Tony Pederson, Belo Distinguished Chair of Journalism
Assistant Professors: Craig Flournoy, Camille Kraeplin; Executive-in-Residence: Lucy L. Scott; Journalist-in-Residence and William J. O’Neil Chair in Business Journalism: Mark Vamos; Senior Lecturers: Carolyn Barta, Michele Houston, Jayne Suhler; Adjunct Professors: Robert Hart, Pam Harris.
The world of journalism is changing fast. Once-divergent media forms are rapidly coming together in ways that make it essential for 21st-century journalism education to reflect the complexity of actual practice. Graduates must be prepared to function and lead in a new and changing environment. The Division of Journalism prepares students to succeed in this dynamic setting.
Majors will study multimedia journalism, including broadcast, print and online formats. They will learn professional skills that will enable them to adapt swiftly to a changing journalism environment. Content that is useful and interesting will have value regardless of the delivery system or systems of a particular era. For this reason, students also are taught the intellectual and theoretical skills they will need to help them interpret the world around them and understand the role of the media in society. They will graduate as clear, concise thinkers and writers.
The Division of Journalism is located in the Umphrey Lee Center, which houses faculty and administrative offices, audio and video production, and media support areas, including a new digital newsroom. Over time this facility will be a place where journalism students can write, edit and produce their work across a digital network that will give them skills to work in print, broadcast and on the Internet.
The division also has basic video/audio modules; video logging rooms; off-line editing rooms; a nonlinear video editing lab; equipment storage and checkout; digital audio rooms; a teaching radio studio; a seminar room; classrooms; a graphics lab; an editing lab; viewing rooms; and production classrooms.\
Strong writing skills are essential to the student’s success in the division’s journalism curriculum and later in the profession of journalism. Students may enroll in journalism classes as first-year students. Those wishing permission to major in the Division of Journalism must have completed ENGL 1301 (Introduction to College Writing) and ENGL 1302 (First-Year Seminar in Rhetoric: Contemporary Issues).
The student must compile a minimum G.P.A. of 3.00 (B) in both courses. Essay and grammar, spelling, and punctuation tests must be successfully completed before students are allowed to declare journalism as a major. Students transferring from other universities must have completed equivalent courses and obtained the equivalent G.P.A. in those courses before they can be considered a major candidate in the Division of Journalism.
Honors Scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding students who intend to major in journalism. Other scholarships are available to journalism students through a variety of foundations and gifts to the division.
The Honors Program in Journalism is highly selective. At midterm of the sophomore year, and again at midterm of the junior year, declared journalism majors with a G.P.A. of 3.50 or better can apply to the Honors Program. All interested students, including those who have been previously awarded honors scholarships, need to apply for admission to the program.
At midterm of the senior year, the top 10 percent of the graduating class is invited for membership in Kappa Tau Alpha, the Journalism Mass Communication Honor Society. Those wishing to graduate with distinction in journalism must complete twelve hours of coursework in Honors course sections within the various communication divisions. In addition, seniors must complete an honors directed study and produce an honors thesis.
For further information, contact the Honors Program director, Division of Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, 280 Umphrey Lee, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275.
As global markets and fast-paced technological change buffet American workers, consumers, investors and companies, business has become one of the most important components of news. The O’Neil Program equips aspiring journalists with both the technical knowledge to understand often-complex business and economic issues and the journalistic skills to make those topics understandable and accessible to news audiences. And because an ability to follow the money is critical to many beats, the tools and techniques developed in this program will prepare students for more sophisticated and insightful coverage of subjects ranging from national and local politics to technology, the entertainment industry and the environment.
This innovative interdisciplinary program includes
courses in the Cox School of Business. In addition to the 36 credit hours required
for the journalism major, students wishing to concentrate in business and finance
journalism will complete either a second major in business, the 18-hour traditional
minor in business administration, or the new 18-hour minor in business offered
for non-Cox undergraduates, plus ECO 1311 and 1312. Students will put into
practice what they are learning about business, financial markets and economics
in advanced journalism classes and in the newsroom of a real-time Web site
focusing on North Texas companies and the regional economy.
