Mission Statement

The School of Journalism has a four-fold mission:

  1. Journalism students interview a Sun Tran bus demonstrator downtown as part of class.

    Journalism students Morrena Jo Villanueva (left) and Karen Lizarraga interview a Sun Tran bus demonstrator downtown as part of professor Susan Knight's Reporting Public Affairs (RPA) class.

    To provide future journalists with the intellectual training and professional skills necessary to gather, evaluate, organize and disseminate information in a way that enables citizens to participate in a democratic society in a meaningful way.

  2. To provide all students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the role of the press in a multicultural society, so they can learn to think critically about the ways in which the news media affect individuals, institutions and social values. This includes an understanding of the legal and ethical issues that are an integral part of the journalism profession.
  3. To encourage faculty scholarship that reflects a balance of theoretical and professional approaches to exploring the role and impact of the news media at a time when information generated by news organizations has become a major component of international cross-border data flow.
  4. To develop a dialogue with journalism educators and professional journalists concerning the most effective ways to encourage professional standards at a time when the profession is confronting unprecedented challenges arising from the technological changes that have created the global information age.

The School’s mission is based on two fundamental ideas: (1) Journalists fulfill a crucial role in a democracy, providing the public with independent, objective information about issues and events so citizens can make informed judgments about policy and policy makers. (2) Information provided by the news media forms the foundation for much of the research in other fields, such as history and political science.

As the above items indicate, some media-related subjects are outside the scope of the School’s mission. The School does not engage in research or teaching in the fields of advertising, creative writing, media arts, or public relations. Given the importance of the press as a democratic institution, and its significance for the research and teaching agendas of other social sciences, the faculty has decided that journalism will be the sole focus of the UA program.