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Journalism (JRN)

For information, please contact the chairperson, 989-774-3196, 454 Moore Hall;

Why Study Journalism?

Journalism and mass communications transmit and interpret culture and bind society together, making them among the most vital forces in the maintenance of any society and fundamental to democratic government and a free society. The mission of the Department of the Journalism is to foster in its students the skills, values, and practices associated with professional journalism and strategic communication; to further their understanding of how those attributes intersect with local, national and global citizenship; to demand critical thinking; to challenge them to be the creators of and leaders in a constantly changing communication environment, and to fully engage with diverse audiences.

Careers in the exciting and expanding field of mass communications begin with journalism studies. CMU journalism graduates find jobs in news reporting, magazine and feature writing, web editing, photojournalism, public relations, and advertising. Journalism education also benefits students going into law, politics, consulting, health education, business, and environmental and sports studies and many other fields that require information gathering, precision writing and visual communication skills.

Journalism at CMU

CMU’s journalism program is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, a distinction held by only one other Michigan university. Our program balances classroom theory with service learning and other structured hands-on experiences that help students develop the skills required for entry-level positions in the media, as well as related professions and for entrepreneurial media-related careers.

Students may select a major in journalism, a journalism major with a concentration in public relations, or a major in photojournalism. All students enroll in a common set of courses that emphasizes information gathering, processing and writing, visual communication skills and the philosophical framework of the profession, including the role of mass communications in contemporary society, the role of media in racial and global diversity and the legal context in which the industry operates.

The department also offers majors in advertising and integrative public relations (IPR). The IPR major is an interdepartmental major with the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts. We also offer a journalism minor and two interdepartmental minors in advertising (with the Department of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration), and public affairs (with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration), and an interdisciplinary minor, Multimedia Design. See the links below for these programs.

Students interested in one of these programs are advised to contact a Department of Journalism advisor as early as possible and meet with that advisor each semester before registering for classes. Majors and minors are also expected to be involved each semester in co-curricular activities: CMLife, Grand Central Magazine, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Central Press Photographers Association, and the American Advertising Federation, also known as Ad Club.

Employers expect journalism graduates to have had at least one internship, an indicator that an applicant has the attitude and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace. The journalism department will help arrange internships that match your career interests and allow you to build a portfolio of your work.

CMU’s Journalistic Integrity Policy

The Department of Journalism holds truth, accuracy and fairness as the fundamental principles of journalism education and media professions. Each faculty member in the department is responsible for instilling those values in our students as the credibility of media professionals depends on trustworthiness and integrity. To maintain the high standards this program has long established and the strong reputation it has long enjoyed among the professionals and alumni throughout the state, the country and the world, the department reserves the right to remove a student from its program if the student is found to have violated these standards. Violations may include, but are not limited to, fabricating assignments, plagiarism, misrepresentation to faculty, clients, sources or others during the performance of an assignment or project, or willfully violating the codes of ethics as established by industry standards, such as those promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, the Advertising Federation, or the Public Relations Society of America.

The Faculty

Sean Baker, William Barre, Tim Boudreau, Lori F. Brost, Steven Coon, Elina Erzikova, Tim Fitzgerald, Renae Gould, Teresa Hernandez, James Knight, Sara Kubik, Ronald Marmarelli, Michael Marn, Kenneth McDonald, Carol McGinnis, Kent Miller, Betsy Rau, Richard Ren, Edgar Simpson, Johnny Sparks, Alice A. Tait, James Wojcik, Jiafei Yin

The Programs

Journalism Major

Journalism Major: Public Relations Concentration

Photojournalism Major

Advertising Major

Integrative Public Relations Major (Interdisciplinary)

Journalism Minor

Advertising Minor (Interdepartmental)

Public Affairs Minor (Interdepartmental)

Multimedia Design Minor (Interdisciplinary)