Admission to the program is subject to the approval of the O’Neil Program in Business Journalism chair. Students studying in the program will be advised by the O’Neil chair.
Upon achieving junior and senior status, students are encouraged to take on experiences that enable them to work under the guidance of professionals in the news industry (internships). Many on-campus activities also offer practical experience (practica), and students are strongly urged to take advantage of the opportunities available to them through both the Student Media Company, which publishes a daily newspaper and a yearbook, and the Journalism Division.
Practica are taken for one credit hour at a time. Internships may be taken for one, two or three credit hours at a time, depending on the number of hours worked. A total of three credit hours of internships and practica may be counted toward a student’s degree requirements but may not be counted toward the required six credit hours of electives within the division. Internships and practica are taken on a pass/fail basis only.
Due to limited class space and enrollment pressures, a student who fails to appear on the first day of class may be administratively dropped from the class at the instructor’s discretion. Furthermore, students must comply with any more specific attendance policies spelled out in course syllabi; creation and enforcement of such policies are entirely at the instructor’s discretion. The division strives to keep class size small enough for individual attention, and large enough to ensure discussion and interaction among students. Very large enrollments will be limited and very small classes may be merged or canceled.
American University. Through a cooperative program with American University in Washington, D.C., students have an opportunity to study in the nation’s capital as a part of the Washington Term Program. Students may obtain credit for courses such as Reporting I, Reporting II and Internship, as well as courses in other disciplines.
SMU-in-London. SMU students can earn six credit hours by enrolling in the SMU-in-London Communications program. Conducted each year during the second session of summer school, the program allows students to study in London, a hub for international communications. Courses offered carry three credit hours. They do not require prerequisites and are designed to take full advantage of London’s importance as an international center. Students live in dormitories in London. As part of their international experience, students are encouraged to explore the culture and fine arts offerings of London and European countries on their own, as class schedules permit.
The role of the journalist in today’s society has become increasingly complex and important because of a paradox: as the world shrinks amid the communication revolution, the journalist’s horizons and responsibilities have vastly expanded. The rapid development of converging media technologies means journalists of the 21st century must know more about the world and also be capable of working in a variety of new media. At the same time, the next generation of journalists must retain the core ethics and values of the craft.
Journalism students will study multimedia journalism, learning the basic skills and conventions of broadcast journalism, print journalism and the emerging skill set needed to practice journalism on the Internet. The major requires 36 credit hours within the division. A total of 80 credit hours must be taken outside the division. At least 65 of these hours must be in the arts and sciences. The only exceptions for the 65 hours in arts and sciences allowed are for those students with a second major or minor in a field not related to arts and sciences.
A foreign language capability of eight credit hours or its equivalent is required, and students also must satisfy Meadows School of the Arts requirements with three credit hours outside the Meadows communication divisions. Courses may be used to fulfill only one of the student’s divisional requirements (i.e., a student may not fulfill two divisional requirements with one course). Note: All journalism majors must declare and complete a second major or a minor of their choosing outside of communication.
NOTE: Only CCJN courses passed with a grade of C- or better will count for credit toward the major in journalism.
