Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice


Director Gary Knight, center, with seminar students

Central to the Program is a two-part seminar.

The fall semester seminar introduces students to narrative storytelling, Through a variety of immersive exercises, technical
workshops, class discussions, guest lectures, and group and individual critiques, this introductory course provides students with a broad understanding of the role and importance of narrative journalism for today’s media and gives them the skills and tools to identify and tell compelling narratives. It emphasizes and instills in students the critical importance of sound ethical standards in the gathering and dissemination of information. It scrutinizes seminal documentary works and explores questions of narrative theory and truth telling. Each student will complete the semester with his or her own documentary story proposal and a detailed plan for how to pursue it in the greater Boston area.

For the spring semester, each student will produce his or her proposed story under the individual guidance of the Program’s director Gary Knight. Student projects will employ a wide range of storytelling styles, including but not limited to investigative, historical, biographical and autobiographical. They will address significant social, economic, political and environmental issues, as well as capture and convey contemporary memory, life, and culture. Each project will be scrutinized for thorough and accurate research, original and ethically grounded reporting, and engaging storytelling. The students will work closely with Knight and other practitioners, constantly crafting and editing their projects. At the end of the semester, the stories will be published on the Program’s dedicated, web-based platform.