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Creative Technologies in Digital Journalism


This program provides an introduction to and experience in diverse forms of public communication that draw on journalistic traditions that are being transformed by digital platforms and data driven communication. This certificate includes a formal exchange component with Griffith University in Australia.

Admission Requirements

A student in any faculty at SFU may declare this certificate through the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology. Normal university grade point average requirements apply for entry into all FCAT courses.

Program Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 23 units, including core creative technologies courses, elective courses in digital journalism at SFU, and additional coursework in digital journalism at Griffith University.

Core Courses

Students will complete two of

CA 130 - Fundamentals of Film (4)

Introduces students to the basic components of filmmaking through lectures, film screenings and creative projects in the various media that combine to form cinema. A laboratory fee is required. Students should be advised that course activities may require additional costs. Prerequisite: Prior approval through formal application. Students who have completed CA (or FPA) 132, 133, 134 or 230 may not take this course for further credit. Students with credit for FPA 130 may not take this course for further credit.

CA 149 - Sound (3)

Introduction to acoustics, psychoacoustics, sound synthesis, audio sampling and signal processing, and sound production in general as relating to music, film sound, radio, new media, art installations and live performance. Students who have taken CA (or FPA) 184 cannot take CA (or FPA) 149 for further credit. Students with credit for FPA 149 may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
OL01 Stefan Smulovitz
CA 150 - Introduction to Acting (3)

An approach to the elements of acting for non-theatre performance majors. Work will include development of individual powers of expression - vocal, physical, intellectual, imaginative, and emotional. Students with credit for FPA 150 may not take this course for further credit.

CA 160 - Introductory Studio in Visual Art I (3)

A hands-on studio course modeled on the progressive development of artistic practice from simple mark-making to full scale installation. Through a process of continuous transformation, an original idea is developed in a sequence of methods, materials and scales. Some research is required. A course materials fee is required. Students with credit for FPA 160 may not take this course for further credit.

CMNS 226 - Digital Media Communication Techniques (3)

This course introduces students to a variety of digital media communication technologies and techniques, including image and sound capturing and manipulation, Internet-based publishing and research, digitizing, editing and archiving. Design and management tasks involved in communicating using digital media are also introduced, including audio and video editing and processing, data integrity management, file structuring and packaging, and work presentation. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-. CMNS 220 recommended.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Christopher Jeschelnik
Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
SSCK 8652, Burnaby
D101 Tu 9:30 AM – 11:20 AM
SSCK 7651, Burnaby
D102 Tu 9:30 AM – 11:20 AM
SSCK 7655, Burnaby
CMNS 253W - Introduction to Information Technology: The New Media (3)

An introduction to new communication/information technologies, seen as new media of communication: the technologies, their uses, and the social issues arising from them. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-. Students with credit for CMNS 253 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
OL01 Layla Cameron
IAT 202 - New Media Images (3)

Explores the computational nature of technology as applied to contemporary art and design. It is a studio-based, media production course that explores new forms of art and design that are mediated by or modeled after computing processes as opposed to transforming or digitizing existing forms. Prerequisite: IAT 100 with a minimum grade of C- and a minimum of 21 units. Breadth-Humanities.

IAT 235 - Information Design (3)

Introduces theory and practice of designing visual representations of information. Students will learn to visually translate textual, numerical and evidentiary information so that it can be communicated to diverse user communities and contexts. An emphasis will be on understanding how the meaning of images can change over time and across contexts and cultures. Beginning with photographic images, interactive charts, graphs, and maps, projects progress to more complex information in media forms ranging from advanced aspects of the web to interactive 3D visualizations. The relationship between visual display is explored in relation to its technology of creation, including code and information architecture. Prerequisite: Completion of 21 units and IAT 102 with a minimum grade of C-.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
SRYC 3310, Surrey
D101 Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
SRYC 3300, Surrey
D102 Th 5:00 PM – 6:50 PM
SRYC 3300, Surrey
PUB 101 - Publication of Self in Everyday Life (3)

An exploration of how social media have transformed social behaviour (presentation of self) into proto-publishing (publication of self) by encouraging greater public participation in publishing in all forms of publishing in society. Using online tracking to discern practices, attention is given to how social media contribute to the social identities of participants and how they affect social interaction.

