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I have a confession: I am a Communication major, emphasizing in journalism. Yes, journalism is a dying industry and yes, there are only about 12 of us actually on the journalism track; however, my experience with the Department of Communication has been nothing but stellar, aside from being the minority in a major overrun by public relations majors.
Most of the curriculum under the Communication major reflect on media, and the journalism emphasis focuses heavily on editing, ethics, and most importantly, writing. Before the now defunct broadcast classes, journalism majors could also learn some video techniques and writing style.
However, the basis of the journalism major has always been writing, not video. The reason for this being the fundamentals of journalism transfer to different mediums and just because video is more along your interests does not mean it is wise to neglect the basics.
Chair of the Communication Department, Dr. David Scott, explained that the interest in broadcast journalism is not high enough to rally the financial demands of the expensive equipment.
“There never was a broadcast major; it was just journalism,” said Scott.
The journalism curriculum was recently reevaluated, with more classes focusing on writing and the broadcast classes being offered as electives. However, the lack of interest makes it hard to merit the funding for the broadcast electives.
“You can still take them [broadcast classes], but they are offered based on enrollment and resources,” Scott said.
The Communication department is young, having only offered bachelor’s degrees for a couple of years. In its youth, it has never offered a broadcast journalism degree, but Scott said if the funding were sufficient, adding an emphasis would be considered.
There are some students on the journalism track, upset that the department is no longer offering the basic broadcast classes.
But, print journalism students must endure through the incessant complaining and claims of the broadcast program, and even the misconception of a broadcast major, being dropped, even when it never existed.
If doing broadcast is the only option for you and your interests in journalism, it is curious as to why you would choose to attend a school without a program in your emphasis.
I urge these disheveled and out-of-luck students to embrace journalism as a whole, instead of just a small part of the large medium. Having a strong writing background will get you further than anchoring skills or video editing because it can be applied to any industry.