Focus Areas

Writing, Reporting and Editing

Our students know how to write when they come to us, but they are clearly experts by graduation. Good journalism means understanding your audience and how to put words together, whether it's for an investigative piece on local government or a script for a documentary. Understanding how to access information, organize data, seek out sources, write and edit for clarity all play a major role in our students' lives, and at the end of the day, there's no doubt about it: Writing skills are marketable. Everywhere.

How do we do it? Our class sizes are small because we're accredited, much smaller than a normal high school writing class, and our instructors are dedicated to routinely getting work back to students quickly so they can learn from their mistakes. It makes a difference.

Visual Communication: Photography, Design, Information Graphics,
Video, Documentary

Our students are always thinking about the visuals they'll need to help tell their stories, whether it's a photo, a video, or an information graphic. Design is not about making something pretty. It's about organizing information and making it easily accessible to audiences. Many of our students love this aspect of journalism and take our visual courses, each one preparing them to tell stories in different, exciting ways.

Media Technologies: Interactive Magazine Apps, Multimedia Websites, Social Media

Our students are on the forefront of the digital publishing world and create award-winning multimedia websites and interactive magazine apps. Faculty keep up on the latest technologies and research so that students will be on the cutting edge of our evolving industry. We plan for our students to be the visionaries and leaders of tomorrow.

Radio, Television and Documentary

The MSU J-School is one of the few journalism schools that offers radio news and production. With WKAR, Mid-Michigan's public radio and TV stations in the same building, and Focal Point TV News, students get hands-on experience and work side by side with professionals. Students interested in broadcast news and documentary work have plenty of opportunities to learn from the best in the business and produce award-winning programs.

Sports Journalism

Sports investigative reporters, announcers, commentators and beat reporters: our students have internships and our alumni are professionals at every major sports news organizations in the country, from hockey to football. Our sequence of courses trains students to understand the business of sports, the games, athletes and audiences in today's media. They regularly visit the press box of the Detroit Tigers and talk with professionals on how to hone their news judgment to best present the stories that audiences want to know.

International Reporting

Students learn how to become foreign correspondents, reporting from all parts of the globe to explain the world we live in. Thus, students understand about the different press systems around the world, with insight as to how the press and mass media news organizations fit into the overall structure of a society. This context is essential for understanding how to best report on specific world-wide issues and events that give improved meaning to these situations.

Public Relations

People go to a variety of media for different purposes. Our students learn about the media habits of different audiences and how to communicate and message them, using different media. Students understand the differences among audiences, media, types of messages and their presentations when promoting an issue, a product or service or an image for a company or client. Students also learn branding principles to develop their own brands as professionals to further their careers.

Environment, Science and Health

The world's one and only Knight Center for Environmental Journalism is housed in MSU's School of Journalism. Students learn from environmental experts and journalists and report for professional award-winning publications and broadcast outlets. They experiment with new ways of explaining complex environmental issues while maintaining traditional values of fairness and accuracy. Graduate students study how social media can change social behaviors that help Mother Nature.

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