An informed citizenry is essential to the healthy functioning of a democratic society, and the news media are essential to that health through their role in educating the public about what elected and appointed officials are doing.
The Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) option gives students with a keen interest in government the knowledge and skills necessary to provide accurate news coverage of all levels of state and local government. PAR students learn about the activities of the state legislature, local governments, courts, police, and the impact of national and international events on local affairs. Students learn how to find, interpret and use public records to document government action, and organizations and individuals who operate in the public interest. In our program, students learn to think critically, produce creatively, write precisely, process information quickly, interview thoughtfully, manage people, and develop an excellent work ethic.
Our alumni are working for broadcast, online and print news media, covering city, county and state government. The PAR option also offers excellent preparation for students who wish to work in the law, public service, civic engagement, political and government careers, public communications, and non-profit organizations. The skills required of a journalist are the foundation for any job that requires researching, talking to people, asking questions and synthesizing what is learned into a cohesive, coherent article or report.
Complete one of the following:
Journalism majors are required to complete 30 hours in liberal arts and a non-journalism specialty.
The Journalism program is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the faculty believe strongly in the council’s requirement that Journalism students be exposed to a broad liberal arts background while in school. In consultation with their academic advisors, Journalism majors choose six courses from among a list updated every year. Some courses that satisfy the university’s general education requirement also satisfy Block A requirements.
In consultation with their academic advisors, Journalism majors choose a block of upper-division courses that allow students to develop an area of expertise in something besides Journalism. A second major or a non-Journalism minor satisfies this requirement, but students who choose not to have a minor are able to put together an area of specialty that reflects their career interests. Block A and B courses may not overlap.