Journalism Major, B.A.
If, through writing or imagery, you are compelled to chronicle the stories that define society and culture, that underlie the decisions we make and ultimately affect us all, then you are a journalist at heart. But how do you become a trusted voice amidst the cacophony of unreliable media?
MSU Denver’s bachelor of arts degree in Journalism is your path to a career as a respected journalist. Revering the role of the free press in America, MSU Denver’s Journalism program stresses the journalism code of ethics, which dictates that truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability are paramount. MSU Denver professors teach rigorous courses covering First Amendment case studies and ethical issues that prepare you for careers in both print and electronic newsrooms, public relations firms and corporate communications departments.
At the same time, MSU Denver’s Journalism program has evolved with the ongoing transformation of media. Choose from concentrations in Convergent Media, Magazine, Public Relations and Social Documentary. As a Journalism major, you will learn to identify the story or program purpose, create a sound message and use the appropriate medium in which to deliver it. As a Journalism graduate, you will know how to develop accurate, concise, informative narratives no matter the platform or audience.
Through on-the-job training in internships, student media and working with MSU Denver Journalism and Public Relations professors, who have years of experience in markets such as Chicago, San Francisco, Kansas City and elsewhere, you will acquire the resume and skills necessary to earn your spot as a respected member of the media.
The Department of Journalism and Media Production also offers two Individualized Degree (IDP) incubator programs through the MSU Center for Individualized Learning:
The Journalism Program also participates in the Minor in Sports Media that is offered through the Department of Human Performance and Sport.
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
An internship where you will practice your craft is an essential part of your MSU Denver Journalism program. Among the media outlets, nonprofit organizations and businesses that offer internships to MSU Denver Journalism and Public Relations students are:
- Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation
- Denver Urban Spectrum
- Loveland Daily Reporter Herald
- City of Aurora
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Mile High Sports
- Elevation Media Group
- Fox 31 News
- Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine
- Navigant International
- Rocky Mountain PBS
- Active Interest Media
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
The 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook lists $61,240 as the annual media salary for writers and authors, including journalists, and $58,020 for public relations specialists.
Among the careers you will be qualified for as an MSU Denver Journalism graduate are:
- Magazine writer/editor
- Media relations
- Corporate communications manager
- News reporter
- Print and electronic layout designer
- Multimedia journalist
- Public relations professional
- Social documentarian
- Broadcast journalist
- Freelance writer
- Public information officer
- Investigative journalist
- Social media writer
- Sports journalist
Photojournalism Professor Kenn Bisio’s images have been published in the world’s most popular newspapers and magazines, from Sports Illustrated to National Geographic. He has won multiple national awards for news photography including an image that hangs in the NFL Hall of Fame, and his images have been displayed in exhibits in America, Europe, Russia and the Far East. In 2015, he was named Educator of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado chapter.
Michelle Chase Baum
Assistant Professor Michelle Chase Baum has 20 years of experience in public relations including as director of corporate communications for a publicly-traded technology company, international PR manager for a private organization, director of corporate communications and co-founder and CEO of two PR firms.
“You’ve got to do journalism to learn journalism.”
Nicholas Garcia, MSU Denver ’11, is deputy bureau chief at Chalkbeat Colorado.
“I think I will look back at my internship (at the Vail Daily) as the beginning of the best part of my adult life.”
Jeanelle Thompson is a Journalism student at MSU Denver.
Alumni at Work
MSU Denver Journalism graduates are employed at nearly every major media distributor or content provider in Denver including:
- Rocky Mountain PBS
- The Denver Post
- Boulder Daily Camera
They have also been hired by the City of Denver, Colorado School of Mines, Donor Alliance, Kaiser Permanente and Lockheed Martin, among others.
Journalism graduates have earned postgraduate degrees at:
- University of California Berkeley
- Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
- Northwestern University
- New York University
- University of Colorado Denver
- University of Wisconsin
- University of Tulsa College of Law
Here are some classes you might take as a Journalism student, depending on your concentration:
Convergent Media Concentration:
Advanced Layout and Design
Long-Form Feature Articles
Public Relations Concentration:
Public Relations Campaigns
Public Relations Strategic Planning
IDP Social Documentary:
Facilities and Resources
The Journalism program has a variety of photo and audio equipment for student use including:
- High-end Canon digital cameras and lenses
- Portable audio recorders with microphones
- Photo Mechanic digital photo editing software
- LED portable light kits
- Drones used to capture video
- Adobe Creative Cloud software including Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom
MSU Denver, located on the Auraria Campus adjacent to Downtown Denver, is close to the heart of Denver’s major broadcast stations as well as The Denver Post where you will find opportunities for internships and possible future employment.