“Journalism is not just breaking news. Journalism is not just print. Journalism is all kinds of independent and non-fiction storytelling—whether it comes in the form of an instant Instagram photo or Tweet, or as developed and complex as a book or documentary. Journalism can be words, images, video, and graphics. Journalism can be essays, lists, reports, and narratives. Journalism is about giving insight into the world around us and communicating it to the masses, no matter how big or small the audience. We live in an era when journalism, the media, storytelling, and technology is changing—and so are the jobs and our futures. A major in journalism helps you develop the skills that will help you do all of the things that journalism is right now, as well as the things it may be in the future. And even better, it will teach you so many skills—researching, writing, social media, collaboration, and more—that you can apply to whatever career path you decide.”
–Ted Spiker, Chair, Department of Journalism
The University of Florida Department of Journalism has consistently been ranked among the top 10 journalism programs in the nation and has a long tradition of producing award-winning student journalists.
The Department of Journalism’s mission is to:
- Teach the art and craft of excellent journalism;
- Study journalism and related subjects;
- Foster an appreciation for accuracy, fairness, truth and diversity;
- Develop and cultivate an understanding of the rights, roles and responsibilities of news media professionals and scholars in a democratic society;
- Support the missions of the College of Journalism and Communications and the University of Florida.
The department awards a bachelor of science degree to students who complete 124 credit hours.
Department faculty are on the cutting edge of the business. They return often to the profession to enhance skills, stay up to date on industry practices and learn new techniques to teach students.
Although not affiliated with the University of Florida, The Independent Florida Alligator offers students experience in all facets of running a newspaper. Each year journalism students place in numerous national competitions, including those sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Students interested in online journalism can get experience in courses covering everything from reporting and writing for the World Wide Web to design and production of web newspapers and magazines and creating multimedia news stories. The Applied Online Journalism course works closely with the Interactive Media Lab and produces a weekly newsmagazine for the web.
Magazine students get hands-on experience with the Orange & Blue magazine, which is a part of the curriculum. The department also offers magazine majors membership in the Florida Magazine Student Association, which is affiliated with the Florida Magazine Association.
The Department of Journalism has an Advisory Council, a group of about 20 professional journalists, to continually evaluate the focus and direction of the journalism program. Members also counsel students on the profession and offer advice on resumes, internships and job opportunities.
The Florida Scholastic Press Association assists the needs of high school journalists and their advisers. Once a year, the department sponsors the Summer Journalism Institute, a week-long workshop for high school students and school newspaper advisers.
The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information serves as a clearinghouse for information on freedom of information issues and the importance of governmental transparency to a democracy. Professor Sandra Chance responds to queries from media professionals, academics, students and custodians of public records about the federal Freedom of Information Act, the State of Florida’s Sunshine laws and other media law issues.
The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, directed by Professor Clay Calvert, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to current and contemporary issues affecting the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, thought, assembly and petition.