Journalists aren’t just “writers.” They’re men and women with a passion for uncovering the truth. For digging deep into a story. For giving people a window into what’s happening below the surface. And for Dordt communication majors with a journalism emphasis, it means living out their faith in their work.Request Info
Journalism serves the public by way of communicating news truthfully and accurately. Dordt's journalism program prepares you for the multi-faceted world of media—all from a Christian perspective.
Dordt journalism majors learn how to tell stories. Learning happens inside and outside the classroom from day one. And when you leave here, you’re prepared to hit the ground running, ready to uncover and report on the stories that matter.
What You'll Learn
Journalism isn’t all writing, but your classwork does require critical writing and an ability to hit deadlines. Courses focus on developing your storytelling skills and helping you understand the art of a career in journalism. You’ll get hands-on experience too, with chances to work for the student newspaper, take off-campus study trips, and pursue various internship opportunities.
What You Can Do With A Journalism Degree
On one hand, the field of journalism has changed dramatically over the years. The internet and digital journalism have shifted the industry with new media, wide-reaching platforms, and lower barriers of entry. On the other hand, truly excellent journalists know how to discover and give a voice to important stories. That key aspect of journalism hasn’t changed in centuries.
Whether you become a news reporter, an editor, a broadcast journalist, or pursue another path in the field of journalism, you’ll have a wide range of options to consider upon graduating.
A Journalist uses their creative writing skills and expertise to craft different written pieces.
Editors work with written content to make it publishable.
A Reporter is responsible for keeping the public updated with current events and news.
Students who choose the journalism emphasis will complete various communication courses aimed at teaching students how to put together and produce news stories, in addition to completing the general requirements for a communication degree. As a part of this emphasis, students will write for the Diamond, Dordt's student newspaper, and will produce a senior capstone project.
- TV and Radio Broadcast Production: This television and radio broadcasting course strives to obediently communicate God’s unfolding creation, equipping and encouraging students to use their video and radio broadcasting skills to live according to His Word. Students will learn the basic fundamental skills in radio and television news reporting, interviewing, commercial production and broadcast remote production.
- Advanced Reporting and Writing for the Public Media: This course is designed to help students reach the next level when it comes to media storytelling. Students will practice the mechanics and methods professionals use to tell true stories that inform and engage the public. Developing the mind of a journalist, students will apply contemporary reporting strategies and writing fundamentals by covering real events on campus and in the community. Satisfies Core Program writing-intensive requirement.
- Beat Reporting: Using the community as the laboratory, this course enables students to practice responsibly serving the public good by being a watchdog who holds the powerful accountable and tells the stories of the weak. Students in this course learn the foundations of beat reporting, going deeper into the many subjects a journalist covers. Specialized areas to explore may include politics, education, business, agriculture, art, science, community development, crime, healthcare, sports, and religion.
- Introduction to Film/Video Production: In this introductory course, students will gain working knowledge of sophisticated cameras and equipment, a beginning knowledge of editing on the Avid platform, and in-depth discussion of what it means to be a Christian in the communication and entertainment industry today. Students will work in teams to produce films during the semester.
- Public Relations: As an introduction to public relations, this course will set the background for additional courses in communication and business administration. After a study of the history of public relations, students will learn what is expected of public relations workers, study the various publics, become familiar with current problems and issues in public relations, analyze several cases, and develop a Christian perspective for the continued study of public relations.
- Public Relations Writing: This course is, above all, a writing course. Focused on public relations writing that serves overall organizational goals, the course readings and assignments allow students opportunities to further develop their writing, research, and critical thinking skills and creativity in one of the most culture-shaping industries.
- Issues in Journalism History and Culture: An in-depth exploration of the roots of journalism and an examination of how the media both chronicles and shapes culture. Students follow journalism’s own story from the printing press to podcasts, using research and storytelling skills to bring history to life. Focus topics vary each semester but in general will include a look at the people and technology that drove journalism’s growth. Readings may come from such well-known journalists as Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Nellie Bly, and Ida Tarbell while periods covered could include the American Revolution, The Civil War, Vietnam, Watergate, and the War on Terrorism.
- Communication Law and Ethics: The course examines the legal roots behind the notion of a public media. Students will explore the laws protecting communication in the public square. Students will study the ethics highlighting a communication professional’s responsibilities in the face of these legal freedoms and protections. Paying particular attention to principles from a Christian perspective and using case studies, mock trials, and role playing, students will look at both what a communicator can do and what a communicator should do.
- Journalism Capstone Seminar: Serving as a culmination of time in the program and taking reporting to the highest levels, the seminar gives journalism majors a semester to produce a series of stories on a thematic topic. Students will work across multimedia platforms to develop their pieces, combining photography, video, graphics, sound, websites, and the written word to present engaging multimedia packages. Students will then demonstrate proficiency with social media strategies to disseminate their stories to a diverse audience. This final product can be used as a cornerstone for employment portfolios.
- Advanced Non-fiction Writing: This course will introduce students to types of non-fiction writing sought by online and print publications. It will seek to improve students’ narrative writing skills, especially an engaging voice. Major assignments include the profile, the review, and the personal essay. Students will also read and react to various types of non-fiction writing, both essays and longer works. Significant class time is spent in workshop format, with students reading and discussing their own work. Satisfies Core Program writing-intensive requirement.
- Advanced Argumentative Writing: The primary goal of this course is to help students argue and persuade well in writing, in preparation for careers that demand high-level argumentation—such as seminary, law school, graduate school, political work, and research and grant writing. Students will study the art of rhetoric, writing for specific audiences in order to persuade, dissuade, or inspire them. They will also incorporate research, at an advanced level. Satisfies Core Program writing-intensive requirement.
- Advanced Film/Video Production: Building on the preproduction, production, and postproduction skills gained in Communication 250, students will bring their film/video production skills to a deeper level through in-depth analysis of other filmmakers’ work and through hands-on work with green screen techniques and more. A variety of videos will be produced during the semester.
- Media and Power: A History of Modern American Culture: Examines the influence of mass media on the development of modern American culture. Typical topics include the role of the media in the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, the FDR administration, the civil rights movement, the 1960 presidential election, the counterculture movement, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.
- Diamond Workshops: This workshop provides hands-on practical experience working as a team on the campus newspaper and website, the Diamond. Joining the staff of the student-led publication offers opportunities to apply multimedia storytelling and design skills learned in class, hone deadline-reporting expertise, and develop management and leadership abilities. This workshop is required of all journalism majors and may be completed for credit up to four times.
- To complete this major, students will work with their advisor to select six additional credits to gain content knowledge for a beat concentration.
Ready to take the next step?
With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.
Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.
Coming to Dordt with little art experience, Jenna was able to learn and grow as an artist over her four years and develop all the skills she needed to find a successful career after college.
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The abundance of writing opportunities for Kloosterman at Dordt allowed him to grow in his writing skill and knowledge and go on to pursue his life in Journalism.
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