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EIU Journalism

Public Affairs Option: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

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.

After graduation

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.


Fillable Curriculum Guides for Download

* Curriculum Guide, 2024-2025 (pdf)
* Curriculum Guide, 2023-2024 (pdf)


Journalism Division Core: 40 hours

  • JOU 2000 - Fundamentals of News Gathering
  • JOU 2001G - Journalism and Democracy
  • JOU 2101 - News Reporting & Writing
  • JOU 2902 - Copy Editing & Design
  • JOU 2950 - Introduction to Visual Communication
  • JOU 3000 - Advanced Reporting
  • JOU 3002 - Introduction to Multimedia Journalism
  • JOU 3610 - Broadcast News
  • JOU 3750 - Social Media Engagement
  • JOU 3940 - History of American Journalism
  • JOU 3970 - Race, Gender, and the Media
  • JOU 4401 - Journalism Portfolio
  • JOU 4420 - Communication Law & Ethics
  • JOU 4730 - Journalism Capstone Seminar

Public Affairs Reporting Core: 9 hours

  • PLS 1153G - American Government and Constitution
  • PLS 2703 - Introduction to Public Policy
  • JOU 4000 - Investigative Reporting

Public Affairs Reporting Electives: 6 hours

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.

Liberal Arts Coursework: 6 hours

  • PLS 3603 - State & Local Government
  • Any 3-credit ECN or SOC class



Related Pages

Contact Information

School of Communication and Journalism

Buzzard Hall 2521

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