Department of Journalism
Journalism students at Boston University combine a solid liberal arts background with pre-professional education to prepare for careers as writers, reporters, editors, and producers for a variety of media. Journalism majors therefore take a majority of their courses in disciplines outside COM (usually in the College of Arts & Sciences).
The department provides undergraduates with the opportunity to study journalism in its broadest aspects: its history and literature; its laws, regulations, and ethics; its traditional role as a motivator and critic of government in a dynamic, democratic society; and its total effect as a social and economic institution. In addition, students acquire professional skill training, including: reporting, feature and editorial writing, editing, producing, news selection, photography, multimedia and interactive publishing, and media management. Boston, as the state capital and a recognized cultural, financial, media, educational, and scientific center, provides special opportunities for the training of journalists.
Students earning a BS in Journalism will have the opportunity to earn experience in a variety of forms: print, online, broadcast, and visual. Students are urged to select coursework from multiple disciplines for a more balanced education.
Washington Journalism Center
The Washington Journalism Center offers senior journalism and graduate students the chance to spend a semester in Washington, DC, working in the bureaus of national news organizations, reporting on Congress and the federal government for New England news outlets, and studying political reporting. In addition to a course in political reporting, seminars on the legislative process, money and politics, and political feature writing are offered by national journalists. Students are provided with internships in the DC bureaus of news organizations. They also serve as the Washington correspondents for New England news outlets through the Boston University Washington News Service, which has a newsroom equipped with state-of-the-art television and radio equipment in the Boston University Washington Center on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington. Upon successful completion of the program, students earn 16 credits.
New England Center for Investigative Reporting
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University (NECIR–BU) provides students with opportunities to work on investigative journalism projects with some of the most skilled professionals in the industry. The primary goals of NECIR-BU are to produce high-quality, high-impact investigative reports; train the next generation of investigative reporters; serve as a platform for experimenting with how to effectively deliver long-form investigative content to a digital audience; and be a model for nonprofit, multimedia, investigative journalism that could be duplicated nationwide. NECIR-BU’s reporting reaches millions of people through reports appearing in boston.com, the Boston Globe, New England Cable News, and WBUR (NPR).
Broadcast and Cable Opportunities
The College of Communication is committed to offering students academic and professional opportunities in the newest communication technologies. The College has joined with the Boston Cable Access and Programming Foundation to produce Neighborhood Network News, a nightly evening newscast made available to more than 300,000 potential cable viewing households in Boston. A fully equipped broadcast journalism newsroom and a production studio are located in COM. Students work closely with professional staff to write, edit, report, and produce the newscast.
The Department of Journalism offers MS programs in Journalism and Science Journalism. Both programs are designed to produce graduates trained to analyze and explain the complex events of our times as well as raise journalistic standards in all media.
Throughout their careers, journalists are called upon to tackle a number of issues and stories; as such, a cross-platform knowledge of the industry is essential. They work with an advisor to design specializations in broadcast, business and economics, digital lab, international reporting, magazines, narrative, news, photojournalism, politics, and sports.
Journalism students at Boston University learn about the profession by covering local, state, and national government as well as various political, business, and cultural activities. Assignments are under the direction of experienced, accomplished journalists who are current or recent leaders in professional journalism.
The College of Communication ensures not only that students will be trained by the best faculty, but also that they will have the latest technology at their fingertips—for example, computer-assisted reporting and courses on the Internet and website production. The radio facility features the latest in digital editing and audio equipment and is home to WTBU and www.wtburadio.org, a student-run radio station that airs regular newscasts, talk shows, and a wide variety of music. Broadcast students also have two fully equipped television studios, one of which is set up for news production, complete with digital editing suites. Participation in BUTV, our in-house television production company, is encouraged. BUTV produces a wide range of television shows that air on local cable networks.
Journalism students have the opportunity to contribute to a number of student magazines, other publications, and the award-winning daily student newspaper, the Daily Free Press.
Minor in Journalism
The Minor in Journalism is open to all BU undergraduate students, including COM students. Current COM students may minor in a department other than their declared department within COM.
Students wishing to enroll in the COM minor must first complete COM CO 201, Introduction to Communication Writing, with a grade of C or better. The participating COM department must sign off on the COM Minor Declaration Form. The student would then take that form to their home school (Undergraduate Affairs office, Room 123 for COM students). Please go to the COM Undergraduate Affairs website for more information and required courses.