The Department of Journalism strives to prepare its students to become well-educated, principled citizens, who are capable of initiating careers as skilled journalists, public relations practitioners and other related communication professionals.
Learn to be excellent writers and communicators who tell factual stories in a variety of forms and platforms for a diverse public and whose work reflects creativity, innovation, analytical thinking, ethics and democratic values.
Innovate to produce excellence in teaching, research, service and creative activities.
Foster culture of collaboration among students, faculty, staff, alumni and diverse communities to become a resource, a town square and a network for those interested in journalism.
About the Department
The Department of Journalism, with a nationally accredited undergraduate program, supports nine award-winning, student-run digital news media operations in print/online and radio/television broadcast in English and Spanish, as well as a public relations agency. With a focus on digital, community/participatory and global media studies, the program teaches a balance of practical and theoretical elements of journalism and media studies. Students take core courses in reporting, media law and ethics, and history/theory in tandem with a variety of multimedia and other skills courses, emphasizing the diverse elements of today’s emerging landscape. The faculty include internationally recognized scholars in citizen and participatory journalism, studying refugee media practices, Latin American diasporas and the media, as well as those whose research focuses on border and immigration issues, humanizing social justice issues through documentary and visual communication, and the sociology of the First Amendment.
The department also supports two minors in Journalism, including the Interdisciplinary Spanish-Language Journalism program, in addition to the master’s degree in Mass Communication.
The undergraduate major offers career-based programs in Journalism and two formal options in either Broadcast or Public Relations.
This major is designed around practical experience and knowledge to prepare students for news careers in English and/or Spanish-Language media outlets. Students apply the skills they gain in courses, such as reporting, editing, emerging and multimedia, social media, design and photojournalism, as well as community/ethnic and participatory media. They also staff digital and mobile news operations in both English and Spanish-language editions of The Sundial and El Nuevo Sol, respectively, the Pop-Up Newsroom, Scene Magazine and other projects.
The Broadcast option provides students with training comparable to an entry-level professional position in news and digital media by teaching them to write, edit, report, produce and anchor for campus-based news operations covering the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and beyond. Operations include television and digital newscasts, such as Matador News, On Point (multimedia public affairs program) and Valley View News, plus radio news and features programming on KCSN News, airing on LatinAlt HD3.
The Public Relations option teaches theory, but it also focuses on how to apply learning to “real world” situations, involving corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the entertainment industry. Students learn about crisis communication, audience analysis and social and emerging media as they develop public relations and marketing strategies and plans for clients through Agency 398, the student-run PR practicum, and other projects.
Spanish-Language Journalism Minor
The interdisciplinary minor in Spanish-Language Journalism is a national leader in bilingual media programs, producing multiplatform digital content, including podcasts, and special projects.
Mass Communication, M.A.
The master’s degree in Mass Communication focuses on critical approaches to journalism practices, as well as the production of media content. The emphasis is on media’s role in social change.
Advisement is an important part of the department and university experience. Students in the Journalism undergraduate and Mass Communication graduate programs are assigned an advisor at the time of entry. Advisement is required each semester for all undergraduate majors and minors as part of the department’s national accreditation standards. The department academic staff advisor meets regularly with students, while faculty advisors confer with juniors and seniors, during office hours scheduled for the regular advisement period.
The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students who seek careers in an expanding variety of contemporary options. Alumni work in all types of news and communication mediums, including digital, social/mobile and print/online (newspaper/magazine/freelance); photojournalism/visual communication; television and radio; emerging, participatory and community/ethnic media—as well as public relations, strategic and corporate communications. Graduates also seek careers outside of the news and information professions, opting for careers in the law, politics, healthcare, banking and the financial industries, as well as teaching and retail management, among others.
The undergraduate program has been accredited since 1967 by the National Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Standard elementary and secondary teaching credentials can be obtained by completing a double major in a University-approved waiver program, such as English. For details on the credential program, see the Credentials section of this Catalog.