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Journalism for Social Change (UCBerkeley course offering)

In a vibrant democracy, journalism and media have the power and responsibility to both inform and inspire the public to political action. Achieving this requires a deep understanding of current social problems and how policy is formulated, alongside the ability to tell that story in a manner that drives an otherwise apathetic public into action.


The goal of this online course is two-fold: 1) to teach students of journalism, public policy and social work how to use journalism and media as an implement of social change; and 2) have those students become effective change agents themselves. This class is not theoretical – students should be prepared to dig in deep and make meaningful contributions to policy change on both the state and federal level.


At first glance, prospective students may find the subject matter – Child Maltreatment and Vulnerable Children – narrow. But, choosing a single issue area is a deliberate choice. If this course were structured more broadly, with a host of different issues, the effectiveness of each student’s contribution would be limited. Instead


Journalism for Social Change intends to leave each student with the experience of being a player in promulgating policy reform around the issues facing vulnerable children. Further, the umbrella of children allows us to explore the broad, but deeply interwoven policy areas concerning: communities, poverty, child protection, child maltreatment prevention, foster care, and the courts.


For more info about this course, which is being taught by journalist and Chronicle of Social Change founder Daniel Heimpel, go to



The course, which begins Jan. 9, 2015, is limited to 200 people. Later in the spring, it will become a MOOC, and be open to the world.  

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