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.
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.
“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
Beyond the Classroom
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.
Careers and Graduate Studies
Few fields of study prepare students for as wide a range of interesting and challenging careers. Journalists first and foremost learn to write, accumulate, and analyze information. Skills from the Journalism major are in demand in a host of fields beyond traditional mass media.
- Duff Wilson: Reporter, New York Times
- Bobbie Egan: Media Relations Manager, Alaska Airlines
- Customer Service Representative
- Public Relations Specialist
- Community Relations Director
- TV News Anchor
- Speech Writer
- Advertising Copywriter
- Market Research Analyst
- Multimedia Producer
- Communication Specialist