The Department of Journalism develops young professionals into lifelong self-learners who will be able to detect disruptive technologies on the horizon and courageously adapt by leveraging their experience and learning new skills. The Emerson Journalism curriculum is centered around four principles: Discovery, Adapt, Illuminate, and Respect.

“Discovery” describes the way journalists approach their work with an open mind and clean slate. They are resourceful and inquisitive in their information gathering. Journalists weigh the validity of their sources as they seek to expand the public’s understanding of their world.

“Adapt” characterizes the need to continuously explore different ideas, approaches, and tools. Journalists need to be self-reflective of their successes and failures to learn from their mistakes. Adaptable journalists create, learn, adjust, and try again.

The principle of “Illumination” defines journalists and separates them from all other types of writers. Journalists expose, uncover, clarify, and contextualize issues, policies, and behaviors. Journalists illuminate when they ask questions that challenge the powerful to respond. They enliven the public conversation by bringing new ideas for consideration, and they broaden the forum by enabling voices that are often not heard.

The principle of “Respect” hopes to rebuild the relationship between journalists and the public. Journalists need the trust of the public to justify their purpose and the outcome of their work. Journalists must treat others respectfully to obtain information and tell accurate stories. Journalists must have self-respect to work honestly and faithfully serve the public interest. Gaining respect involves keeping promises, respecting confidentiality, and protecting privacy while in pursuit of the public interest. Respectful journalists act independently, portraying the truth as they see it.

The four principles are defined through the program’s Learning Objectives.

Students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of the ways of government and communities to produce journalism that uses public information and diverse community and government sources to examine culture and concerns.
  2. Cultivate and utilize a diversity of people, information, and perspectives to provide insight into the journalism about communities and institutions.
  3. Incorporate best practices and values of the profession to produce journalism that is independent, truthful, representative, accountable, and respectful of people as subjects and as audience.
  4. Apply a variety of media to reporting and producing journalism that best serves the story and the audience. Write accurate and precise news stories synthesizing information using the most effective formats, style, and language.

Journalism (BS)

The Emerson Journalism curriculum is designed to challenge emerging professionals with assignments that progressively increase in complexity. Emerson journalists are encouraged to connect what they have learned in other parts of the College to their journalism classwork and pursue story topics that interest them.