Journalism—Public Relations

Journalism—Public Relations


Journalism is the work of supplying content, primarily news, for the ever-expanding world of mass media. 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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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

Sample Jobs

  • 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 
  • Communications Specialist

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.