ENG 332

Creative Writing II: Advanced Reporting Topics

An upper-level reporting class for students who have taken News Writing and Editing or have written for a student publication. Students will study specifics forms of journalistic writing. Offerings might include feature writing, profiles, investigative journalism, magazine feature writing, or reviews and criticism.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Spring Semester information

Miranda Spivack

332A: Advanced Reporting Topics: Covering the Uncovered

In Greencastle, Indiana, more than two dozen children are homeless on any given night; some say the number is as high as 90. At a diner on the outskirts of town, a group of older men gather almost every morning for breakfast, lamenting the high cost of prescription drugs. At nearby manufacturing plants, which began to fill the employment gap when IBM announced on Veteran's Day in 1986 that it would leave Greencastle forever, there are jobs - but starting pay is about $11 an hour. This class will embark on a journalistic journey of discovery and illumination, as we look for hidden stories that tell a larger truth about people throughout the United States who feel left out and left behind. We will combine shoe-leather reporting and narrative storytelling to produce a body of work that should shed light on life in America today - and possibly uncover solutions to problems that face many communities.

There is a tendency among many in the United States and elsewhere to blame those who are homeless, or mentally or physically ill, and ignore the policies and decisions that may have informed their current state. This narrative reporting class will examine policies and politics that affect homelessness, mental illness and health care, and attempt to understand their consequences on communities and individuals. Students will produce stories about what works, what doesn't, what is broken and what can be fixed. We will tell the stories through the eyes of many different people and institutions, including those who are homeless, physically or mentally ill and without health care. We'll mine for data, explore trends, analyze policy and budgets. We hope to shine some light on what is a very dark and mysterious world, and see if we can find new ways of solving old problems.