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, including 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.

Students may start the Digital Journalism sequence as early as their freshman year. Students are also encouraged to gain experience from various campus media outlets such as the Mirror, WVOF, or Stag TV.

For a 36-credit major in Digital Journalism, students complete the following:

Core Courses
ENGL 1870News Writing3
ENGL 2370News Writing II: Digital Design3
ENGL 3330Big Data Storytelling3
Select three literature courses: 19
Select one 1000-level English literature course
Select one 2000-level English literature course
Select one 3000-level English literature course
Production Component Courses
Select two courses from the following: 26
Introduction to Sports Broadcasting
Broadcast Communication
Introduction to Computing
Fundamentals of Programming
Issues in Professional Writing
Introduction to Film and Video Production
Documentary Film Production
Ethics Component Course
AETH 2281Ethics of Communications3
ENGL 2384Media Law and Ethics3
Tier 1: Digital Journalism Creation
Select at least one of the following: 33-6
Introduction to Sports Writing
Journalism Editing and Design
The Power of Podcasting
Creative Writing: Nonfiction II
Multimedia Writing
Writing the Feature Story
Issues in News Writing
Literary Journalism
Sports Journalism
Journalism Practicum
Tier II: Media Theory
Select up to one of the following: 40-3
Media Institutions
American Media / American History
Comparative Media Systems
Globalization, Media, and Culture
Misinformation in Digital Media
Social Media
Capstone Course
Select one course from the following: 53
Independent Writing Project
Journalism Practicum
Total Credits36