As news media evolve with new technologies and new formats, Journalism majors of the future will have to possess multiple skills and a wide range of knowledge because they will shape the future of journalism, especially in communities.
For that reason, we see the Journalism Department embracing a mission of training students to be nimble and innovative as they serve communities by reporting in various venues on the full life of the community. In particular, we see the department training journalists who will emphasize civic engagement in communities with a focus on local enterprise reporting in multi-media formats. This reporting will encompass major elements of Rhode Island: the environment and Narragansett Bay; tourism, alternative energy and economic development; social issues including public education. Training comes in the form of experiential “instruction” as students produce content about local communities that serve those communities.
As part of these studies, all Journalism majors are required to take an introductory course that covers the most fundamental aspects of American journalism including standards of reporting and ethical behavior. They do this in the context of a philosophical framework that emphasizes the importance of journalism in a democratic society.
Majors also take an introductory course in news reporting, which gives them their first experience in live reporting on campus and in neighboring communities. They then take a course in multi-media reporting where they utilize their basic reporting skills in visual formats incorporating new media and new technologies.
All majors must complete three additional reporting and/or editing courses, and they also take courses in journalism law and journalism ethics. Every major is encouraged to do an internship once they have completed a sufficient number of courses, and they complete their Journalism curriculum by choosing from an array of elective courses including Media Criticism, Alternative Media and others.