The Department of Journalism is founded on the principle that a wellinformed and engaged public is essential to democracy. In the face of this change, journalism retains a unique role in contributing to civic life and the quality of public discourse. The department strives to produce graduates who are constructive participants in an ever-evolving global media landscape, where distinctions between producers and consumers of content have blurred.
Journalism students learn to gather facts, tell compelling stories and analyze current events. They master the technology and journalistic skills to produce videos, audio, photography, graphics and social media on mobile platforms, the Web, television, radio and print. They become adroit at gathering information from a diversity of sources, to analyze it critically and to report what is significant, through stories and other media forms across multiple media platforms. Finally, journalism students learn ethical awareness so they are able to think independently and be prepared to reflect on and to help shape media practices and norms rather than take them at face value.
Journalism majors develop skills in information gathering, storytelling and analysis across a variety of platforms, including television, social media, mobile devices, radio and print—using an everexpanding variety of media tools and technologies. In addition to their professional preparation, students combine a broad education in the liberal arts (through the College of Arts and Sciences) with a robust additional field of study (for the equivalent of a dual degree). Students complement their skill competencies with courses such as journalism law and ethics, as well as conceptual courses offered elsewhere in the college and university.
The curriculum trains graduates to: communicate to various public audiences with clarity and precision, using the most effective combination of images, sounds and words, while applying the most appropriate contemporary technologies; gather information, through research, observation and interviews, and evaluate what is gathered; acquire expertise in a particular subject and use that expertise to communicate clearly to various public audiences; base journalistic work on such enduring ethical principles as accountability, fairness, accuracy, responsibility and diversity; think analytically, critically and creatively about the social, historical, economic and scientific forces that underlie daily events, in order to provide appropriate context in the reporting of daily events; apply the laws of freedom of expression, in both the United States and in a global media setting; and blend entrepreneurial strategies with journalistic enterprise to enable success in a fast-changing economic environment.
The MA in Journalism prepares students for professional success in news outlets, digital and social media platforms or corporate communications. The program offers two choices: the professionalpractice option or the areaofexpertise option. The professionalpractice option is for students who wish to focus on quickly obtaining advanced journalistic skills. It can be completed with as few as 30 credits and in as little as two semesters plus a summer. This option is designed for students with limited academic or professional experience in journalism. The areaofexpertise option is for students wishing not only to acquire advanced journalistic skills but also to complement them with an area of expertise, such as environmental science and policy. This option can be completed with a minimum of 36 credits and in four semesters.
Regardless of the option, the degree focuses on multimedia training and experience. Students develop skills in information gathering, storytelling and analysis across a variety of platforms including video, online interactivity, social media, photography and the printed word. They produce indepth reporting projects, in cooperation with professional media outlets in Colorado, and they complete internships at awardwinning radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, websites and other news organizations nationwide.
The journalism PhD program, one of three tracks offered under the doctoral program in Media Research and Practice, is dedicated to exploring journalism’s unique status in an increasingly complex media landscape, while highlighting the role of social science and humanities scholarship in guiding the democratic aspirations of media in an era of technological disruption and challenges to professional legitimacy.
The program is highly interdisciplinary, and students take at least onethird of their courses outside the Department of Journalism. In this way, students have the opportunity to apply theories and methods from communication, political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, economics, business, public policy, history and law. Subareas within journalism studies include the sociology of media, the dynamic interplay of journalism with emerging media, the history of journalism, media processes and effects, media and politics, media law and policy, science communication, professional ethics and transnational media systems.
The program strives to produce graduates who demonstrate intellectual leadership, nationally and internationally, in the areas of research specialization that they choose and/or pioneer, and an aptitude for generating public conversation about their scholarship. It also attempts to produce scholars who shed light on journalism’s contemporary challenges and who can provide reliable research results to those eager to safeguard journalism’s viability as an institution.
An important part of doctoral students’ education is participation in the department’s research and teaching missions through their assignments as research assistants, teaching assistants and instructors.
The department strongly believes in the integration of classroom instruction withpractical experience. Many students work for, and manage, campus online news and entertainment sites, television programs and a radio station. They intern at broadcast stations, newspapers, magazines, websites and social media companies. In addition, students are able to learn narrative writing and the latest digital tools in class and put them to use the next day at CMCI’s studentrun 24/7 news site or on news and sports broadcasts.