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Solutions Journalism: Reporting during COVID-19 and Beyond

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Interested in Digital Media Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis? Learn more about this course>

Headshot of Robertson School assistant professor Karen McIntyre

Karen McIntyre, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
VCU Robertson School of Media and Culture
Director, Graduate Studies

This asynchronous online course in partnership with the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, is offered for three academic credits to VCU undergraduate and graduate students and VCU and VCU Health employees who have met the required prerequisite*. It is also offered in a noncredit format (25 contact hours) to the general community. Work may be completed on your own time!


In this unprecedented time of crisis and uncertainty, journalism is crucial. Yet, mainstream news can cause the public to feel fearful, anxious and helpless. You can do your part by reporting on COVID-19 — and any of society’s problems — more constructively. Many people and organizations are responding to problems in important ways, and their stories need to be told. In this course, you will learn how to take a solution-focused approach to news reporting in an effort to fill knowledge gaps and spread information about what’s working in communities around the world.

Click on the video below to learn more about solutions journalism.


Who should take this online course

The Solutions Journalism: Reporting during COVID-19 and Beyond course is ideal for current VCU undergraduate and graduate students in the Robertson School, VCU and VCU Health employees working in a communication role, and particularly for professional journalists or anyone reporting on responses to social problems, including reporters, producers, editors, freelancers, and related professionals. Students and employees taking the course for credit will complete 45 contact hours; those taking the course as noncredit will complete 25 contact hours. While the online course is asynchronous and recordings of lectures will be available, students may tune in to view live broadcasts. The course includes guest speakers and online discussions, and students report and write their own solution-based news story.


*A prerequisite of MASC 203 or 204 is required for this course when taken for credit; there are no prerequisites for the noncredit option.

A topics in communications course is designed for students who want an intensive or advanced study of a specialized field of mass communications, and in this case the topic of solutions journalism reporting during the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


For credit:

MASC 491 or MASC 691

There is a maximum of 3 credits per semester for these topics courses for students; they may be repeated with different content for a maximum total of 9 credits for all topics courses at the undergraduate level (MASC491), and 6 at the graduate level (MASC691).

Tuition benefits or education assistance may be available to qualified employees. Contact Human Resources to determine eligibility, and refer to for specific details. Required forms for registration are available on this page under 'Helpful links'.

Visit our Registration page for additional instructions on registering for undergraduate or graduate credit. Those active in the Banner system can register online through eServices. The tuition and fees calculator for credit students can also be accessed on this page under 'Helpful links'.

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For noncredit:

Community members wishing to take the course as noncredit (as pass/fail) for $195 register online through the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education (VCU OCPE). Noncredit students are not required to take an assessment upon course completion.

Ask about our VCU Alumni discount. Coupon code must be applied at the time of registration.

Registration is now closed.

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Want to find out more? Get in touch.