The journalism minor provides students skills and knowledge, including information gathering, writing, photography, video, web development, and media literacy, to enhance their careers and community. The 18-credit program is intended to help students effectively gather facts, critically evaluate them, and disseminate them clearly through a variety of media to their co-workers, employers, and fellow citizens. The minor emphasizes skills in online communication and applying journalistic practices to enhance civic engagement. The minor is not intended to provide students an education that would prepare them for a career in journalism – that is still something intended for majors – but the minor can help students intending to go into other careers communicate more effectively and become better informed citizens.
Declaring the Minor
PLEASE NOTE: To become a journalism minor, you must be declared into the minor. There are no pre-requisites, but students can only declare the minor by meeting or emailing the journalism adviser. Contact her by email.
All of the classes in the minor are separate from classes offered to majors, providing students a focused, rigorous experience to help them best apply journalism skills to their individual majors and careers. Most of the classes are taught in the summer by experienced full-time faculty – all with professional journalism experience - and some classes are taught online to provide students the most flexibility. The program is designed so five of the six courses can be completed in one summer with the final course being completed in a fall semester. Additionally, students could take the courses over several summers and one fall.
1. JOUR 109: Introduction to Journalism (3 cr.). Introduces students to the world of journalism, including its history, theories, law, ethics, culture, practice, and state of the industry. Because this class is equivalent to JOUR 105, if minors taking this want to switch to become journalism majors, they still could and it would count toward the major. This class is typically taught on-campus summer pre-session.
2. JOUR 209 – Writing and Reporting (3 cr.). Teaches students how to gather information and write it in journalistic style, applying grammar, Associated Press style, news judgment, and fundamental story structures. The class is taught in School of Journalism labs of no more than 20 students per class by experienced adjuncts or full-time faculty, typically Summer 1 session.
3. JOUR 319 – Visual Journalism (3 cr.). Provides students a grounding in visual and online journalism, taught in a lab with a cap of 20 students. Students learn how to take effective news photos, shoot video, gather sound, edit visual materials and produce web content. This class is typically taught in conjunction with JOUR 209 Writing and Reporting during Summer 1 session.
4. JOUR 219 – Media Law and Ethics (3 cr.). Focuses on legal and ethical journalism issues that apply to non-majors, including copyright, libel, commercial speech, and privacy. Students leave with a basic competency to avoid violating law or media ethics codes. This class is typically taught online Summer 2 session.
5. JOUR 419 – Watchdog Journalism (3 cr.). Provides students a solid grounding in applying journalism to civic affairs, with an emphasis on bettering communities and improving civic life. Students learn how to investigate government (e.g., cover a city council meeting or local public affairs issue), how to acquire public records, and how to make the information relevant to their careers, personal life, and communities. This class is typically taught online Summer 2 session.
6. JOUR 479 - Professional Project (3 cr.). Teaches students how to create a website, take advantage of social media from a journalistic perspective, and upload a portfolio of work. This class tasks students to complete a final project integrating the skills they have learned in previous classes and tailoring it to their own interests and major field of interest. This class is typically taught fall semester in-person.