the PROFiles Blog

Which Major is for You? Part 22 – Journalism

Information has always been one of the most valuable commodities in any society. In olden times, people would anxiously await news as it was brought from the next city by travelers spreading the news by word of mouth. After the printing press was invented, newspapers and other forms of printed news began to spread. Today, news is shared by a variety of digital mediums: television, radio, blogs, electronic periodicals, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Rowan University’s Journalism major teaches students the principles of journalism, and trains them in how to apply those principles to any news medium, from traditional print news to the newest forms of digital information sharing. In the Journalism program, you’ll learn the skills needed to become a news reporter, broadcast anchor, news blogger, or a social media expert. You can also learn about web design in order to have the skills needed to make your own news website. You can also get the chance to practice your skills working for one of Rowan’s own news services.

Careers in Journalism cover a wide range of fields. You can become a copy editor, working to polish the news stories written by reporters in order to get them ready for publication. You can become a photojournalist, showing the public the real impact of important events through the artistic use of professional photography. You can write articles for a newspaper, magazine, blog, or other periodical. You can also choose to specialize in certain fields, like sports writing, entertainment, the arts, political news, or international events.

The strong writing skills you’ll develop as a Journalism major will also be useful if you want to pursue a career in publishing. You’ll also develop strong investigative and communication skills which can be useful in a variety of business fields, such as public relations, advertising, or marketing. Companies wanting to get the word out about new products, changes in their business plans, or other innovations in their field can use the skills of a Journalism major, including social media expertise, as a means of getting such information to the public.

Additionally, strong writing and media skills can be useful for recruitment programs and human resources. Many organizations need websites and blogs geared towards sharing information about their purpose, in order to increase enrollment and membership. Charity groups use such resources to spread awareness about their cause in order to increase donations and recruit volunteers. Colleges use them to spread interest in their school and increase enrollment. Even hospitals and treatment centers need to spread information about their services in order to keep the public informed of new treatment options and advances in the medical field.

While enrolled in Rowan’s Journalism program, students will develop strong writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. They will learn about the principles and practices of good journalists, including the ethical principles that are important for fair and unbiased reporting. They will learn the importance of thorough investigation and adherence to facts and details. They will also learn about all of the laws relevant to a journalist’s career, such as copyright laws and how to avoid plagiarism.

Courses in the Journalism program cover traditional and digital writing methods, including copy writing, article writing, and broadcast news writing. There are also courses on publication layout and Design, which teach students how to effectively organize text, photographs, and advertisements on a printed page. These courses will teach students how to create magazine layouts, newspapers, brochures, newsletters, letterheads, and various other forms of printed media.

Students can also take a minor in Journalism, which goes well with many other Communication & Creative Arts majors, such as Communication Studies or Writing Arts. A Journalism minor could also be paired with a major like Political Science, if a student wants to both learn about that field and develop the skills to write and report about it as well.

Students can also get a chance for firsthand Journalism experience writing for The Whit, Rowan’s student-run newspaper. The Whit runs every week during the academic year, providing Rowan students with news about local, regional, and global events. Some articles printed in The Whit relate directly to on campus events and other news about Rowan itself. Others are about national politics and other events that go beyond the college. There is also a sports section, which covers both Rowan sporting events and mainstream professional sports. Then there is the arts and entertainment section, which covers movies, music, and other entertainment events, including on campus performances and art exhibits by Rowan students and alumni.

In addition to gaining experience through Rowan’s school newspaper, students can pursue internship opportunities with local newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations. The combination of on campus experience and real world work experience will help prepare students for their future careers. It’s also a great way to add to a student’s resume or professional portfolio.

Becoming an expert journalist is about more than just reporting the news. There are many important skills in a journalist’s profession, including investigation, writing, communication, attention to detail, ethics, accuracy, and a commitment to the people in one’s audience. Students will learn all of these skills and more in Rowan’s Journalism program.

If you enjoy writing, sharing your opinion, and digging for the truth instead of taking things at face value, a career in Journalism might be the right choice for you.

To learn more, check out the Journalism page in the College of Communication & Creative Arts.