PUB 201 - The Publication of Professional Self (3)

Social media are transforming the public behaviour of organizations into publishing activities focused on the management of their social identities. In the context of emerging conceptual frameworks, students will learn about, track, and discern social media practices, and then develop and implement strategies for interactions of organizations with governments, partners and rivals, consumers, citizens and society. Prerequisite: PUB 101.

Digital Journalism Courses

Students will complete at least two of

CA 390 - Filmmaking IV (4)

This course includes a series of technical workshops, screenings and seminars along with the completion of creative student projects. A laboratory fee is required. Project costs may require personal funding over and above the lab fee. Prerequisite: CA (or FPA) 231 or approval of instructor. Students with credit for FPA 390 may not take this course for further credit.

CA 393 - Filmmaking V (4)

Students are encouraged to challenge conventional notions of digital media and to explore the creative possibilities associated with contemporary media applications. This project-based course includes a series of technical workshops, screenings and group seminars. Students will initiate and complete a project of their own choosing; collaborations are encouraged. A laboratory fee is required. Students should be advised that project costs may require personal funding over and above the lab fee. Prerequisite: CA (or FPA) 390 or approval of instructor. Students with credit for FPA 393 may not take this course for further credit.

CMNS 235 - Digital Democracies (3)

Introduces students to the study of the relationship between public communication, information media practices and structures, and democracy. Examines the role of media and communication in existing and emerging democratic contexts, including print and electronic journalism, alternative media, public spheres, and the challenges of constructing and maintaining a democratic media and communication environment in Canadian and global contexts. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-.

CMNS 325 - Visualization and Visual Culture in Communication (4)

Investigates both theories and techniques of visualization design, visual culture, and visual communication. Themes covered in the course include: theories of visualization in relation to communication studies; methodologies for studying the interplay of technology, culture and media in visual studies and visual communication design; analysis of imaging conventions and innovations in the context of contemporary global communication; and visual communication in diverse cultural contexts. This is a laboratory-based course, requiring the completion of practical assignments that apply the ideas and theories presented in lectures and readings. Prerequisite: 60 units including two CMNS, IAT or FPA upper division courses, both with a minimum grade of C-. Students with credit for CMNS 387 offered with subtitle "Visualization" may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.

CMNS 326 - Applied Media Workshop: On the Hill (4)

This laboratory course provides an opportunity for students to produce the School of Communication's web-based news magazine and documentary program 'On The Hill'. Students will draw on their understanding of public communication in democracies and media analysis skills to create new and innovative visual and aural journalism. In addition, students will learn to build teamwork skills as they produce segments for the shows in groups. The course seminars will emphasize communication design, and the social and ethical issues which arise when working with documentary and news material for public dissemination. Prerequisite: CMNS 226 or 235, with a minimum grade of C-; or permission of the instructor.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Christopher Jeschelnik
Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
SSCK 8652, Burnaby
D101 Tu 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
SSCK 7651, Burnaby
D102 Tu 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
SSCK 7655, Burnaby
CMNS 331 - News Discourse as Political Communication (4)

An examination of journalism and the news media as a set of institutions with important political and ideological roles. The course overviews theoretical perspectives and applies selected theoretical concepts to such topics as: influences on media content, how news generates meaning, ideological aspects of media frames, and the evaluation of journalism's performance in relation to normative expectations of democratic political communication. Prerequisite: At least one of CMNS 235 or 240, with a minimum grade of C-.

