Journalism

College of Arts and Letters

Program Description

The Sacramento State Journalism program provides both a general academic experience and professional preparation. Sacramento's program emphasizes writing, editing, writing for interactive media, and other courses necessary to prepare students for success in media-related jobs; it also includes courses that critically examine media as an institution.

Journalism majors are the core of students who write for The State Hornet a weekly newspaper with a website updated daily at www.statehornet.com.

A student at Sacramento State may major either in Journalism or in Government-Journalism. A minor in Journalism is valuable to the student entering a career field in which journalism plays a role.

The Journalism graduate who wants to work for a newspaper should expect to serve an apprenticeship with a small newspaper before moving up to a metropolitan daily. Journalism graduates also work as magazine editors and writers, as publications employees in government agencies and associations, in broadcast journalism, and in public affairs.

Special Features

  • The location of Sacramento State in the state's capital provides uncommon advantages for the student interested in journalism. Many students take internships with state agencies or news operations that provide both experience and opportunities unlikely to be found elsewhere.
  • Sacramento State offers the only Government-Journalism degree program in the nation, tailored to take advantage of the Department's location at the hub of state politics. The Department has more than 100 internships available to upper-division journalism majors.
  • Journalism majors have the opportunity to take classes from both Department faculty and community journalists. The full-time faculty are practicing professionals who contribute regularly to publications on a freelance basis. Good use is also made of professionals from the area media both as guest lecturers and as part-time instructors.
  • The University's association with the Washington Center makes it possible for CSU Sacramento students to undertake internships in Washington, D.C. There are many opportunities for Government/Journalism majors to do an internship to meet their unique interests through this program.

Career Possibilities

Reporter · Editor · Columnist · Editorial Writer · Magazine Writer · Speech Writer · Correspondent · Public Affairs Manager · Legislative Assistant · Press Relations Officer · Public Information Specialist · Technical Writer/Editor · Broadcast Journalist · News Director · Disc Jockey · News Producer · Online Journalist

Contact Information

Gerri Smith, Department Chair
Katrina Roose, Administrative Support Coordinator II
Mendocino Hall 5014
(916) 278-6688
www.asn.csus.edu/coms

DUGAN, MOLLY

HUMPHREY, ROBERT

LUDWIG, MARK

NASER, MD

Undergraduate Programs

BA Degree in Journalism

Units required for Major: 37 plus a required minor
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120

Majors must complete each required lower and upper division course with a grade of "C-" or better.

Pre-major to Journalism

Prior to acceptance as a Journalism major, students must first complete a pre-major consisting of all required lower division courses plus JOUR 130A and JOUR 130B. Students must successfully complete each pre-major course with a grade of "C-" or better. Students with a Sacramento State grade point average of 2.3 or better may request early admission to the major.

Required Lower Division Courses (7 Units)
JOUR 20Style For Media Writers1
JOUR 30News Writing3
JOUR/COMS 55Media Communication and Society3
or JOUR 50 Mass Media and Critical Thinking
Required Upper Division Courses (18 Units)
JOUR 128News Editing3
JOUR 130ANews Reporting I3
JOUR 130BNews Reporting II3
JOUR 135Public Affairs Reporting 3
JOUR/COMS 153Mass Media Law and Regulation3
Select one of the following:3
Internship In Journalism
Journalism Laboratory
Journalism Laboratory
Electives (12 Units)
Select 12 units 112
Required Minor
Consult advisor for selection of an appropriate minor
Total Units37
1

Elective units chosen in consultation with an advisor from among Journalism faculty. At least 9 of the 12 units must be upper division. No more than a total of nine units in JOUR 195/JOUR 197A/JOUR 197B/ OR JOUR 199 combined may be counted toward the Journalism or Government-Journalism major, and no more than 6 units of any one of these courses is counted toward the major.

Note: Up to 6 units of coursework from photography or graphic design may be applied toward a major or minor in Journalism with approval of a Journalism advisor.

BA Degree in Government/Journalism

Units required for the Major: 51
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120

Majors must complete each required lower and upper division Journalism course with a grade of "C-" or better.

Required Lower Division Courses (9 Units)
GOVT 1Essentials Of Government 13
JOUR 30News Writing3
JOUR/COMS 55Media Communication and Society3
or JOUR 50 Mass Media and Critical Thinking
Required Upper Division Courses (33 Units)
Government
GOVT 170Public Policy Development3
GOVT 180California State and Local Government3
Select one of the following:3
The American Presidency
Political Parties in America
The Legislative Process
Interest Groups
Politics, Opinion, and Participation
Campaigns and Elections
Introduction to Urban Politics
Select one of the following:3
Constitutional Law
Constitutional Rights and Liberties
Select one of the following:3
International Politics
International Organization
American Foreign Policy
Journalism
JOUR 130ANews Reporting I3
JOUR 130BNews Reporting II3
JOUR/GOVT 134War, Peace and the Mass Media3
JOUR 135Public Affairs Reporting 3
JOUR/COMS 153Mass Media Law and Regulation3
Internship
Select one of the following:3
GOVT 195 series
Internship In Journalism
Electives (9 Units)
Select 6 units of upper division courses in Government6
Select one upper division course in Journalism3
Total Units51
1

If a student has not taken GOVT 1 or its equivalent, then GOVT 150 may be used in place of GOVT 1or as its equivalent as a prerequisite.

