The journalism emphasis is a discipline that provides factual and relevant information for democratic decision making, community building, and public deliberation. The study of journalism entails the mastery of working with people to present news and features in a way that accurately and fully reflects the world in which we live. Students will acquire skills in analytical thinking, lucid writing and effective interviewing to be able to present clear and compelling news products in words, sounds, and images.
To develop a wide understanding of the world and the processes that make society work, students are encouraged to earn more than 60 percent of their credits in other departments. With a foundation in communication theory, media writing, law and ethics, students then focus their interests through a laddered series of courses. Students may concentrate in one area—following a traditional curriculum for broadcast or print journalism, or specialize in reporting and editing for online media—or custom design a patchwork of courses from several of these areas to best fit their interests and career goals.
Laboratory work takes place in one of the department’s newsrooms. A new series of digital news classes has students producing audio-visual content for the Universe. Broadcast classes produce Newsline, a live television newscast seen weekdays on KBYU-TV, Channel 11. The broadcast newsroom is a state-of-the-art facility, featuring digital editing and automated production equipment. Broadcast students have received recognition from national organizations, including the National Association of Broadcasters, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Broadcast Education Association, and the prestigious Hearst Awards Program. Print students produce the Universe, a newspaper distributed on campus with a weekly circulation of 18,500. Student work published in the Universe has been recognized with top local, regional, and national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associate Collegiate Press, among others.
Steve Fidel, director of BYU’s student newspaper, The Universe, shares that the publication is a way of bridging the gap between school and the workplace.
“The Universe, as a student publication, is a laboratory environment, meaning that all of the classes we teach that are components of what a news organization does will feed into that lab,” Fidel said. “It’s a collecting point and aggregating point for projects that students do.”
The overarching goal of BYU’s student-run news outlets is to provide news to the BYU community while helping journalism students fine-tune their skills before entering the workforce.