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Degree overview: Journalism

Journalism is, essentially, the collection, writing, editing, and presentation of news or news articles in the media— i.e., presenting information to the public. As a field of study, journalism is designed to train graduates to be ethical, objective, and critical writers, with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers working for newspapers, broadcast stations and magazines, publishing outlets in the online community, and any setting that involves the relaying and reporting of information.

Within journalism, you can learn a specialized role—public relations, marketing, publishing (often the sales end of media), investigative reporting, broadcast, activism, and political critique are a few of the most common. You also have the chance to focus on a specific field of interest such as public health, international affairs, public policy, or education. The diversity of options within, and versatility of, journalism training can make it an alluring option for grad students.

Journalism is a rapidly changing profession with many possibilities in new and traditional media. With a shift to more up-to-the-minute online format and the participation of everyday people in reporting, journalism is slowly becoming more egalitarian. Journalism-as-public-service has been the root of reporting since its early days. From Benjamin Franklin's anonymous anti-colonial articles in revolutionary newspapers, to Edward R. Murrow's on-site World War II reporting, to recent Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism on the war in Iraq—journalists expose truth and bring issues to light that might have otherwise stayed out of the public view.