Keeping Up to Date on Campus Events

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about Keeping in Touch with The Whit, Rowan’s campus newspaper. Today is Thursday, the day The Whit comes out every week, and I always make sure to grab a copy in order to see what’s been going on. Over the last few weeks in particular, since I’ve been so busy getting ready for finals, I’ve noticed that I depend more and more on The Whit to remind me about what’s going on around Rowan. Sometimes I just don’t have time to keep up with everything on my own, so it’s handy to have a source of news and information that I know is relevant to my life. The Whit does cover some national events, but a lot of its focus is on news directly related to the school and student life, and I find that especially helpful.

Today’s front page story was about students on the Rowan football team gathering volunteers for bone marrow registration. That’s just one of the many charitable causes that Rowan students frequently support. These events are quite varied, and can range from gathering volunteers to raising money in sporting events for important causes. Sometimes I’ll find out about charity events in person, and get the chance to actually meet the people involved. Other times, however, there’s just too much going on around campus for me to keep up to date on everything. When I hear about a great charitable cause, however, I always like to do what I can to share the information and make sure as many people as possible learn about it, so that they can offer their support.

Of course, charity events aren’t the only news I like to hear about. Rowan also has a lot of arts and entertainment events going on pretty much every week, sometimes to support good causes, and sometimes just for fun. Today, there was a live band playing outside the student center, while students shared information about organ donation. Earlier this week, there was a concert in Pfleeger Concert Hall, held by the Rowan percussion ensemble. There was also a poetry slam Tuesday night, which included prizes for the poets involved. These are just a small sampling of the artistic events that take place all the time around campus; others include dance recitals, art exhibits, plays, and musicals.

Another way I learn about campus events is through the school’s twitter account (@RowanUniversity). They often tweet important and useful information, which is helpful when I don’t have time to seek the info out on my own. There’s also a bunch of other official school twitter accounts for different types of information: @TheWhitOnline is the main twitter account for The Whit, while @TheWhitFeatures is the account for The Whit’s feature’s section, and both shares links to articles from The Whit’s website (other individual sections include @TheWhitSports for the sports section, and @TheWhitAE for the Arts and Entertainment section); @RUWC is the Rowan WritingCenter’s official twitter account, where students can get information about help with writing; and @RowanRadio shares information about Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM: “The Music That Matters.”

Of course, one of the best ways to learn about things going on around campus is simply word of mouth. A few of my classmates were involved in this semester’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” and they were eagerly encouraging everyone in class to attend. I’ve also known a lot of students on different sports teams at Rowan, and they are always hoping for their classmates to show up and cheer them on during their games and competitions.

Regardless of where I learn about something, I’m glad that there are so many ways for me to keep up to date on what is going on around campus. Rowan is very active in everything from sports to entertainment to events planned by clubs, fraternities, and sororities. There’s always something new coming up right around the corner.

Keeping in Touch with The Whit

The Whit is Rowan University’s school newspaper, and for years I’ve found it to be an excellent source of news, both local and national. Most of the writers are students that are destined for future careers in journalism, but even though they’re not starting their professional careers yet, I’ve always found the articles to be extremely well-written and interesting.

The Whit covers a variety of topics, from local news, to sports, to arts and entertainment, to special feature articles.  While I could get my news from any other local newspaper, I always read The Whit because it’s written from the perspective of college students.  While some of the articles are about national politics and other big issues, many of the articles are specifically about events and organizations at Rowan.  There are updates on the Rowan sports teams, articles about events sponsored by on-campus organizations, and interviews with both students and professors.  The Whit also keeps Rowan students up to date on changes at the school, ranging from new campus restaurant options, to campus construction projects, and important decisions made by the faculty and the student government association.

I’m also rather fond of doing the crossword puzzle (though I’m AWFUL at Sudoku…)

I highly recommend checking out The Whit, especially if you’re interested in applying to Rowan.  Since The Whit is available online, you can check it out without having to pick up a copy on campus.  It can be a great way to get a feeling for what campus life is like, and learn about some of the on-campus events going on each week.

The Whit is also free to everyone at Rowan, and can be found each week in buildings all across campus.