Digital Journalism Major
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Journalism in the English department is a rigorous, 12-course program designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to understand and take part in today’s quickly changing, digital journalism world. The major includes a large focus on ethics, consistent with Fairfield’s mission, and a multidisciplinary approach that will draw on courses offered by other departments. It is inspired by the eloquentia perfecta approach to which the English Department aspires, consistent with Jesuit ideals.
The Digital Journalism major, alone or in combination with other majors and minors, will prepare students for professional careers in print and online journalism, broadcast journalism, technical writing, online writing, public relations, social media, marketing, law, and other fields. Students taking coursework in this major will build proficiency in media literacy and develop the ability to navigate the digital media spheres in their roles as civic leaders.
By completing a major in Digital Journalism, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate their ability to collect information and report on stories of public interest, using a conventional print format, social media tools like Twitter, and multimedia platform like WordPress.
- Demonstrate their ability to synthesize information from varied sources — research, interviews, eyewitness accounts — analyze its veracity and usefulness, and build it into stories to help their audience understand an issue.
- Describe and debate the varied and sometimes conflicting roles of the press (to inform and amuse, educate and titillate, give readers what they want and what they need).
- Explain the privileges given to U.S. journalists through the First Amendment and the limitations – legal, ethical, and from professional standards – that guide and influence their work.
- Describe how the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and experience they develop in the program can be used in non-journalism settings such as law, public relations and marketing, and a variety of writing careers.
- Demonstrate their ability to write and communicate clearly across multiple platforms.
The major can be started in conjunction with taking EN 0012 during the first year, although most students will be sophomores when they start the Digital Journalism sequence. Students wanting an earlier start are encouraged to gain experience from various campus mass media outlets such as the Mirror, WVOF, or Stag TV.
The Digital Journalism curriculum is robust and multidisciplinary, requiring 12 courses. Students are also encouraged to explore a second major or minor as well as experience with on-campus media organizations.
Note: Starting with the Class of 2019, students must pursue a Digital Journalism major if they are interested in the subject area. Students in the Class of 2018 or earlier may choose to pursue the new major or the five-course Journalism concentration.
For a 36-credit major in Digital Journalism, students complete the following:
|ENW 0220||News Writing||3|
|ENW 0221||News Writing II: Digital Design||3|
|ENW 0321||Big Data Storytelling||3|
|Select three literature courses: 1||9|
Select one 100-level EN literature course
Select one 200-level EN literature course
Select one 300-level EN literature course
|Production Component Courses|
|Select two courses from the following: 2||6|
|Introduction to Film Studies|
|Studio Television Production|
|Ethics Component Courses|
|Select one course from the following:||3|
|Ethics of Communications|
|Ethics of Media and Politics|
|Ethics in Government|
|Select two courses from the following, or from any course listed for Digital Journalism 3||6|
|Information Technologies: Economics, Law, and Policy|
|American Media / American History|
|News Media and Democracy|
|Comparative Media Systems|
|Creative Writing: Nonfiction I|
|Professional Presentations: Writing and Delivery|
|Journalism Editing and Design|
|Teaching and Learning Grammar|
|Writing the Feature Story|
|Issues in News Writing|
|Issues in Professional Writing|
|Grant and Proposal Writing|
|World of Publishing I|
|World of Publishing II|
|Select one course from the following: 4||3|
|Independent Writing Project|
Literature courses should be chosen in consultation with your advisor, with an eye toward those more relevant to the broad field of journalism.
Students may substitute production courses with approval of the faculty advisor.
Other courses in Film, Television, and Media Arts; Communication; or Public Relations may also be used if approved by a faculty advisor.
Students may only use one internship and/or one Journalism Practicum course toward completion of the major or minor. Students may take a second internship and/or a second Journalism Practicum as a free elective toward graduation, but it does not count toward the major or minor.