The journalism major prepares students to communicate to diverse audiences in a free society through critical thinking, analytical writing, real-time reporting and compelling multi-media presentations. It requires professional quality, versatility and performance.
Experiential learning is emphasized through a vibrant student media, hosted internships and coursework that include real-life assignments with commercial media and corporate clients. One top intern program is the Schieffer School in Washington, offered to a select group of students in the fall semester of their senior year.
Students majoring in journalism should master the elements of written, oral and visual presentation of the news, as well as understand the role of First Amendment journalism in a democracy and the ethical standards that accompany the gathering and distribution of news. This includes theory, history and concepts of journalism, as well as practical skills.
Classes in which journalism skills are taught and practiced are limited to 15 students. Classes that address deep specialties in reporting such as public affairs, business, visual and sports journalism often have fewer students and are platform-agnostic.
Through other courses, students are encouraged to use their enthusiasm for a subject, such as sports or politics, in their assignments.
The goals of skills classes include development of a portfolio, or body of work, that becomes the basis for graduating students entering the job market. As part of their coursework, students produce professional-quality newscasts in the department’s high-definition broadcast journalism studio and practice real-time journalism in the Department of Journalism’s Convergence Center.
Professors and instructors in the journalism program have both academic credentials and professional experience. Full professors teach entry-level courses in the journalism major. Students are allowed and encouraged to volunteer for student media as entering first-year students, based on submissions of work in high school media.
Specialization in story-telling techniques is supported by faculty, but not before the future journalist is exposed to news-gathering skills across online, print and video platforms. This focus on cross training is a distinction of the Department of Journalism.
For additional information about the journalism major at TCU, including a list of classes and other requirements, see the university catalog.