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 supports eight award-winning, student-led digital news media operations published and produced in English and Spanish, plus a student-operated public relations firm.
With its focus on digital, community/participatory, visual and global media studies, the department’s nationally accredited undergraduate curriculum balances practical and theoretical elements. Students take core courses in reporting, law and ethics, history and theory in tandem with a range of multimedia and other skills classes designed to emphasize the diverse segments of today’s transpiring Journalism landscape.
The department’s faculty are internationally recognized scholars in citizen and participatory journalism, emerging technologies, border and immigration issues, media literacy, documentary and visual communication, and the sociology of the First Amendment.
The department also supports two minors, including the Interdisciplinary Spanish-Language Journalism program, in addition to a master’s degree in Mass Communication that teaches critical approaches to media practices.
The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students who seek careers in a diverse array of contemporary news and related careers in English and/or Spanish-Language media. The major ranges from a generalized focus on the many facets of the profession to formal options in either Broadcast or Public Relations.
Journalism prioritizes practical knowledge, experiential learning and media literacy. Students apply the skills they attain from taking courses, such as reporting, multimedia and emerging storytelling forms, photojournalism, or community/ethnic and participatory media, to their work as journalists in digital and bilingual news operations at The Sundial and El Nuevo Sol, respectively, as well as the Pop-Up Newsroom, SCENE Magazine and other mediums.
Option: Broadcast (Radio/Television)
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.
Option: Public Relations
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 and strategic communications, audience analysis, and social and emerging media as they develop public relations and marketing strategies and plans for clients through Agency 398, the student-operated PR practicum, and other projects.
The Journalism minor is designed to enhance career options for students in a wide variety of disciplines, such as political science, sociology, English, languages, ethnic studies, history, anthropology, and gender and women’s studies
Spanish-Language Journalism Minor
The interdisciplinary minor in Spanish-Language Journalism is a national leader in bilingual news and media programs, producing multiplatform digital content, including podcasts, broadcast TV 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. In Journalism, advisement is required each semester for all undergraduate majors and minors as part of the department’s national accreditation standards. First-time freshmen are advised by the Matador Advising Hub. First-time transfer students meet initially with the department’s academic staff advisor, while Journalism faculty advise continuing juniors and seniors, during office hours scheduled for the regular advisement period. The department’s graduate coordinator advises students in the Mass Communication master’s program.
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 in public relations, strategic and corporate communications. Graduates also seek careers outside of the news and information professions, opting for positions in 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.