Course Closeups Journalism Program News Television

Welcome to the Newsroom

After graduating from college, many people feel their undergraduate experience didn’t prepare them for what the workforce would be like. Lectures, tests, quizzes, and papers are all powerful learning tools but they can’t teach students experience. 

In Studio News Production, which is offered every fall semester, Professor Sissel McCarthy simulates a working newsroom. With her many years of experience in broadcast journalism, McCarthy teaches her students how to operate and run a hyperlocal news program. 

“Students actually get to be journalists,” she says. “They produce, anchor, and report for our newscast Hunter News Now and they do it on their own.” McCarthy is there to guide them and put out fires, “but this is a student-run broadcast,” she says. The motto for the class is that students are “newsroom ready” by the end.  

The class was first offered in 2018 and launched the Hunter News Now show, which can be seen on the Hunter Journalism YouTube channel. Each student shifts roles each week, getting the opportunity to work both in front of and behind the camera. 

In the past, the news team from studio production worked closely with Peter Jackson’s “tech-terns,” who ran point on the technical direction. This year, Hunter is offering Advanced Studio Production, taught by Professor Gail Yancosek, a class that allows students to call the shots behind the scenes and operates like a real-world control room. 

Newscasts are filmed biweekly throughout the semester and then critiqued by a working broadcast journalist. Not only does the feedback aid in understanding what professional expectations will be for soon-to-be journalists, it also serves as an opportunity to share their work and network with working journalists from organizations such as Insider, WNBC, and NY1.

McCarthy says that many of her students have described the course as life changing. Often they are unsure about what they want to do after graduation, and for most aspiring journalists print is the go-to. 

“This class is eye-opening and unlike any other class I’ve ever taken,” says senior Lucas Nguyen. He says that taking on unfamiliar roles has given him confidence, and helped him see that he likes aspects of the media industry he may not have expected to. 

Students may even take the course twice, a rarity for any college course. Those who do take it not because they failed the first time, but because they thrived and want to learn even more. 

Our Journalism Concentration & Minor

The Hunter College journalism program is offered as a concentration or a minor within the Department of Film & Media Studies. Its curriculum is built around production courses in journalism and analytical courses in media studies. Learn more about our course requirements.

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