Apply Now for Journalism’s 2021 Virtual Summer Course

February 17, 2021

The Humanities Council’s Program in Journalism invites you to join us this summer for an innovative course in which students will hone their reporting, writing and editing skills while covering history in the making. This fast-paced, six-week course will focus on reporting on migration, human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

JRN 461 (SA)
Reporting on Post-War Accountability and Human Rights in Europe’s Courts

July 12 – August 19, 2021

Application deadline: March 31, 2021

Apply now through GPS

About the Course
Students will immerse themselves in the details of a legal revolution playing out in European courts. Germany is leading the way with an unprecedented war crimes trial in Koblenz, where a former Syrian military commander has been charged with torturing more than 4,000 people and murdering at least 58 people.

The case results from a movement among survivors and lawyers to pursue justice under universal jurisdiction, which allows prosecution of war crimes regardless of the nationality or country of residence of the accused. Human rights activists have called on more nations to follow suit, with some success. Last summer, a court in Madrid convicted a Salvadoran colonel for the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador.

Students working over Zoom will meet and interview the key players in these cases and more. They will also identify local refugees or asylum seekers, delve into the conflict that produced an exodus and investigate the paths for accountability or lack thereof. Students in this course will gain experience in conflict reporting and deep insights into current events.

The class will meet four mornings a week, early enough to connect with European activists, legal specialists, journalists and court witnesses. All reporting will be conducted virtually and safely. In addition to reporting, the course will focus on writing and editing, with workshops and concentrated one-on-one conferences each week. Students will produce blog posts, profiles, case presentations and a final project that draws from local sources.

About the Instructor
The course’s instructor is Deborah Amos, Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence and veteran international correspondent for National Public Radio, whose reporting is featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and All Things Considered. The author of two books on the Middle East, Amos has won top journalism honors, including an Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, an Emmy and a Peabody.

The application for this course is available on GPS. Enrollment is by permission only. Students pursuing a journalism certificate are especially encouraged to apply. This course will fulfill the requirement for fieldwork experience.

Not open to seniors or graduate students.

Course Fee and Financial Support
The course fee is $2,000. All students can apply for financial support; priority will go to students pursuing a journalism certificate.

With questions or for more information about the course, contact Margo Bresnen, Journalism Program Manager, at

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