Topics in Visual Journalism

Visual Investigations

Course Details

The rise of social media has brought with it an enormous amount of user-generated multimedia content that reporters often use as evidence in news stories and videos. It is crucial for journalism students navigating the digital age to be equipped with the skills necessary to discover and verify photos and videos on social media and convincingly present visual investigations to an audience and effectively neutralize misinformation on the platforms.

This course in visual investigations teaches students to build open-source investigations from the ground up using an array of techniques and digital research tools.

Over the course of the semester, students will learn how to discover, collect, and organize newsworthy photos and videos on social media platforms; verify these images using temporal and geolocation techniques (when and where a photo or video was taken);; utilize digital research tools like reverse image search, metadata analysis, flight trackers, and satellite imagery, among others; and connect with and communicate securely with social media based sources to protect their identity. They will also learn how to dissect newsworthy incidents by discovering and analyzing cell-phone and surveillance footage of an event taken from different bystanders and locations.

By the end of the course, students will have mastered the technical skillset required to pitch, design, and execute their own visual investigations.