Journalism Minor

Overview for Journalism Minor

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
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 3 (Fall).
Choose four 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 3 (Spring).
   Data Journalism
This course covers how to report on, illustrate, find, and analyze records and databases, with emphasis on investigative reporting. Lecture 3 (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 3 (Fall).
   Community Journalism
Community Journalism emphasizes the local aspects of news, and teaches students how to identify “community” beyond a region and a neighborhood. A co-taught course with Photojournalism faculty in the College of Art and Design, Community Journalism sharpens students’ reporting skills, and guides them in constructing a reporting project as a complete journalistic package, with visual, artistic and written storytelling components in concert with each other. The final project will be a reported (written) piece with corresponding photographs and multimedia. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Communication for Social Change
The course introduces students to the role of communication, information, and media in social change messaging, particularly in the areas of activism and public advocacy. It takes a critical approach toward understanding the role of communication and communication technologies in the creation and dissemination of messages geared towards social change in a variety of mediated contexts. Students will review relevant theoretical frameworks that commonly inform the study and practice of activism and public advocacy, as well as analyze specific examples and case studies contemporarily, as well as select examples at moments of profound activism since the Civil Rights era of the 20th Century. Students will analyze various forms of activism and examine the role of communication in each. Finally, through the design of a social change communication campaign proposal, students will apply strategic communication approaches that will respond to a social issue that may be local, national or global. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   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 3 (Spring).
   Ethnic Press in the United States
   Opinion Media
Opinion Media teaches students how to craft persuasive personal essays, commentary and op-eds, and get them published on news sites, in trade magazines, in newspapers and on influencer blogs. By drawing upon the ethical deployment of evidence, including argument, anecdote and statistical data, student authors will learn how to become influencers and thought leaders through the deployment of the written word and multimedia texts, including writing scripts, and producing video, for their own social media channels. This course is ideally suited for those seeking to sharpen their persuasive writing skills to sell their ideas, vision, expertise and life experience to a targeted media audience. Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Multiplatform Production & Publishing
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of using multiple mediums to tell stories on multiple platforms, including written text, video, photo, audio, immersive media and other new and evolving forms of media. The course familiarizes students with the tools and techniques of a multiplatform storyteller, for example, digital content strategy, story concept ideation, pre-production, production, post-production and dissemination through new and evolving platforms. Additionally, students explore current examples of multiplatform stories. Lec/Lab 3 (Fall or Spring).