Note: Government/Journalism majors should have both an advisor in the Government Department and a Journalism Advisor in the Communication Studies Department.

The University's association with the Washington Center makes it possible for California State University, Sacramento students to undertake an internship in Washington, D.C. There are many opportunities for Government-Journalism majors to do an internship to meet their unique interests through this program.

Minor - Journalism

Units required for Minor: 21

Required Courses (9 Units)
JOUR 30News Writing3
JOUR/COMS 55Media Communication and Society3
JOUR 100Principles of Journalism3
Electives (12 Units)
Select 12 additional units of upper division elective courses 112
Total Units21
1

No more than 3 units may be from JOUR 195, JOUR 197A, or JOUR 199.

How to Read Course Descriptions

JOUR 20.     Style For Media Writers. 1 Unit


Intensive review of grammar, word use, spelling, and principles of clear, concise writing.

Credit/No Credit

JOUR 30.     News Writing. 3 Units

Corequisite(s): JOUR 20.


Fundamentals of news gathering and news writing. Emphasis on language and style used in feature and news stories.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC-OS) recommended.

JOUR 50.     Mass Media and Critical Thinking. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Critical Thinking (A3)


Introduction to reasoning skills useful to the journalism major and general education student alike in interpreting and judging information, entertainment and advertising in the mass media. Emphasis on how to assess the quality of news as information, and on how to think critically about the effects of mass-produced culture.

JOUR 55.     Media Communication and Society. 3 Units


Introduction to the basic concepts of mass communication, including the effects, uses, and functions associated with the goods and services of mass media. Examination of the ways mass media combine with other institutions to affect the organization, design, and comprehension of communication messages, as well as political thought, cultural beliefs, and economic behavior.

Cross Listed: COMS 55; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 100.     Principles of Journalism. 3 Units


Theory and development of American journalism, with an emphasis on ethical and socially responsible practice.

JOUR 120.     History Of The Media. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): COMS 55/JOUR 55 or equivalent; may be taken concurrently with prerequisite.


Examination of development of major media of mass communication in the U.S. and how the economics, content, regulation and audience use of the media have been affected by the way the media have evolved. Current issues and trends are discussed, as well as possible future development.

Cross Listed: COMS 120; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 123.     Writing For Public Information. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70 or 71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X.


Organization and operation of communication media; practice in publicity and public relations techniques. Emphasis on clear writing and correct public relations formats such as releases, PSAs, articles, and speeches.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC-OS) recommended. Cross Listed: COMS 123; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 125A.     Writing for Broadcasting: Copywriting. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1A or equivalent.


General broadcast, radio, cable, and video writing course which emphasizes aural style and writing requirements for various genres. Topics include commercial writing, corporate/instructional scriptwriting, interview scripting, and broadcast news writing.

JOUR 125B.     Broadcast News: Theory and Practice. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 125A.


Introduction to the theory and practice of contemporary broadcast news with emphasis on identifying, reporting, writing and delivering broadcast news. Explores the ethical considerations of broadcast journalism and the application and effects of law and regulation.

JOUR 128.     News Editing. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 20, JOUR 30.


Instruction and practice in editing, headline writing, caption writing, and design for print and online publications.

JOUR 130A.     News Reporting I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 20, JOUR 30.

Corequisite(s): JOUR 130B.


Instruction and practice in journalistic research, interviewing, and reporting skills.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC-OS) recommended.

JOUR 130B.     News Reporting II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 20, JOUR 30.

Corequisite(s): JOUR 130A.


Practice in covering a news beat, writing news and feature stories on a weekly basis. Instruction includes reporting on local government.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC OS) recommended.

JOUR 131.     Column and Review Writing. 3 Units


Offers advanced journalism and broadcast students the opportunity to expansion of reporting skills beyond the traditional summary and interview style of reporting, to in-depth research into issues and controversies of the times in order to write interpretative, critical and analytical articles. Students will analyze issues, situations, events and behaviors and predict future trends. Styles or writing will focus on writing with opinion, including editorials, columns, reviews and analyses.

JOUR 132.     Magazine Writing. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 30, and GWAR certification before Fall 09, WPJ score of 70+, or at least a C- in ENGL 109 M/W.


