The primary goal of the Journalism Department is to prepare students to become intelligent, responsible and articulate journalists, and clear communicators in all forms of media. The department is committed to the belief that the best journalism education combines a strong professional program with a thorough education in the liberal arts and sciences.
It believes that such an education helps students to hear, understand and tell the stories of people whose circumstances or backgrounds are unlike their own.
The department subscribes to the definition of journalism education given by Edward W. Barrett, former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University:
“The primary aim of education for journalism is the development of disciplines, arts and attitudes of mind: the discipline of giving attention to the distasteful as well as to the appealing; the discipline of learning to gauge one’s best effort to fit an allotted time span; the discipline of continuing self-education; the art of expression that is lean, direct, precise and deft; the art of grappling with a complex new subject, extracting information from inarticulate specialists, and synthesizing the finds faithfully and coherently; the art of recognizing fine points of accuracy and subtle gradations of meaning; the attitude of approaching new problems with the open-mindedness and imagination that makes solutions possible. Above all, one seeks the attitude of ruthless fairness, of reporting what he dislikes as honestly as what he likes — in short, true intellectual integrity.”
The department occupies a unique position within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is the only department whose primary mission is to prepare students for a particular career. The department should not, however, be viewed as being isolated or separated (redundant) from the rest of the college or its mission.
The Journalism Department values the research, teaching and service of its colleagues in other departments. It values appreciates these things for their own sake, and also for the educational depth that they provide to our students. We remain committed to the idea that our majors need a strong liberal arts background to understand the world, and a strong journalism background to report on it. The department encourages its students to study other fields in depth, and to complete second majors in other departments in the college.
It also encourages students from other departments to complete a second major in journalism, enhancing their educational and career opportunities. The department also contributes to the college by offering instruction to a substantial number of non-majors who seek to improve their writing, interviewing and research skills, or to learn about the news media.
The Journalism Department is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communications. It is the only nationally accredited program in New England.