Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism
A journalism degree prepares students to research and report on current events. Students in a journalism program learn the responsibilities involved in news coverage, how to structure a story, and how to write and/or report across media with a deadline. Students may choose a concentration in a journalism degree program, such as print, online, broadcast, editorial, public relations, long-form, or international journalism. Journalists are required to have good communication skills, to be objective, to work long hours at a rigorous pace, and must develop good relationships with editors, other writers, and their sources.
General education requirements for a journalism major may include sociology, economics, politics, and psychology. Introductory major course work may introduce law and ethics in journalism, journalism history, and foundational work in reporting, writing, editing, and layout. Advanced journalism course work often depends on the concentration, but courses may include investigative journalism and advanced reporting, journalism production, business and financial reporting, and political reporting.
- Introductory Reporting. Introductory reporting covers basic reporting and newswriting skills, including interviewing, researching public records, fact-checking, and spot news. Students learn the Associate Press Stylebook and may be assigned reporting assignments.
- Law and Ethics in Journalism. Students are introduced to legal and ethical conflicts in journalism. They study the First Amendment and media law, libel and slander, privacy, the free press and fair trial conflicts, and controversial reporting methods.
- Editing. Editing may cover copy editing, headline writing, and layout for print and online publications. Broadcast editing will learn video editing techniques and editing software like Avid or Final Cut.
Students may be expected to report a variety of news pieces, including feature, sports, brief, human interest, and editorial pieces, either as practice or for a school newspaper. Depending on the course or discipline, students may also be required to research and write report papers on current and/or controversial practices and theories in journalism.
Building a Career
Wage and employment depend on factors including employer, experience, area, and position. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that broadcast news analysts had a median annual wage of $54,140, and reporters and correspondents had a median annual wage of $34,530. Broadcast news analyst employment is expected to increase by 10%, but reporters and correspondents employment is expected to decrease by 8%.
Journalism majors may also work in public relations. Public relations managers and specialists had a median annual wage of $57,550, according to the BLS. Employment for public relations managers and specialists are expected to increase by 21%.