Western Kentucky University

News/Editorial Journalism


News/Editorial Journalism Program Description:

The world of journalism is changing. However, the need for excellent journalists is not. The News/Editorial Journalism major grounds its curriculum in the skills that all employers within the news media and professional communications want: strong writing and editing skills; excellent storytelling skills; the ability to find and process complex information, and share it in a way that helps others understand it; and the ability to deal on a face-to-face basis with diverse audiences.

The core of the curriculum remains reporting, writing and editing for print and the Web. A dedicated and talented faculty with strong professional careers in journalism teaches these courses. That core is joined by a range of classes aimed at developing a foundation in multimedia storytelling: digital photojournalism, audio-visual gathering and editing; and Web site development and content delivery. Experts from all units throughout the SJ&B teach these classes. Ethical and professional standards, and emphasis on First Amendment principles and media law concepts are incorporated throughout the curriculum to complete the package.

Students in the News/Editorial major graduate prepared for work at any news media outlet or for any position in professional communications. Along the way, they get one-on-one academic and career advising from News/Ed faculty — and the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

Career Opportunities:

The News/Editorial Journalism multimedia curriculum offers students the opportunity to pursue a wide range of careers including: news reporting and editing for all media; public information officers; corporate communications; nonprofit communications. Law schools recruit heavily from journalism schools, particularly the News/Editorial major, because the core courses develop interpersonal communication skills, research and writing. These same skills are widely sought in the business sector.

Major in News/Editorial Journalism

For students entering the university or declaring the major in fall 2009 and thereafter

Prospective majors may take no more than 18 hours in the major before admission. Students must meet the following requirements before they can be admitted:

1) Completion of 4 8 hours of course work applicable to the baccalaureate degree with a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5.

2) Required courses include COMM 145 or COMM 161 (preferably COMM 161), HIST 119 or 120, the university math requirement, and at least a 'C' in ENG 100.

3) Completion of the following courses with at least a 'C': JOUR 201, 202, 232


CURRICULUM:  The major in news/editorial journalism (reference number 716) requires 42 semester hours and leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. No course with a grade of "D" or below may be counted toward the major or fulfill prerequisite requirements. One-half of the hours in the major must be at the 300- or 400-level. Effective fall 2013, students must take a minimum of 72 semester hours in courses outside of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting unit including the University's general education requirements. In addition to meeting institutional requirements for graduation, the journalism major must have a minor or second major outside of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting and Film Studies that is approved by the major faculty advisor. Students may not select a minor in film studies, or those offered within the School, unless taken as a second minor. Refer to the University Undergraduate Catalog for additional information.

Specific objectives are to:

1. Prepare students for professional careers in journalism.

 2. Instill in students a high degree of professionalism, which consists principally

     of practical competence and ethicalunderstanding.

3. Enhance students' understanding of the role of the press in a democratic society. 

REQUIRED COURSES (prerequisite courses in parenthesis)

JOUR 131 Introduction to Digital Photography

JOUR 201 Media and Society

JOUR 202 Introduction to Media Writing

JOUR 232 Electronic Technologies for Journalism

JOUR 261 Introduction to Multimedia (JOUR 131 or 231)

BCOM 264 Digital Video Production

BCOM 265 Basic Broadcast News (BCOM 185 or BCOM 201 or JOUR 201)

JOUR 301 Press Law & Ethics (JOUR 201, 202 and junior standing or permission of instructor)

JOUR 302 Intermediate Reporting (JOUR 201, 202)

JOUR 323 News Editing (JOUR 202)

JOUR 325 Feature Writing (JOUR 302, 323, or permission of instructor)

JOUR 348 Introduction to Interactive Advertising (JOUR 341 or permission)

JOUR 426 Advanced Reporting (JOUR 325) (capstone)

Restricted Electives 3 hours, upper division course, select from list below

JOUR 336 Picture Editing (JOUR 131, 232 news/ed majors or permission)

JOUR 341 Principles of Advertising (JOUR 201, 202)

JOUR 343 Print Design (JOUR 201,202,232 or successful completion of final exam in J232)

JOUR 355 Fundamentals of Public Relations (JOUR 201,202)

JOUR 421 American Press History (spring only)

JOUR 422 Current Issues in Mass Communication (18 hours in the major)

JOUR 481 Problems in Mass Communication

JOUR 491 Internship/Practicum (18 hours in the major & permission of sequence head)

JOUR 495 Collaborative Journalism (JOUR 325 news/ed majors)

BCOM 368 News Videography & Editing (JOUR 261 for news/ed majors)

Required Courses Outside the Major

ECON 203 Macroeconomics (General Education Category C)

PS 110 American National Government (General Education Category C)

PS 304 State Government (spring)   or prior to fall 2010, PS 210 State and Local Government

HIST 349 The United States Since 1945 General Elective (spring)

One of the following two courses

GEOG 110 World Regional Geography (General Education Category E)

GEOG 360 Geography of North America (General Elective or Category C)

Click here for a printer friendly copy of the News/Editorial Journalism program and a 4-year plan for completion.

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 The News/Editorial Journalism program is located within the School of Journalism & Broadcasting

 located in Mass Media & Technology Hall, office 216. Faculty may be reached at (270) 745-4144,

 or by fax at (270) 745-5835.

 Last Modified 7/23/13