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#Spring24 - Journalism Question

If I am interested in pursuing journalism, should I begin my undergraduate by studying English? Or should I go directly into journalism/communications? #Spring24

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Kelly’s Answer

Both choices hold their own benefits, so your final decision should be based on your unique interests, objectives, and the opportunities open to you.

Undertaking an undergraduate degree in English can equip you with a robust base in critical reading, composition, and analytical abilities, all of which are precious in the realm of journalism. You'll probably delve into a broad spectrum of literature and discover how to weave engaging narratives, a skill that can aid in journalistic storytelling. Moreover, studying English can aid in honing a sharp comprehension of language, style, and rhetoric, all of which are crucial for effective journalism communication.

Conversely, seeking a degree directly in journalism or communications can present more specialized instruction, specifically designed for the field. You'll likely have the chance to take courses centered on journalism ethics, media law, news writing, and reporting techniques, all of which can equip you with practical skills and knowledge pertinent to a journalism career. Furthermore, studying journalism or communications might also offer chances for internships or practical experiences in newsrooms, which can be priceless in expanding your professional network and acquiring hands-on field experience.

It would be beneficial to research the specific programs offered by various universities, along with the faculty members and resources they provide. Also, ponder on what facets of journalism fascinate you the most—do you find investigative reporting, feature writing, multimedia storytelling, or another aspect appealing? This can assist you in determining which educational route best aligns with your interests and career objectives.

In conclusion, whether you opt to study English or chase a degree in journalism/communications, bear in mind that there are multiple routes into the journalism field, and the most crucial aspect is acquiring the skills, experience, and knowledge required to thrive in the industry.
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Joanne’s Answer

Leire,
College is a good decision. Journalists are curious, life-long learners. College is just the place to help you explore, learn and write.
Yes, study journalism, but also find a niche- become an expert in something you love or have a passion for.
If I were to do it all over again, I would study environmental science. The world is our home and there are so many
stories to tell, accurately and creatively.
Step outside your comfort zone - always- journalists are also bold and engaged. College, again, offers those opportunities,
and a place to fail gracefully and learn more.
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Jerome’s Answer

From a standpoint of building your networking and starting to amass connections, I would go the journalism route first. I think you would find value in starting to get your hands dirty, build your linked in network and hopefully tap into that programs alumni association.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Leire !

You have chosen such a wonderful, exciting and most interesting career interest in Journalism. I would like to share some advice for you on the issue you've asked about.

My advice would be to definitely choose a college which offers a Journalism major. Most definitely. That way you'll study mass media and all of the technical and on screen and writing requirements to be a journalist and with the degree in Journalism, more doors would be open and it would be expected to have studied the full spectrum of news reporting, on screen presentation, documentary, research, web content, and report writing. You would not have the same academic learning experience if you majored in English. You also may have some exciting projects to do as a Journalism major that being an English major would not offer.

The awesome thing is that as an undergrad, you will most likely have to take a basic English course as a required general studies course. When you take it, you will see that it is an important and vital course. Your command of English, written and verbal, is one of the many skills you will need as a journalist, but majoring in English would not prepare you for the professional journalism world.

Another reason why I advise majoring in Journalism is that you will meet so many people at and through your Journalism Department at college and having these contacts will be a boon in starting your professional career when you graduate. Majoring in Journalism may bring offers of an internship at any one of the media in your town. I have left a list of places that you could seek an internship with while in college as well as apply for work once you receive your degree.

I would advise that you read a few Journalism Major course catalogs from colleges that you are considering and see the courses that will prepare you to work as a Journalist. While you are in college, you will increase your awareness of what is actually involved in becoming a journalist and get more of an idea how to go about it. Your journalism projects in college will be very important and so will learning the profession with all of its many facets and nuances.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

LIST OF POSSIBLE JOURNALISM EMPLOYERS IN YOUR AREA https://search.brave.com/search?q=newspapers+in+worcester+massachusetts&source=web
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Leire
Thank you comment icon You're very welcome, Leire ! Michelle M.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Leire,

Introduction

When considering a career in journalism, the decision of whether to pursue an undergraduate degree in English or directly study journalism/communications is a common dilemma for many aspiring journalists. Both paths offer unique advantages and can prepare you for a successful career in journalism. In this detailed response, we will explore the benefits of studying English as an undergraduate degree before pursuing journalism, as well as the advantages of directly studying journalism/communications.

Studying English as an Undergraduate Degree

Strong Foundation in Writing: One of the key advantages of studying English as an undergraduate degree before pursuing journalism is the strong foundation it provides in writing skills. English programs often emphasize critical thinking, analysis, and effective communication through writing, which are essential skills for journalists. By studying English, you can hone your writing abilities and develop a keen eye for language use, both crucial aspects of journalism.

Literary Analysis Skills: Studying English exposes students to a wide range of literary works and genres, helping them develop critical analysis skills. These skills are valuable for journalists who need to interpret complex information, conduct research, and present stories in a compelling manner. The ability to analyze texts critically can enhance your storytelling capabilities and deepen your understanding of narrative structures.

