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Preparing for a Career in Broadcasting

Educational Opportunities

College-level journalism programs prepare people for careers in reporting, editing, photojournalism, radio-television news, and the teaching of journalism. Some programs also offer training in magazine journalism, newsletter production, and advertising and public relations.

Programs in communications develop skills in oral, written, or electronic communications. Some programs focus on communication theory and research, or on interpersonal and organizational communication. Yet, other programs emphasize communications, journalism, radio-television, or public relations.

Both journalism and communications programs include the problems and techniques of communicating information and ideas to large and varied audiences.

Programs vary from associate degrees to graduate level offerings. Many two-year and four-year colleges offer the first two years of liberal arts course work that can be transferred to a four-year college for completion of a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Program Admission

Most journalism schools prefer students who have a broad liberal arts background in English, literature, speech, history, and the social sciences. Foreign languages are usually not required for entry, but are strongly recommended.

Programs at four-year schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications usually accept only six hours of transfer credit in journalism from two-year colleges. Graduate-level programs may have limited enrollments and require early application, letters of recommendation, and a portfolio containing samples of the applicant’s journalistic work.

Typical Coursework

Degrees in journalism and communications often share similar foundations. Most four-year college programs stress a broad curriculum in liberal arts and sciences.

In consultation with counselors and professors, a student often focuses upon an area of interest within these two disciplines. Some students specialize in newspaper and magazine writing, which involves additional writing and editing courses. In broadcasting, additional production and technical courses are required. Specialization in advertising and public relations involves additional writing, design, advertising or public relations courses. Students may use computers for electronic publishing and web publishing, layout and design, video graphics, word processing, and computer-assisted reporting.

Lectures, laboratory work, independent projects, and internships are common methods of instruction. Of course, different schools have different graduation requirements. See individual college catalogs for additional information about curriculum and graduation requirements.

Things to Know

Internship are often required or recommended for graduation. In addition to internships at MBA member stations, schools may also recommend internships at newspapers, advertising agencies, or public relations departments. Students are also encouraged to work for college newspapers, radio stations, and yearbooks and/or work part-time for local media outlets while still in school. Internships are a valuable opportunity to assess career opportunities and establish a professional network. Radio and television announcers and technicians are subject to licensing requirements set by the Federal Communications Commission.

Need More Information?

For additional information and a list of accredited journalism schools, contact:

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Comm.
Stauffer-Flint Hall
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-3986

To order “The Journalist’s Road to Success: A Career and Scholarship Guide,” send $3.00 to:

“Journalist’s Road to Success”
The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, Inc.
PO Box 300
Princeton, NJ 08543-0300
(609) 452-2820

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