Dear Colleague,

Thank you so much for your interest in Intro to Coding for Journalists.

Together with a diverse team of students – graduate, undergraduate, j-school students, computer science students – our group has been meeting each week to develop and refine the syllabus for a semester-long intro-to-coding course tailored for journalism students.

Syllabus: Intro to Coding for Journalists

About our group

Full Stack Journalists is an informal club, open to both BU students and professionals in the field. Founded by adjunct professor Lisa Williams and BU journalism graduate student Samata Joshi, the group meets each Friday at the BUild Lab to learn skills by building and testing class materials, sample code, and exercises that we hope will be used when the course is taught ‘live.’

Collaborative approach

The students and I have come to really value the collaborative approach to bringing students and instructors together from the beginning to design a class from the ground up. The syllabus has had important changes in focus and skills covered based on both student need and our knowledge of newsroom demand for skills.


We believe that coding skills will make Boston University journalism students more competitive in the job market. We also believe that giving more young journalists these skills can only help our profession.

Why now?

In “Teaching Data and Computational Journalism,” Cindy Royal and Charles Berret looked at the programs of 113 college and university journalism departments in the US. In 2016, only 59 of the 113 offered any data journalism courses, and of those, only 18 offered more than one course or any advanced or computational journalism courses.

This gap, of course, will narrow. We believe by adding this now, we can join the ranks of institutions offering a course like this.

Online News Association Support

Our group was lucky enough to win a fellowship from the Online News Association, which will provide us with connections to instructors and students at other institutions who will help us sharpen our lessons and broaden our focus. We have been invited to present our work at ONA’s annual conference in September. Our group will continue to meet over the summer to build out individual class modules which we will present at the conference for feedback.

Collaborating with you

We are eager to hear from you with ideas about how we might create the best fit between current course offerings and our project, and any other way in which we can be helpful to you and collaborate in our shared project of creating the best possible experience for BU’s journalism students.

With great regard,

Lisa Williams, instructor and cofounder
Samata Joshi, graduate student, cofounder, and vice president of Full Stack Journalists
Sophie Will, President, Full Stack Journalists
Diego Marcano, Social Media and Outreach Coordinator, Full Stack Journalists
Christine Lytwynec, Secretary, Full Stack Journalists
Jenna Manto, Member, Full Stack Journalists
Jordan Rice, Member, Full Stack Journalists
Bansari Kamdar, Member, Full Stack Journalists