Broadcast Journalism Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Info
Broadcast journalism degrees provide professional training in a field that often competes with popular, user-produced media. Graduates gain hands-on knowledge of broadcasting through student-run television and radio-stations.
Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism
Broadcast journalists deliver current events to the public through mediums, such as television, radio or online media formats. Many programs allow students to specialize in one of these three fields. Radio is the oldest broadcast journalism medium, television is regarded as the most influential and the Internet is the fastest growing.
Many programs note the trend of an increasing number of amateurs taking broadcast journalistic roles via Internet channels like 'YouTube' and video blogs (vlogs) and therefore emphasize skills that provide a professional distinction from the untrained. These skills include knowledge of the broadcasting process, writing and technical skills, knowledge of journalistic ethics, competency in advanced digital media technologies and advanced journalistic research techniques.
Programs commonly provide hands-on training through in-house journalistic entities, like student-run radio and television stations. Many programs focus on comprehensive knowledge of the broadcasting process, and students often fill a number of roles during practical training, such as editing, camerawork and directing. Most programs also facilitate off-campus internships with local broadcasting stations.
Students must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for admission. They should also be prepared to submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal essay.
Programs may also favor students who hold an associate degree in broadcast journalism, which covers a basic knowledge of broadcasting and journalism practices. Associate degrees are sometimes available online, often cover all general education requirements and take 1-2 years to complete.
Coursework in bachelor's programs in broadcast journalism combine classes, internships and laboratory learning. Here are examples of classes that might appear in the curriculum:
- English Composition
- Journalism ethics
- Journalistic research
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) expects the employment rate for journalists to decline by six percent between 2008 and 2018. The decline is do to industry convergence and consolidation, decreasing advertising revenue and competition from other media outlets.
Journalists made an average annual salary of $34,850 in May 2008, according to the bureau. The lowest-paid journalists made less than $20,180, while the highest-paid journalists earned more than $77,480.
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