General Education Curriculum: 41
Journalism Core Curriculum (21 Hours):
CCJN 2302 Ethics of Convergent Media -3
CCJN 2303 Writing and Editing for Journalists - 3
CCJN 2304 Basic Video and Audio Production - 3
CCJN 2312 Reporting I - 3
CCJN 2313 Reporting II - 3
CCJN 2380 Digital Journalism - 3
CCJN 4316 Communication Law - 3
Skills Requirement: 3
All Journalism majors are required to take 3 credit hours of Journalism Skills courses. Students may choose any of the CCJN courses from the list below:
CCJN 3357 Photojournalism
CCJN 3358 New Media News
CCJN 3360 Computer-Assisted Reporting
CCJN 3365 Investigative Reporting
CCJN 3382 Feature Writing
CCJN 3385 On-Air Reporting
CCJN 4310 Editorial/Opinion Writing
CCJN 4320 TV News Reporting
CCJN 4321 Radio News
CCJN 4383 TV News Producing
CCJN 4384 Advanced TV News
CCJN 4385 Graphics and Design
CCJN 4388 Print Design and Editorial Decision-Making
CCJN 4390 Advanced Web Mastery
Topical Studies Requirement: 3
All Journalism majors are required to take 3 credit hours of Journalism Topical Studies courses. Students may choose any of the CCJN courses from the list below:
CCJN 3325 Technology Reporting
CCJN 4300 Broadcast News Seminar
CCJN 4306 Business and Journalism
CCJN 4344 Sports Journalism
CCJN 4345 Media and Politics
CCJN 4387 Arts Beat
CCJN 4392 Journalism and Religion
CCJN 4395 Public Affairs Reporting
CCJN 4396 International Reporting
CCJN 5301 Topics in Journalism
CCJN 5302 Topics in Journalism
CCJN 5303 Topics in Journalism
CCJN 5304 Topics in Journalism
Critical Studies Requirement: 3
All Journalism majors are required to take 3 credit hours of Journalism Critical Studies courses. Students may choose any of the CCJN courses from the list below:
CCJN 3390 Literary Journalism
CCJN 3396 History of Journalism
CCJN 4331 Current Issues in the News
CCJN 4360 Women and Minorities in the Media
CCJN 4370 Law and Ethics in a High-Tech World
CCJN 4380 Objectivity and Bias
CCJN 4393 Civil Rights and the Media
CCJN 4394 Media Effects
CCJN 4397 Journalism in Latin America
Journalism Electives (any Journalism course): 6
Meadows Elective/Corequirement: 3
All Journalism majors are required to take at least 6 credit hours of Journalism Electives. Students may choose any CCJN course.
Foreign Language: 8
Second Major or Minor and Free Electives: 34
TOTAL HOURS: 122
The minor in Journalism provides a basic understanding of the role of the news media in American society and an introduction to the basic skills necessary for the practice of the field.
Requirements: 24 term hours, distributed as follows:
CCJN 2302 Ethics of Convergent Media
CCJN 2303 Writing and Editing for Journalists
CCJN 2304 Basic Video and Audio Production
CCJN 2312 Reporting I
CCJN 2313 Reporting II
CCJN 2380 Digital Journalism
CCJN 4316 Communication Law
Three additional credit hours in any CCJN course.
2301. Mass Media and Society. A survey of all print and broadcast media – their backgrounds as well as their current status as industries. Ethics, law, effects of mass media, international communication, advertising and public relations are also treated.
2302. Ethics of Convergent Media. An exploration of the ethical issues that provide the foundation for all communication fields. These issues have become more complex as media and industries have converged. Topics include free speech, privacy, government regulation and censorship.
2303. Writing and Editing for Journalists. Introduction to the fundamentals of working journalism. Students review English grammar, become versed in the Associated Press writing style and develop critical thinking skills to evaluate the news. They also become acquainted with the basics of journalistic writing, including broadcast writing, and editing. Convergence laboratory required.
2304. Basic Video and Audio Production. Offers students practical training in the fundamentals of broadcast communication. Students learn the basic techniques, including field production and editing and control room and studio editing. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2303.
2312. Reporting I. The division’s rigorous foundation writing and reporting course. Students gain critical skills needed to complete the major, including the fundamentals of gathering, documenting, organizing and writing news stories in an accurate, fair, clear and concise manner. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisites: CCJN 2302, 2303.
2313. Reporting II. Builds on the foundation of Reporting I. Students learn to analyze information quickly and accurately while applying critical thinking skills. Introduces students to the basics of broadcast writing. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2312.
2380. Digital Journalism.
Students study the convergence of traditional media as they apply to new communication
technologies and produce multimedia Web sites that incorporate photography,
videography, audio and graphics. Convergence laboratory required.
Prerequisites: CCJN 2304, 2312.
3325. Technology Reporting. Helps journalists of tomorrow understand complex technologies like the World Wide Web in a way that will allow them to foresee the impact of those technologies on society, our culture and our way of life. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2312.
