalism in a digital, global age, and in learning the practice of journalism. Grades will be based on participation and written work, with an emphasis on the final project.

An emphasis will be placed on both imaginative and critical thinking as it applies to reporting and to creating ways and forms of telling a story so that it has maximum impact in a world cluttered with media and experiencing profound challenges to making journalism economically viable.

One or perhaps two extra (and voluntary) sessions will take place in New York City, so that students can meet with working journalists there.

I will meet with each student individually during the term as often as necessary in order to provide feedback, help with the final project, and (if requested) provide career guidance.

Guest instructors during two of the sessions will be Bob Woodward, Jill Abramson and a variety of successful journalists who took this seminar in prior years. 

Successful completion of this course and other aspects of the Yale Journalism Scholars program will qualify students to be designated Yale Journalism Scholars. For more information on the Yale Journalism Scholars and the Yale Journalism Initiative, see

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS:  The seminar is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In general, we are looking for a range of students – some with demonstrated commitment to and experience in journalism, others without that background but who can write well, want to learn, and perhaps have an added dimension to offer in class discussions (such as an intense interest in politics, the arts, law, or economics), which they might want to apply to journalism.


Each student must submit the following simple, two-part application package to I prefer that you submit the package by the evening of Monday, September 4, 2017.

If you want to submit your application earlier, you can submit it any time after August 15 – and in some cases I will admit students early who do so. If there are 15 well qualified applicants from among those applying early, I will send notice that the application process has closed as soon as it has.

However, if you first want to visit the introductory class on Friday, September 1 (which is the substitute for the regular Monday class because of Labor Day), that is fine.

ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE IN by 11:59 PM on Monday, September 4.  I will post with the English Department the final list of those accepted by Wednesday, September 6, if not earlier.

The two-part application should consist of:

  1. No more than two double-spaced pages: A written statement explaining your interest in the class and in the Yale Journalism Scholars program. This should also include your Yale class year, any previous writing courses that you have taken, a brief description of your extra-curricular activities and a description of your journalism experience.
  1. One writing sample – either an article that you have published in an on- or off- campus publication or something that you submitted for a class.


Printable version


Also PLSC 253.

Undergraduate Course #: 
M 9:00-10:50