By Pablo Ramos Diaz
A Journalism degree provides students with various career opportunities such as a journalist, an editor, a public relations specialist, and much more. Although you can proceed in these sorts of jobs with a Communications degree, Journalism study allows students to become specialists in this field as well.
A Journalism program will become a reality at Mt. San Jacinto College in the spring semester of 2021. Although the Mt. San Jacinto 2020 Catalog will feature the program, classes will not actually start until 2021.
In this program, students will be able to earn an Associate’s Degree for Transfer (ADT) in Journalism. Furthermore, this program will give students an opportunity to study a unique form of communication. Students will develop their skills in storytelling to represent the news and help make sense of events that happen around the world.
A major factor in bringing this program to the college was our very own student-run newspaper, The Talon. Dr. Michele Weber, who is the adviser for The Talon, talked about how working with The Talon helped bring about the idea of a Journalism program in the first place.
“The idea for the Journalism program sprung when the Communication Department took the Talon newspaper over,” said Dr. Weber. “Professor [Ron] Newman thought it would be a great addition to an already robust Communications program and things just started to take off.”
Before Dr. Weber stepped in, Professor Newman was the faculty member supervising the newspaper. After seeing Dr. Weber’s love for the media, Newman decided to give the control over to Dr. Weber to expand the newspaper. Once she got to work, Dr. Weber wasted no time in pushing The Talon even further. Recently, this helped her realize that a Journalism Degree would help not only the students working inside The Talon, but also others who are interested in the media field.
The Talon has become a place where students are thriving and learning how to conduct interviews, become effective writers, and create stories in print and digital formats. Furthermore, with the newspaper dating all the way back to 2012 and still thriving to this day, The Talon, which has been focused on print, will undergo a change by adapting to being online.
With the release of The Talon’s new website, the newspaper will put a focus on digital media to prepare students for the field’s new direction. Not only does the change in direction help students, but the changes also will be reflected in the upcoming journalism classes.
Classes that will be offered include a News Writing course, where students will begin to learn the basics of how to write like a journalist at a college level. Another course will be Journalism Practicum, where students can put together all the components they have learned into a newsroom. Comm 110, Communications Media Survey, is a class that focuses on studying media and is a requirement for an Associate Degree (AA) for Communications will become a core course for the Journalism program.
With this program launching very soon, Dr. Weber and others are excited to see what the future holds for both students and teachers.
“I am hoping for great success with this program,” said Dr. Weber. “I know there are lots of students who are excited about it and it will provide a clear pathway to the Cal States and to other digital communication programs locally, such as the new one at APU’s Murrieta campus.”