Since our launch in 2014, the Journalism + Design undergraduate program at The New School has become the second biggest major at the college and the fastest-growing degree at the university. Today, we have more than 80 J + D majors and hundreds of students taking our classes. Our professors come from the highest echelons of news, design, and technology, and we are starting to see our first graduates take on serious roles at news outlets around the country.
Since then, thanks to the generous support of the Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund, Journalism + Design has expanded beyond the classroom. Today we act as a hub for journalism’s vanguard, with an open-sourced curriculum, research projects, a podcast, increased publishing, public events, professional learning, and convenings. As always our lodestar is a design- and systems-infused practice of human-centered journalism.
Open-sourcing Our Curriculum
In spring 2018, J + D is releasing an open-source curriculum for journalism students and design students. This Open Education Resources (OER) effort, led by deputy director Allison Lichter Joseph and design lead Irwin Chen in conjunction with Katie Salen, a professor of game design and development at the University of California at Irvine, will include a variety of free, playful educational materials that instructors around the world can use, adapt, and remix. New School J + D faculty will continue to pilot innovative curricular materials.
Grappling with the Big Ideas
The crisis in journalism is a complex problem, and we’re going to contribute to the conversation.
In February, J + D is launching a new podcast featuring our founding director, Heather Chaplin, that will unpack the trickiest problems in journalism, bringing in a wide range of voices. Chaplin is also spearheading the Wicked Problem Project, an attempt to develop a 10,000-foot perspective on the “wicked problem” of the future of journalism and to identify levers for change. This project takes the form of dozens of interviews, a paper, blog posts, a mini audio series, public events, and multidisciplinary convenings.
We will also be publishing our thoughts and ideas about the messy problems of contemporary journalism — and the crisis in American democracy — here on the blog and around the web.
Public Events and Professional Learning
J + D produces public events to unpack the complexities of the contemporary journalism ecosystem. We pride ourselves on asking tough questions that challenge business as usual, and on developing new and playful forms for facilitating conversation and learning. We offer learning events for professionals and students aimed at opening people’s eyes to new approaches, such as design strategies for community engagement and systems thinking for beat reporters.