Journalism

What is Journalism?

Journalists are responsible for gathering information, analyzing and editing it for a mass audience, and dispensing it using some form of media platform. Increasingly the methods of distribution have become more complex, but the basic mission of a journalist remains the same: to serve the public by finding, defining, writing, and editing information.

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Journalism Degrees

Environmental Studies/Journalism, BA

Degree Type: Interdisciplinary

Environmental Journalism offers the opportunity to explore the intersection between the natural world and politics, science, economics and culture. It combines rigorous research with creative storytelling.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Jennifer Keller, Journalism Department Chair
Jennifer.Keller@wwu.edu | 360-650-4987

Journalism—News/Editorial, BA

The Journalism – News Editorial program is one of three tracks within Western’s Journalism Department. Students are given the daily opportunity to practice what they learn through hands-on student publications and professional internships. The Journalism Department exposes students to current affairs and problems, from issues of campus governance to international news and concerns.

Contact

Jennifer Bettis, Academic Department Manager
Jennifer.Bettis@wwu.edu | 360-650-3253

Journalism—Public Relations, BA

Journalism — Public Relations majors at Western study theoretical and practical communications in a liberal arts setting. Students gain practical experience on Western’s award-winning student media, and majors additionally take field internships with newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, public relations agencies, and other professional organizations. Courses follow News/Editorial emphasiss

Contact

Jennifer Bettis, Academic Department Manager
Jennifer.Bettis@wwu.edu | 360-650-3253

Journalism—Visual Journalism, BA

Courses in the Visual Journalism sequence prepare students in the concepts, professional practices and course work applications of visual components of news: photojournalism, information graphics, video and audio clips, mapping, and typography. Visual Journalism majors study theoretical and practical communications in a liberal arts setting.

Contact

Jennifer Bettis, Academic Department Manager
Jennifer.Bettis@wwu.edu | 360-650-3253

Journalism at Western

The Journalism – News Editorial program is one of three tracks within Western’s Journalism Department. Students are given the daily opportunity to practice what they learn through hands-on student publications and professional internships. The Journalism Department exposes students to current affairs and problems, from issues of campus governance to international news and concerns. Journalism students are expected to question and challenge sources of information, and to seek a variety of data and opinions on any serious issue.  

Journalism — Public Relations majors at Western study theoretical and practical communications in a liberal arts setting. Students gain practical experience on Western’s award-winning student media, and majors additionally take field internships with newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, public relations agencies, and other professional organizations. Courses in the Public Relations sequence follow the News-Editorial emphasis, adding communication skills important for careers in this rapidly growing field. 

Courses in the Visual Journalism sequence prepare students in the concepts, professional practices and course work applications of visual components of news: photojournalism, information graphics, video and audio clips, mapping, and typography. Visual Journalism majors study theoretical and practical communications in a liberal arts setting. Students gain practical experience on Western’s award-winning student media, and majors additionally take field internships with newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, public relations agencies, and other professional organizations. 

Western’s Journalism Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

[Western’s] public relations program is rooted in professionalism. We don't only learn theory, we spend time doing hands-on activities and preparing for what the real world of public relations will be like.

Emily Willeman
Alumni

Explore courses

JOUR 305 – Photojournalism

JOUR 365 – Publications-from Concept to Design

JOUR 390 – The News Process

JOUR 404 – Feature Writing

Hands-on-Experience

While enrolled in the Journalism program, students are offered a number of learning opportunities including working as writers, photographers, or editors on university publications; learning from industry professionals; and working hand-on with community organizations to gain experience in the field. 

Student publications at Western include the weekly newspaper, The Western Front; the quarterly magazine, Klipsun; and the quarterly environmental magazine, The Planet. Policy for the publications is set by the Student Publications Council, and the majority of the funding is from student fees. All Western students are eligible to participate in publications staff work.

[Visual Journalism] provides opportunity upon opportunity to not just study the subject matter, but to get out into the real world and experience it. With all the writing, photography, multimedia, and design skills I’ve acquired throughout my experience in the sequence, I feel prepared and versatile enough to succeed in today’s rapidly changing journalism landscape.

Carey Rose
Alumni

What can you do with Journalism?

Few fields of study prepare students for as wide a range of interesting and challenging careers. Journalists first and foremost learn to write, to accumulate, and analyze information. Skills from the Journalism major are in demand in a host of fields beyond traditional mass media.

Notable Alumni:

  • Duff Wilson: Reporter, New York Times
  • Bobbie Egan: Media Relations Manager, Alaska Airlines

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Freelance: Digital Marketing Consultant 
  • Gemini Fish Market: Fish Monger and Marketing Assistant 
  • KTVZ News Channel 21: Reporter/Producer 
  • McKinney Trailer Rentals: Marketing Assistant 
  • Microsoft: Recruiting Coordinator 
  • Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum: Induction Show Coordinator 
  • Nordstrom: Director Marketing Planner Accessories/WSP
  • Revolution PR: Account Associate 
  • Tosten Marketing: Social media manager and Creative Content

Journalism careers

  • Reporter
  • Editor
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Community Relations Director
  • TV News Anchor
  • Speech Writer
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Copywriter
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Lobbyist
  • Photojournalist
  • Designer
  • Multimedia Producer
  • Communication Specialist

The Department of Journalism is professionally oriented and has a long tradition of preparing its students to work in the fields of journalism and public relations. We’re successfully preparing our students for traditional journalism jobs, such as in newspapers, but also for new positions that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

John M. Harris
Faculty

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