Students recording guest lecture with iPhones

Journalism

Miami University’s Journalism Program has a strong commitment to professional training across all media and to liberal arts education. We are a part of the College of Arts and Science – unusual for a journalism program – and so our emphasis is on educating students broadly as capable writers and critical thinkers. Our graduates land diverse media and communication jobs around the globe.

Miami’s Journalism Program requires a double major, but virtually all students finish in four years. Our 225 current students are double-majoring in 15 different areas. Political science and English are the most popular double majors, but others include psychology, business, history, theater and even zoology.

Our faculty – many of whom have won national journalism awards – ground students in basic and advanced reporting, interviewing, storytelling and editing skills. That ably prepares them for careers in daily news (print and web), broadcast news, non-fiction writing and documentary film.

About half our majors want to become professional journalists, and half just want to be better writers and communicators.

Curriculum

Major in Journalism (36-40 Credits)

The Journalism Program eliminated its pre-major requirements in spring 2012. Students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in Journalism declare this major during their freshman or subsequent years, and also must declare and complete a second major. The program offers personal advising to help each student complete the two majors in four or fewer years.

In addition to completing a second major, Journalism students take an array of Miami Plan foundation courses, including COM 143 Introduction to Mass Communication and JRN 101 Introduction to Journalism. Majors must complete eight required courses - which range from JRN 201 News Reporting/Writing I to JRN 412 Public Affairs Reporting - as well as a Capstone. Majors also must take two of seven analytical courses designated by the Journalism Program, and two of six approved creative courses.

We strongly encourage all majors to complete internships.

Course Descriptions

Journalism 101: Introduction to Journalism (3 credit hours). This Miami Plan course introduces issues facing news media in a democratic society. These include ethics, law, and press performance in the context of news criticism and journalism history. Students explore several journalistic modes and a variety of careers in journalism. They learn critical news consumption and several basic writing styles.

Journalism 201: News Reporting and Writing I (3). Introduces basic news gathering, interviewing and writing techniques for print and web. Field Trip to WCPO-TVThe emphasis is on learning and practicing interviewing skills, journalistic research techniques, article organization, storytelling techniques, and reporting for visual and multimedia elements, as well as media ethics and libel.

Journalism 202: News Writing and Reporting II (3). Introduces students to the broadcast reporting and writing process, and helps them understand how and why broadcast differs from other media formats. The writing-intensive course also introduces radio and television production techniques. Prerequisite: JRN 201.

Journalism 280: Introduction to Literary Journalism (3). Acquaints students with the genre of literary journalism – first as readers, then as writers. The genre – known also as creative nonfiction and narrative nonfiction – includes such works as John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” These works combine the painstaking research and observations of the reporter and historian (even the anthropologist and sociologist) with the narrative techniques of the novelist. It is journalism in its most sophisticated and artful form.

Journalism 301: Journalism Law and Ethics (3). Focuses on statutory and common law limitations on freedom of the press in America, and the legislative and judicial rationales for them. It considers ethical theories and their application to situations that journalists commonly encounter. Cross-listed with COM 301.

Journalism 303: Online Journalism (3). Students edit videoFocuses on the theory and practice of online journalism. Topics include the current forms and social impact of online news, and the creative potential of the internet as a news medium. Students develop online multimedia news projects. Prerequisite: JRN 201. Cross-listed with IMS 303.

Journalism 314: Digital Video Reporting (3). Advanced-level coursework emphasizing digital video writing, reporting and editing. Students will learn to produce video news stories across broadcast television and mobile platforms. Prerequisite: COM 211 and JRN 202, major status, or permission of instructor.

Journalism 316: Editing and Design (3). Introduces students to the concepts and practices involved in presenting news, with emphasis on journalistic storytelling through combining words and images. Topics include editing, design and visual storytelling. Prerequisite: JRN 201.

Journalism 318: Advanced Storytelling in Journalism (3). The art and craft of telling in-depth stories that inform, engage, compel and entertain. These techniques involve reporting and writing alike, and they can be put to use in magazines, newspapers, books, websites, documentary film and multimedia formats. Prerequisite: JRN 201.

Journalism 333: International Journalism (3). Focuses on the role of journalists and the press in other countries, as well as the practice of being an American reporter working abroad. Prerequisite: JRN 201.

Journalism 340: Journalism Internship (1-3). Internships can be arranged at an array of print, broadcast and web news media, both locally and nationally, during the semester or over winter or summer breaks. Contact Journalism Internship Coordinator Patricia Gallagher Newberry.

Journalism 350: Specialized Journalism (3). Specialized reporting seminars are offered on a rotating basis. They include Sports Journalism, Newsroom Leadership, Political Reporting, Reporting on Business, Reporting on the Environment and Science, and Reporting on Arts and Culture. JRN 350W is offered through Miami’s Florence, Italy, summer program for students of all majors to report on European culture and travel.

Journalism 412: Public Affairs Reporting (3). This course focuses on reporting news generated in public forums, including city councils, school boards and courts. Students cover breaking events (meetings, trials, etc.), then go beyond the vote/verdict to develop enterprise stories on underlying civic issues that affect people’s lives. Prerequisite: JRN 202.

Journalism 415: Practicum in Television Journalism (4). Practicum experience in which students write, report and produce a television newscast aired on Oxford's cable television system. Participate in and evaluate all aspects of television news gathering and reporting process. Cross-listed with COM 415. Prerequisite: COM 211, COM 245, and either JRN 314 or applied journalism experience.

Journalism 418: Critical Writing in Journalism (3). Theory and practice in reviewing books, stage productions, motion pictures and concerts for mass media. Prerequisite: JRN 201.

Journalism 421: Capstone in Journalism (3). A senior-level seminar with topics that vary each year and focus on specific depth aspects of journalism, such as investigative reporting, law, ethics, history or literary nonfiction. Prerequisite: JRN 202 and senior standing.

Faculty