Writing and submitting feature articles to magazines as well as analysis of markets for freelance work. In addition to improving writing skills, students prepare and submit professional quality manuscripts for publication.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC-OS) recommended.

JOUR 134.     War, Peace and the Mass Media. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: GE AREA D


Concerned with the relationship of mass media to war and the possibilities for peace, with emphasis on recent concepts of political communication.

Cross Listed: GOVT 134; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 135.     Public Affairs Reporting. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 130A, JOUR 130B; GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70 or 71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Writing Intensive Graduation Requirement (WI)


Preparation and practice for covering California public issues, with a focus on state government.

Note: Computer familiarity (MAC OS) recommended.

JOUR 153.     Mass Media Law and Regulation. 3 Units


Examines the laws and regulations that govern print, broadcast, and the electronic mass media in the U.S. The process by which laws and regulations are enacted and interpreted are discussed as well as legal and regulatory issues concerned with the content, control, political role and responsibilities of media practitioners, regulators, Congress and the public.

Cross Listed: COMS 153; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 158.     Public Relations Planning and Management. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): COMS 118 and JOUR 123 or COMS 123 with grade of "C-" or better.


Application of theoretical concepts to the solution of problems for pre-selected non-profit and campus clients by forming small group PR agencies; completing needs assessments; profiling target and secondary audiences; developing and implementing a strategic public relations plan; producing targeted messages for media kits and other uses; developing and evaluating formative and summative evaluation plans; and making formal in-class presentations to peers, clients and invited PR professionals. Students will also learn how to negotiate contracts, maintain client relations, track work on projects and develop timelines and budgets.

Cross Listed: COMS 158; only one may be counted for credit.

JOUR 172.     Women in the Mass Media. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: GE AREA D


Exploration of women's role in mass media, with particular emphasis on advertising and news reporting, and development of alternative methods and perspectives; a study of women's professional involvement in newspaper/magazine journalism and radio/television broadcasting; student participation in media project, i.e., production, research, community contact.

JOUR 175.     Minorities, Social Change and the Press. 3 Units


Examination of the relationship between Africans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans and the mass media. Focuses on issues involving this interaction and its effect on ethnic minority groups, their portrayal in the mass media, and the varying perceptions of a culturally pluralistic and racially diverse society. Provides a critical analysis and discussion of the role played by mass media in racial, gender and cultural change in the U.S. over the past 150 years.

JOUR 193.     The Business of News. 3 Units


Examination of issues related to the contemporary delivery of journalism, including exploration of various business models for dissemination online, in print, and by broadcast.

Note: Instructor approval required

JOUR 194.     Journalism Related Work Experience. 3 - 6 Units


Supervised employment in a company or agency working on journalism-related assignments, arranged through the Department of Communication Studies and the Cooperative Education Program office. Requires preparation of application packet, completion of a 6 month full-time or part-time work assignment, and a written report.

Note: Open only to upper division or graduate students with appropriate course preparation. Units MAY NOT be used to meet the Journalism major or minor. Consent of Communication Studies Department advisor required. No more than 12 units will count toward the degree.

Credit/No Credit

JOUR 195.     Internship In Journalism. 1 - 6 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 130A, JOUR 130B and minimum 2.3 overall GPA.


Directed work experience through the internship program with public agencies or with journalistic publications, organizations or agencies. Supervision is provided by both the instructional staff and the cooperating agency.

Note: Student must make arrangements with the internship coordinator upon admittance to the course. Limited to Journalism majors and minors and Government-Journalism majors. No more than six units of JOUR 195 may be counted toward the Journalism major.

Credit/No Credit

JOUR 196.     Experimental Offerings in Journalism. 3 Units


One time and new classes in journalism will be scheduled as needed. 2.0 - 3.0 units

JOUR 197A.     Journalism Laboratory. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 30.


Working as a staff member of the State Hornet Newspaper as a writer, photographer, graphic designer or advertising salesperson.

Note: Journalism majors are required to take either JOUR 197A, JOUR 197B, or JOUR 195.

JOUR 197B.     Journalism Laboratory. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): JOUR 30 and instructor permission.


Working as an editor or manager of the State Hornet. Responsibilities may include copy editing, layout and design and/or staff management.

Note: Journalism majors are required to take either JOUR 197A, JOUR 197B or JOUR 195.

JOUR 199.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Instructor permission.


Individual projects or directed reading open to students who wish to attempt independent work. Faculty approval required.

Note: Journalism majors or minors may submit no more than 6 units of JOUR 199 and JOUR 299 toward their degrees.

Credit/No Credit

JOUR 299.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units


Individual projects or directed reading. Open only to students who are competent to carry on individual work.

Note: Departmental petition required. Journalism majors or minors may submit no more than 6 units of JOUR 199 and 299 toward their degrees.

Credit/No Credit