3357. Photojournalism. Training in the techniques and execution of digital photojournalism including computer processing of images. Students produce digital photojournalism and have the opportunity to generate photographic images for the division’s convergence Web site. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2302, 2303.
3358. New Media News. Focuses on using new media presentation methods and design skills to produce new forms of communication for news outlets. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2380.
3360. Computer Assisted Reporting. Emphasizes a hands-on approach through the gathering and organizing of computerized data. Students learn techniques for locating, retrieving and verifying information from electronic sources including libraries, research institutions, government documents, databases, court cases and experts. Prerequisite: CCJN2313.
3365. Investigative Reporting. Intensive introduction to the art of generating original news ideas about issues of public significance, developing critical news judgment, unearthing often difficult-to-access information, and organizing the information into focused, well-documented and compelling stories. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
3382. Feature Writing. Emphasizes the conceptual and technical skills needed to develop one’s own voice, bring a literary quality to one’s journalism, and produce professional-level descriptive pieces and features for various media. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN2313.
On-Air Reporting. Students work in small groups to produce news and commentary
segments for television and radio. Goal is to provide substantive analysis
of social, cultural and economic issues of interest to college students. Convergence
Prerequisites: CCJN 2304, 2312.
3390. Literary Journalism. Students explore and analyze nonfiction through roundtable discussion, book reviews and creative writing. Course requires heavy reading with an emphasis on books and essays of the last 100 years. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
3396. History of Journalism. The story of how American journalism became what it is today. The course emphasizes the people and events that transformed the media from the colonial printer into 21st century media conglomerates. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4101-2. Journalism Practica. One credit hour for work at on-campus media positions. Maximum of two credit hours may be earned and counted toward degree requirements. See restrictions on allowable credit hours for practica and internships below. Offered on a Pass/Fail basis only. Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of instructor and adviser.
4125, 4225, 4325. Internships in Journalism. Internship credit for off-campus work in the field during the regular term or in the summer. Students will be limited to a total of three credit hours for internships and practica. These three hours will not count toward the six hours of required elective credit in the division. Offered on a Pass/Fail basis only. Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of adviser.
4300. Broadcast News Seminar. A small group of selected students conduct an in-depth study of current events, examining and analyzing issues and producing sophisticated television programming. Prerequisite: CCJN 4320.
4302-5. Washington Term Directed Studies. Offers students an opportunity to study and practice journalism in the nation’s capital.
4306. Business and Journalism. An intensive introduction to business, financial markets, and economics, combined with practice in reporting and writing about these complex topics. This course will give aspiring business journalists the tools to make business information understandable and accessible to news audiences. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
4310. Editorial/Opinion Writing. Examines the role of opinion writing in American journalism and teaches techniques that will help students develop clear and effective editorials and columns on a range of topics. The course emphasizes critical thinking and writing skills. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
4316. Communication Law. Exploration of the historical and philosophical basis for freedom of expression. Practical applications of the law in such areas as libel, censorship, access, privacy, obscenity, copyright and government regulations affecting broadcasting, advertising and the press. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4320. TV News Reporting. Writing, videotaping and editing news reports for television. Includes live reporting. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 3385.
4321. Radio News. Fundamentals of reporting and news writing are adapted to a radio environment. Students do original reporting, write radio copy from wire and campus sources and read copy on air. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN2312.
4326. Washington Term Internship. Internship opportunities in the nation’s capital.
4331. Current Issues in the News. Encourages students to think critically about important issues in journalism today, acquaints them with the classic writings and ideas that have shaped modern journalism, and identifies the key concepts that have formed recent journalism criticism. Goal is to teach communication majors to become more creative problem-solvers as professionals, and more critical as media consumers. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4344. Sports Journalism. Emphasizes the particular narrative style and newsgathering techniques of sports stories and coverage. Students will learn how to interview sports personalities and compose stories relating to the competitive events and social issues surrounding the world of sports. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
4345. Media and Politics. Increased understanding of the political and elections process enables students to evaluate and practice political journalism. The course covers campaigns and governance and features analysis of media coverage and practical application. Prerequisite: CCJN 2312.
