New course allows students to create content for real digital brands

A new course being offered next semester will allow Newhouse students to build digital journalism skills and create content for real digital brands.

Marquise Francis

The course, Reporting and Storytelling for Digital Brands (JNL 400), will be taught by alumnus Marquise Francis ’13, national reporter/producer for Yahoo News. Students in the course will explore the evolving landscape of digital journalism by delving into storytelling for a variety of mediums, discovering how to report on and amplify lesser-known stories and learning to ensure representation in their work. At the end of the course, a select number of top student pieces will be considered for publication by Yahoo.

“This partnership allows our students to gain real-world experience, and also exposes new audiences to the wonderful content our students produce on a daily basis,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “And targeting a Gen Z audience gives our students the chance to reach their peers directly through the same digital platforms and brands they use every day.”

The course will be based in New York City and offered in an in person format for students in the Newhouse NYC program, while students who are on campus or elsewhere can take the course in a remote format.  

Students will create content using editorial writing, video, audio and augmented reality tools, and may also pitch and execute Gen Z content for Verizon Media brands including Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Entertainment/Lifestyle. The course will also feature guests speakers from other outlets, such as Kamaron Leach of Bloomberg Entertainment or ABC White House correspondent Rachel Scott.

“Newhouse exposes you to the nuts and bolts of journalism and prepares students for a successful career as a dynamic truthteller,” says Francis. “This course will build upon that skillset, combining students’ knowledge of audio, video and editorial storytelling, and challenging them to create sound news, sports and entertainment content for a Gen Z audience in a transformative way.”

Francis, who graduated from the Newhouse School with a degree in broadcast and digital journalism, has been with Yahoo News since 2017. He previously held positions with MSNBC, A&E Networks and the History Channel.  

“Marquise is one of Yahoo News’ top journalists, and getting to learn how to tell impactful stories from him is an amazing opportunity,” says Alex Wallace, head of media and content at Verizon Media.

The course is open to Newhouse juniors and seniors. Registration begins Dec. 8; for more information, visit