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.
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.
“[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
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 hands-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, to accumulate, and analyze information. Skills from the Journalism major are in demand in a host of fields beyond traditional mass media.
- Customer Service Representative
- Public Relations Specialist
- Community Relations Director
- TV News Anchor
- Speech Writer
- Advertising Copywriter
- Market Research Analyst
- Multimedia Producer
- Communication Specialist