4360. Women and Minorities in the Media. Examines the impact and representation of women and minorities in the mass media from historical and critical perspectives. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4370. Law and Ethics in a High-Tech World. Encourages students to investigate the real and possible boundaries in cyberspace between open and closed systems of code, commerce, governance and education, while examining the relationship of law and ethics to each. Students will engage with a wide spectrum of Net issues, including privacy, intellectual property, antitrust concerns, content control and electronic commerce. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4380. Objectivity and Bias. Identifies the various forces that critics say bias the news media and looks for evidence of these biases in media products. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4383. TV News Producing. Develops producing, management and anchor skills. Students exercise journalistic and ethical judgment under deadline pressure. Designed to prepare students for their first job in a TV newsroom. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 4320.
4384. Advanced TV News. Sharpens basic general assignment TV reporting skills by emphasizing long-form reporting. Goal is to produce substantive specialty pieces such as trend, consumer or feature stories of cultural and social interest suitable for air in a medium-size TV market. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN4320.
4385. Graphics and Design. Introduction to the principles and processes associated with visual design. Students examine the roles of visual design as both a tool and a medium of communication and cultural production. Assignments include creating, altering, editing and processing images; conceptualizing, formatting, analyzing and refining typography; and preparing materials for production and publication, utilizing one or more media. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2312.
4387. Arts Beat. Students gain experience in a convergence class in reporting on arts and entertainment, writing reviews, etc. The course includes sessions with local critics and experts in various areas of arts and literature. Prerequisite: CCJN2313.
4388. Print Design & Editorial Decision-Making. The fundamentals of newspaper layout and design, including an emphasis on news selection, decision making and publication trends. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2312.
4390. Advanced Web Mastery. Builds on the online journalism skill sets of students and trains them to create dynamic online news packages to leverage the flexibility of the Internet in order to increase the public’s understanding of news stories. Students will learn how to compose their own Web sites, how to use technology to assist in newsgathering and how to unleash their creativity in online presentation. Convergence laboratory required. Prerequisite: CCJN 2380.
4392. Journalism and Religion. Introduces students to the basics of the world’s major religions and describes how journalists should cover faith-based organizations and interview religious leaders. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
4393. Civil Rights and the Media. Prior to the 1950s, the mainstream press was one of the major obstacles to black progress. But during the Civil Rights Movement, the media became a primary force in helping blacks achieve equal rights. Course explores how and why this revolutionary change took place. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4394. Media Effects. A critical study of how mediated messages influence behavior, attitudes and feelings within a society. The course will survey historical research efforts to examine effects on individuals, groups and institutions, as well as contemporary social critiques in the American mass media. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
4395. Public Affairs Reporting. Emphasis on skills required for the reporting of news emanating from governmental bodies or politics. Prerequisite: CCJN 2313.
4396. International Reporting. Prepares students to work as foreign correspondents by helping them understand international production processes. Students will profile current American correspondents who work in foreign countries, comparing their work to those of their contemporaries. Students also engage in news-gathering assignments to encourage them to publish on matters of international interest. Prerequisite: CCJN2313.
Journalism in Latin America. Provides students with an understanding of the
practice of journalism in Latin America. Students will profile specific regions,
examining the historical, political, economic, cultural, ethnic and even geographical
differences, in order to better understand the issues that affect the struggle
for the freedom of the press. Prerequisite: Sophomore
5110, 5210, 5310. Directed Study. Independent study under the direction and supervision of a faculty member. In close collaboration with the instructor, the student conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience in course offerings. Written permission from the instructor is required and a completed directed studies form must be filed in the Division of Journalism office before the start of the term during which the study is to be undertaken. Prerequisite: Junior standing and permission of instructor.
5301-4. Topics in Journalism. Designed to provide a study and discussion setting for an issue or topic of current interest in the journalism profession. The courses will be offered on an irregular basis, depending on the significance and timeliness of the topics to be studied..
5308. Honors Thesis. Students research and write a thesis examining an aspect of or an issue in the field of journalism. This course is required for all students wanting to graduate with an honors degree in journalism.