Journalism

Journalism students outside the Trustees Building

The Journalism Concentration in the Mass Communications major is intended to prepare students for work in the field of journalism, whether it be in print, on the radio or TV, or on the Internet. The same journalistic principles apply to all.

Our students learn to be great writers and critical thinkers, and many of them have published in local newspapers and other publications.


Our Philosophy Regarding Journalism Projects

Our communications faculty in the area of journalism come from a professional background and have high standards for journalistic quality. We emphasize excellent writing, thorough fact-finding, and fair objectivity.

Academic Freedom and the First Amendment

Journalism is a sacred trust, and one that we take very seriously. Journalism students are taught the principles of reporting based on the First Amendment of the Constitution which defines freedom of the press. With freedom comes responsibility. Students are taught the concept of libel and responsible free speech. Students are also made familiar with all legal issues that arise in journalistic writing and how to be responsible journalists.

Writing and Style

Good journalism starts with good writing and a good journalist must also be a good writer. Our program includes a variety of writing courses, all of which build on the simple premise that anyone who communicates to a mass audience must be skillful in manipulating words and the English language. Good writing and good writing styles are always emphasized.


Careers in Journalism

Journalism students can find employment in any number of different areas, many of which are just beginning to appear. Our students find work in print, on the radio, and on television. Journalistic principles apply to many jobs that might not appear directly related as well. Public relations careers often involve a thorough understanding of journalistic principles and how to manage media contacts. Other students may find work in research and copy righting. The potential is as limitless as the field of journalism itself.

Print Journalism

Even with the rise of the Internet and other digital delivery systems, there is still a thriving print journalism industry in this country. This includes local and national newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and many others. New journalists are always being trained and opportunities will continue to exist.

TV & Radio News

Here at MU we are in an excellent position to train students in the areas of TV and radio broadcasting with our own dedicated programs. Our radio program has limitless opportunities for journalistic practice and students can conceivably create their own regular programing. The same applies to our regular television broadcast, Monarch Moments. With all of the electronic news outlets, there are plenty of new opportunities to apply this age-old skill.


Journalism Facilities

Students in the Journalism Concentration enjoy the use of multiple computer labs on campus for the purposes of research and writing. Classes in writing and journalism are generally lab classes and concentrate on writing and research skills on-line. Students also have access to still cameras and video cameras and a variety of television equipment. Radio journalists can create shows directly on our Internet-based radio station.


Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism


Major Requirements

The Mass Communications major with a concentration in Journalism consists of 52 s.h. distributed as follows:

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

  • Nine credit hours not taken in the general education core from any of the following areas: ENG, PHI, PSC, REL, ART, HIS, MUS, THE, or any foreign language course.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree

  • Nine credit hours not taken in the general education core from any of the following areas: CSC, PSC, PSY, BUS, ECO, MAT, SCI, or MKT.

Required Core Courses

  • COM 1050 Introduction to Mass Communications (3 s.h.)
  • COM 2570 Writing for Mass Communications Media I (3 s.h.)
  • COM 2800 Mass Communications Theory (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3110 Mass Communications Law (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3120 Ethics in Mass Media and Society (3 s.h.)
  • COM 4700 Senior Seminar (1 s.h.)
  • SOC 3320 Methods of Social Research (3 s.h.) (or any approved research methods course)
  • One upper-level ACL course (3 s.h.)

Journalism Courses

  • COM 2580 Writing for Mass Communications Media II (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3410 HTML Publishing and Web Page Design OR COM 3530 Desktop Publishing (3 s.h.)

Communication Electives

Select 5 courses (15 s.h.) from the following which can include, but are not limited to:

  • COM 3030 Basic Television Techniques and Procedures (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3310 Advertising Production (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3350 Public Relations (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3410 HTML Publishing and Web Page Design (3 s.h.)
  • COM 3530 Desktop Publishing (3 s.h.)
  • COM 4230 Internship (3-5 s.h.)
  • COM 4850 Special Topics in Mass Communication (3 s.h.)

Contact the Mass Communications Program

Dr. Kevin Swift

Kevin Swift, Ph.D.

Chair, Communication; Associate Professor of Mass Communications
(910) 630-7066
Trustees 272A
Dr. Kevin Swift
Kevin Swift, Ph.D.

Chair, Communication; Associate Professor of Mass Communications

B.A., Westminster College; M.A., Duquesne University; Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park

Bio:

Dr. Swift earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in Journalism and Public Communication. Kevin is a veteran of broadcast news in many capacities. He worked as a writer/producer and reporter for several TV and radio stations in the Youngstown, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pa. area (WBZY, WKBN, WTAE and several cable stations). He also served as an anchor/reporter for the award winning news team at WVLK News in Lexington, Ky. Swift has worked extensively as a voice over artist for organizations such as The Red Cross, NPR/Health Beat, Ford and hundreds of local TV and radio spots. Before joining the faculty at Methodist University, Kevin taught at Catholic University, the University of Maryland and Missouri State University. His research interests include FCC policy and media literacy.

(910) 630-7066
Trustees 272A