CMNS 425 - Applied Communication for Social Issues (4)

An advanced seminar in applied communication that focuses on the research and strategic design of media messages, campaigns and programs for public awareness, education, and social change. This course involves the application of theories and approaches in critical media analysis to the tasks of media design and media use for public understanding, engagement and participation around social issues. Prerequisite: 75 units, including CMNS 221 with a minimum grade of C-; and one of CMNS 201W (201 or 260), CMNS 202 (or 262) or CMNS 261, with a minimum grade of C-.

CMNS 426 - Video Design for Social Communication (4)

This workshop examines the growing role that video is playing in a variety of public relations, industrial, advocacy and educational contexts. The emphasis of this course is on issues of communication design in relation to the goals and values in specific communication forums. Prerequisite: 75 units, including CMNS 226 with a minimum grade of C- and two of CMNS 220, 326, 358, both with a minimum grade of C-.

IAT 313 - Narrative and New Media (3)

Explores the role of narrative in various media and New Media environments, from traditional linear environments and multi-linear and networked media environments. Examines the relationship of narrative elements in the light of the practice and the aesthetics of New Media. It will include an overview of New Media theorists. Prerequisite: Completion of 48 units.

IAT 344 - Moving Images (3)

Reviews and consolidates the fundamentals of digital video production, including camera and composition skills, the role of sound, lighting, and continuity and montage editing. Students will review and analyze works from traditional cinema and from contemporary digital video. The course will reinforce fundamental skills and extend the student's abilities to use a range of digital production, post-production, and presentation techniques. Prerequisite: Minimum of 48 units and IAT 202 with a minimum grade of C-.

PUB 210W - Professional Writing Workshop (3)

University-level skills and practice in writing clear, concise, logical, and direct text suited to particular purposes. Students will learn to assess the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, occasion) and identify the appropriate style, tone and format of writing for the situation, in writing reports, instructions, proposals, and presentations in both print and online environments. Students who have credit for PUB 210 may not take PUB 210W for further credit. Writing.

PUB 212 - Public Relations and Public Engagement (3)

A critical and applied approach to theories and practices of professional public engagement, with a focus on public relations. This course is problem-centred and issues-driven, and emphasizes the development of knowledge and skills of effective and strategic professional public engagement across a wide range of current and emerging media technologies, platforms, and communication environments. Prerequisite: 25 units; PUB 210W highly recommended.

PUB 332 - Graphic Design in Transition: Print and Digital Periodicals (4)

An in-depth study of the design methods fundamental to periodicals in print and in digital media. Students evaluate, and engage in the design and repurposing of publications, exploring current practices of content delivery online and through mobile devices. Emphasis is placed on innovative methods and design practices for screen-based publishing. Prerequisite: PUB 231.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
B100 Sessional
B101 Sessional
We, Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
HCC 2960, Vancouver
PUB 448 - Publishing and Social Change: Tech, Texts, and Revolution (4)

An exploration of the relationship between publishing and social change, both historically and today. This seminar explores the history of publishing and revolutions - democracy, science, abolition, feminism - as well as how students can use publishing techniques and skills to advocate for social and political issues in which they are engaged. Prerequisite: 60 units. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.

PUB 458 - Journalism as a Publishing Problem (4)

Technological change is affecting the media and traditional publishing by disrupting its business model, methods of dissemination, and control. Students will gain foundational skills to begin to understand and evaluate these new publishing models with a specific focus on content, audience, and revenue creation. Prerequisite: 75 units. Students who have taken PUB 480 under the title "Journalism as a Publishing Problem" may not take this course for further credit.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Sessional
Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
HCC 1415, Vancouver

International Component

Courses will be completed at Griffith University.

Students will take one of

2506LHS - Global Journalism, Media and Communication


2521LHS - Data Journalism

and at least two of

1531QCA - Making Visual Media

1703QCA - Ideas in Interactive Media

2515LHS - Media Relations

2686QCA - The Photographic Message

2652QCA - Intro to Photo Media Practice

Remaining units needed to bring total units to 23 should be chosen from Digital Journalism Courses section.