Broad Knowledge Base: An English degree typically involves studying literature from different time periods and cultures, which can broaden your knowledge base and perspective. Journalists often cover diverse topics and engage with various communities, so having a broad understanding of different cultures, histories, and perspectives can be advantageous in producing well-rounded journalistic content.

Flexibility: Another benefit of studying English is the flexibility it offers in terms of career options. While focusing on journalism is a specific path, an English degree can open doors to various fields such as publishing, editing, content creation, marketing, teaching, and more. This versatility can be beneficial if you decide to explore different career opportunities within or outside the realm of journalism.

Directly Studying Journalism/Communications

Specialized Training: Opting to study journalism or communications directly at the undergraduate level provides specialized training tailored specifically to the field of journalism. You will learn about news reporting techniques, media ethics, digital storytelling tools, interviewing skills, and other practical aspects relevant to modern journalism practices.

Hands-On Experience: Journalism programs often offer hands-on experience through internships, workshops, student publications, or collaborations with media outlets. This practical exposure allows students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, build professional networks within the industry, and gain valuable insights into the day-to-day operations of journalism.

Industry Connections: Directly studying journalism or communications can help you establish connections with industry professionals such as journalists, editors, reporters, broadcasters, and media organizations. These connections can be instrumental in securing internships, job opportunities post-graduation,

Conclusion

In conclusion, both paths have their merits, and the decision ultimately depends on your interests, career goals, and learning preferences. Studying English can provide a strong foundation in writing, critical thinking, and cultural literacy, while direct study in journalism/communications offers specialized training, practical experience, and industry connections that are directly relevant to a career in journalism.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism: Known for its prestigious journalism program, Columbia University provides valuable insights into the benefits of studying journalism at the undergraduate level, including curriculum details, industry partnerships, and career prospects**.

Poynter Institute: A renowned organization dedicated to excellence in journalism education, Poynter Institute offers resources on journalistic best practices, training programs, and insights into the evolving landscape of media.

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB): As a leading advocate for broadcasters across America, NAB provides information on educational opportunities related to broadcasting, including degrees in communications/journalism, industry trends, and professional development resources**.

GOD BLESS YOU, RICHLY!
JC.
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Ewa’s Answer

Dear Leire,

Deciding whether to study English or pursue a journalism/communications degree for a career in journalism depends on several factors. Both paths can lead to a successful career in journalism, but they offer slightly different foundations and skill sets. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

**Studying English:**

1. **Strength in Writing and Analysis**: A degree in English typically emphasizes critical thinking, literary analysis, and advanced writing skills. These skills are essential for journalism, as journalists often need to write clear, engaging, and well-researched articles.

2. **Broad Knowledge Base**: Studying English exposes you to a wide range of literature, history, and cultural contexts. This knowledge can enrich your understanding of societal issues and provide valuable context for journalistic storytelling.

3. **Flexibility**: An English degree offers flexibility beyond journalism. It can prepare you for various writing-intensive careers, including editing, publishing, content creation, and even teaching.

4. **Supplement with Journalism Courses/Experience**: While pursuing an English degree, you can complement your studies with journalism courses, internships, or extracurricular activities related to media and communications. This approach allows you to build specific journalism skills while benefitting from a broader educational background.

**Directly Studying Journalism/Communications:**

1. **Specialized Curriculum**: Journalism or communications programs provide specialized training in media ethics, news reporting, interviewing techniques, multimedia storytelling, and digital media production. These programs are designed specifically to prepare you for a career in journalism.

2. **Hands-on Experience**: Many journalism programs offer practical experience through internships, campus media outlets (e.g., newspapers, radio stations, online platforms), and partnerships with industry professionals. This hands-on training can accelerate your skills development and networking within the field.

3. **Networking Opportunities**: Studying journalism directly can connect you with industry professionals and alumni who can offer guidance, mentorship, and job opportunities.

4. **Focused Skill Development**: Journalism programs often emphasize real-world skills needed in the industry, such as news writing, investigative reporting, multimedia storytelling, and digital journalism techniques.

**Factors to Consider:**

1. **Career Goals**: Clarify your specific career goals within journalism. If you're primarily interested in writing and storytelling, an English degree may be suitable. If you want to work in news reporting, broadcasting, or digital media, a journalism/communications degree may be more aligned with your aspirations.

2. **Personal Interests and Strengths**: Consider your strengths and interests. If you have a passion for literature, language, and analytical writing, English may be a good fit. If you enjoy staying updated on current events, interviewing people, and producing multimedia content, journalism/communications could be a better choice.

3. **Combining Both**: Some universities offer interdisciplinary programs or minors that allow you to combine English with journalism or communications. This hybrid approach can provide a well-rounded education while focusing on journalism skills.

4. **Research Programs and Curriculum**: Research the specific programs and curriculum offered by universities you're interested in. Look for courses, faculty expertise, and opportunities that align with your career aspirations.

In conclusion, whether you choose to study English or pursue a journalism/communications degree depends on your career goals, interests, and preferred learning experiences. Both paths can lead to successful careers in journalism, so explore your options, consider your strengths, and choose the educational pathway that best aligns with your aspirations and professional development.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Leire
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