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.
Public Affairs Reporting students need to complete 3 semester hours of JOU and 3 semester hours of PLS elective coursework. Students may select any JOU or PLS prefix course as an elective, except JOU 1000G.