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Journalism

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

Journalism is changing rapidly in the 21st century, with stories moving across a range of platforms—from newspapers and magazines to web and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. This means that the budding journalist needs to know not only how to gather facts and write informative and entertaining stories, but also how to work with audio and video clips and online.

Students considering the Journalism program should have a talent for writing, and an insatiable curiosity about the world around them.

Why Study Journalism?

Journalists gather and report information on current events and trends, as well as offering analysis on important social situations, giving opinion through personal columns and editorials, reviewing a range of leisure activities (including theater and movies), and interviewing people about their issues and achievements. 

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Develop excellent writing and grammar skills.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, team work, integrity, good judgment, and intelligence.

Being Successful in the Field

  • Experience with campus publications is a must.
  • Choose the most writing intensive coursework possible.
  • Read extensively in areas of interest.
  • Begin cultivating creative talents as soon as possible. Develop a portfolio of creative materials related to career goals. Internships are crucial in obtaining experience, building relationships and reality testing career choices
  • Be prepared to begin a journalism career in a small market, performing entry-level tasks before moving to larger markets and positions with more creative freedom and responsibility.

Related Fields

Newspaper Publishing

  • Reporting
  • Editorial/Column Writing
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Photojournalism
  • Circulation
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Production
  • Sports

Employers

  • Large circulation newspapers
  • Local newspapers
  • Wire services
  • Trade newspapers
  • Online publishers

Strategies

  • Obtain a summer job or internship with newspaper.
  • Work with college newspaper, yearbook, or alumni publication.
  • Take an active role, preferably leadership, in journalism organizations.
  • Demonstrate curiosity, high energy level, ability to produce under pressure and withstand criticism.
  • Develop excellent grammar and writing skills.
  • Create a portfolio of writing samples, especially those that have been published.
  • Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions.
  • Build relationships with campus and community leaders as well as athletes for interview opportunities and experience.

Magazine/Newsletter Publishing

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Advertising/Sales
  • Promotion
  • Circulation
  • Design, Art, and Production
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Photojournalism

Employers

  • Major publishers
  • Consumer magazines
  • News magazines
  • Specialized magazines
  • Technical and industrial publications
  • Professional publications/associations
  • Merchandising and trade publications
  • Labor unions
  • Academic journals
  • Corporate in-house publications
  • Religious organizations

Strategies

  • Secure internship with publisher.
  • Work on campus publications.
  • Find part-time or summer job with newspaper, magazine, or print shop.
  • Obtain sales experience.
  • Join a professional journalism organization.
  • Demonstrate creative spirit, writing skills, verbal skills, and proof reading ability.
  • Create a portfolio of writing samples.
  • Consider obtaining a minor in photography for photo journalistic specialty.

Book Publishing

  • Editing
  • Sales
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Production
  • Subsidiary Rights

Employers

  • Publishers including: Tradebooks, Children’s books, Paperbacks, Textbooks
  • Book clubs
  • University presses
  • Religious presses
  • Technical, scientific, or medical presses
  • Internet sites

Strategies

  • Attend summer publishing institute to sharpen skills and build contacts.
  • Become familiar with word processing, desktop publishing and web page design.
  • Gain knowledge of printing and production. Work with local or regional magazines and campus publications.
  • Work as sales clerk or book buyer in campus or local bookstore.
  • Supplement coursework with technical writing courses for opportunities with technical, scientific, and medical publications.

Writing

  • Technical Writing
  • Creative Writing

Employers

  • Hardware and software manufacturers/developers
  • Technical industries
  • Technical publications (journals, magazines and websites)
  • Research laboratories
  • Government agencies
  • Self-employed/Freelance

Strategies

  • Work on college newspaper or campus publication.
  • Join professional journalismor communications organizations.
  • Develop excellent word processing skills.
  • Perfect clear and concise writing abilities.
  • Demonstrate patience, flexibility, and creativity.
  • Begin submitting manuscripts, essays, articles, etc. for possible publication immediately.
  • Read widely in area of talent and/or interest (e.g., mystery novels, poetry)

Business

  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Special Events
  • Media Relations
  • Fund Raising
  • Business Writing
  • Account Services
  • Print Production
  • Management
  • Administration

Employers

  • Advertising agencies
  • Corporate advertising or public relations departments
  • Media companies (e.g., Turner Broadcasting)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Labor unions

Strategies

  • Work in sales at campus newspaper, television, or radio station.
  • Obtain business experience.
  • Complete internship at market research firm. Hone public speaking skills.
  • Seek part-time or summer job with campus public relations or sports information department.

Education

  • Secondary
  • Post-Secondary
  • Publication Advising

Employers

  • Public or private high schools
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Obtain state teacher certification for high school teaching opportunities.
  • Consider obtaining certification to teach additional subjects such as foreign language, social studies, or English.
  • Actively participate in campus newspaper and yearbook publications.
  • Volunteer to assist local high school students and sponsors with publications.
  • Obtain graduate degree (Masters and/or Doctorate) for college and university teaching opportunities.

Other Professions

  • Feature Writer
  • Free-lance Writer
  • Journalist
  • Newspaper Reporter

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Mark Fauble  110 Student Services Building  mbfaubl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5825 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone Note
Laura Trendle Polus  025C Fell Hall  lmtrend@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5484  Broadcast 
Phillip Chidester  452 Fell Hall  pjchide@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7815  Print 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.70

Middle 50% GPA

2.84 - 3.39

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Introductory-level composition (ENG 101)
  • Introductory-level speech (COM 110)

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Julie Navickas  Fell Hall 450  janavic@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7080 

Middle 50% GPA

2.84 - 3.39

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

September 1 - October 1, February 1 - March 1

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Major Requirements

Submission of online application form and essay.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Julie Navickas  Fell Hall 450  janavic@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7080 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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