Journalism Minor

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The journalism minor provides students with a foundation in the professional study and practice of journalism. Courses offer a broad perspective that includes historical, legal, and ethical issues of specific concern to journalism, as well as learning and practice writing in a journalistic style for delivery across multiple media platforms.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in journalism.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
  • Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).

The plan code for Journalism Minor is JOURNAL-MN.

Curriculum for Journalism Minor

Required Courses
Choose one of the following:
   History of Journalism
This course presents the history of American journalism from colonial times to the present, including the advance of press freedom under the First Amendment and how it has affected the development of American media. The influences of Europe, colonial politics in America, national expansion, urbanization, war, and technology are further developed. Journalism’s relationship to politics, institutions, and culture will be investigated. Newspaper, magazine, and broadcast industries will be examined for ideas that have changed American journalism. Lecture (Spring).
   Introduction to Journalism
The course covers the impact/effect of journalism on American society, with an introduction to the history, freedom, technologies, ethics, and functions of the news media. Students will learn how to assess news value, develop news judgment, and analyze news stories. Lecture (Fall).
Students must take the following course:
Reporting and Writing I
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to general audiences. Rights and responsibilities of the press will be analyzed. Although special emphasis will be given to writing and reporting for print publications, other media will be addressed. Special attention will be given to the qualities of writing, especially organization, accuracy, completeness, brevity, and readability. Assignments must conform to Associated Press style. Lecture (Fall).
Choose three of the following:
   Data Journalism
This course covers how to report on, illustrate, find, and analyze records and databases, with emphasis on investigative reporting. Lecture (Spring).
   Reporting and Writing II
Practicum in advanced techniques of news gathering, reporting, and writing, with an emphasis on reportorial principles and practices. This class expands upon the processes of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to news media audiences previously introduced in newswriting. (Prerequisites: COMM-272 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Spring).
   News Editing
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of editing hard news and feature articles, including news judgment, story selection, headline writing, copy editing, and picture editing. The course emphasizes reader interest, readability, clarity, verification, and style, as well as legality, ethics, and propriety. (Prerequisites: COMM-272 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall).
   Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior. Lecture (Spring).
   Reporting in Specialized Fields
An in-depth study, analysis, and practicum of a selected advanced and focused subject in professional journalism. Specific subject matter of the course varies according to faculty assigned and is published when the course is offered; students may enroll in this class no more than twice as long as the specific subject matter is different. Examples include education journalism, health journalism, business journalism, reporting public affairs, sports journalism, editorial (or opinion) writing, and reporting for alternative media. (Prerequisites: COMM-272 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall Or Spring).
   Professional Writing
Students develop writing, research, and interviewing skills necessary to the composition of articles for magazines, newsletters, and other similar publications. In addition students learn how to investigate the market for and sell their writing, and how to write query letters. Much of the course is conducted as a workshop, during which students appraise each other's work, and make suggestions for revision. Lecture (Spring).
   Multiplatform Journalism
The internet is an important source of news information, rivaling print, radio, and television news. This course introduces students to the principles and practices of online news reporting, including writing for mainstream news sites, journalistic blogs (web logs), share and discussion sites, and other evolving online news outlets. The course familiarizes students with the tools of the online reporter: for example, vetting sources on the web, conducting e-mail interviews, and writing for web pages. Also, students explore the cultural and ethical terrain unique to the wired environment. (Prerequisites: COMM-272 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall).