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Summer Intensives



Every class showcases several instructors, including a lead instructor, as well as expert guest speakers. When feasible and appropriate, we will organize visits to top New York City newsrooms. Students who complete each course satisfactorily will receive a certificate of completion.

Jim Estrin taking a picture with a point and shoot camera

PHOTO MASTERCLASS with James Estrin of The New York Times

Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10


James Estrin is the formidable co-founder and editor of the famed Lens photography blog at The New York Times and a senior staff photographer who was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team. James will have a number of guests joining him. During this intensive, hands-on week, you will learn how to edit and sequence a story, as well as promote your work and yourself. Class size is limited. You will:

  • Learn how to edit, sequence, present and promote your photographs
  • Learn about publishing and promoting work
  • Engage in daily group discussions and critiques
  • Focus on artistic and professional development
  • Hear from guest speakers, including master photographers and photo editors.
  • In-depth conversations and group lunches with master photographers and photo editors.
  • Bring a selection of your photographs for an initial portfolio review
  • Class size is limited
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced

Summer Intensive student taking picture of sanitation working on a Manhattan street

NYC: Reporting and Writing in New York City

Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 17


Covering a beat means reporting on a specific neighborhood, like Jackson Heights in Queens, or a segment of the population, such as new immigrants. It means delving deeply into that community to uncover untold stories. This two-week class focuses on reporting and writing but also touches on multimedia storytelling methods. You will:

  • Decide on a beat and learn to foster a relationship with that community
  • Identify story ideas from research, interviews and analysis
  • Learn to pitch stories
  • Master writing in terms of story elements, structure, grammar and color
  • Find and use data to enhance your storytelling
  • Maximize your smartphone for reporting
  • Use social media to engage your audience
  • Produce a ‘slice-of-life’ story
  • Report in New York City for your final project
  • Level: All levels

Photo of instructor and students in a classroom during a Summer Intensive course

SKILLS: Digital Journalism Skills

Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 31


Being a journalist today means being proficient in multimedia skills -social media, video, audio, data, and new tech. In this two-week class, you will learn to use digital techniques and new technologies to report on the streets of New York and produce visually compelling work that gets noticed online. You will:

  • Use your smartphone to interview, photograph, edit and distribute your New York City reporting
  • Take better digital photos, audio and video in all conditions
  • Maximize your use of social media for reporting and distributing
  • Produce engaging, short-form social media videos
  • Understand the basics of data analysis and visualization
  • Try out new tools and explore the storytelling possibilities of new technologies like 360-degree video, augmented reality, bots, etc…
  • Practice with frequent hands-on exercises and work on a final project to showcase your new skills
  • Level: All levels

Summer Intensive students working with a VR camera on the street

VIDEO: Video Shooting and Editing

Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 31

$2,179 (includes equipment insurance)

More than five billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. Master the art of making compelling video stories from theory to practice and from shooting to editing, using our professional equipment and guidance from a professional videographer. In this two-week deep dive, you will cover:

  • The state of digital video today
  • The building blocks of visual stories
  • How to shoot video with your phone
  • How to shoot and capture good audio and video with a Canon C100 camera
  • An introduction to editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC
  • An intro to Social video, VR/360 and drones.
  • You will make a short video during the course and we’ll have a screening party.
  • Level: All levels



Our registrants are free to make their own housing arrangements for their stay in New York City (hotel, airbnb, friend’s couch, etc…) or we offer an option to stay at The Towers, a student dorm at the City University of New York that is available to visitors during the summer. At cost. Space is limited.

Where are The Towers and how far is it from school?
It is located on the campus of The City College Of New York, a quick 20-minute subway ride to Times Square (where our school is located) on the A train.

What are the rooms like?
The accommodations are double rooms, which means you will share with another person who is also enrolled in the Summer Intensives program. Each double room has a bathroom and a small kitchen area. Towels and bed linens are provided but kitchen utensils are not. Please plan on bringing plates, silverware, pots, pans, etc., with you or plan to buy them in New York City.

When can we move in? When do we have to move out?
You are permitted to check-in the Sunday before your Summer Intensive course begins and must check-out the Saturday after the workshop ends.


Summer Intensives are open to any person, 18 or older, interested in learning new skills. Past participants have included undergraduate and graduate students studying communications, media and other related fields, as well as seasoned journalists, media professionals and educators. Participants have come from across the United States and from countries throughout the world.

What previous students said

I learned a lot from knowledgeable people. The classes were engaging and they taught me everything I wanted to know. Also, it was great getting to visit newsrooms to see first-hand how journalists work.”

“The instructor is just brilliant. His schedule for the course was just perfect. I liked the way he did the training for digital storytelling, the lecturers he invited for noon talks. And the daily assignments just helped me gain a deeper understanding for the sessions and made me feel productive during the whole course. I also appreciate other wonderful lecturers as well.”

“So grateful to John and all the other professors including the people who gave us the lectures. They were so generous to share their experiences and knowledge to us. Honestly, I know the journalism field more widely.”