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:
|ENGL 1870||News Writing||3|
|ENGL 2370||News Writing II: Digital Design||3|
|ENGL 3330||Big Data Storytelling||3|
|Select three literature courses: 1||9|
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: 2||6|
|Introduction to Sports Broadcasting|
|Introduction to Computing|
|Fundamentals of Programming|
|Issues in Professional Writing|
|Introduction to Film and Video Production|
|Documentary Film Production|
|Ethics Component Course|
|AETH 2281||Ethics of Communications||3|
|ENGL 2384||Media Law and Ethics||3|
|Tier 1: Digital Journalism Creation|
|Select at least one of the following: 3||3-6|
|Introduction to Sports Writing|
|Journalism Editing and Design|
|The Power of Podcasting|
|Creative Writing: Nonfiction II|
|Writing the Feature Story|
|Issues in News Writing|
|Tier II: Media Theory|
|Select up to one of the following: 4||0-3|
|American Media / American History|
|Comparative Media Systems|
|Globalization, Media, and Culture|
|Misinformation in Digital Media|
|Select one course from the following: 5||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.
COMM 1130 Mass Media and Society is a prerequisite for all Tier II courses.
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.