The UF College of Journalism and Communications serves the public and the journalism and communication industries in a variety of ways that are integrated into its teaching, research, and service/outreach mission as part of a major public research land-grant AAU institution.
Several units in the College as well as other specific department and division activities and programs contribute significantly to the College’s service mission. Specific units with a major service/outreach mission include the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information; the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project; the John S. and James L. Knight Division for Scholarships, Career Services and Multicultural Affairs, and the College’s Division of Multimedia Properties.
The Brechner Center is the focal point for the College’s long tradition of support for issues related to freedom of information. The Center focuses first on Florida, but the Center also engages in national and international outreach and is recognized by FOI experts as an important resource on freedom of information.
The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project was created in 2009 and is directed by the College’s Joseph L. Brechner Eminent Scholar. The First Amendment Project 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.
The Knight Division’s outreach focuses on attracting high school and students from underrepresented groups to University of Florida and the College.
The College’s Division of Multimedia Properties reports directly to the dean and provides excellent educational opportunities for students. Because the multimedia properties are seen and heard throughout North Florida, they are able to provide news, information, and public service programming to a large and diverse population. For example, the College’s multimedia properties provide full coverage of elections, and during severe weather conditions they provide 24-hour information to help keep citizens informed and safe.
For more than 50 years the Florida Scholastic Press Association has been supported by the College, which provides the College a strong link to high school journalism throughout the state. This relationship also enables the College to demonstrate its support for scholastic journalism by the resources it provides FSPA to carry out the association’s mission and by its cooperation with FSPA in its work with high school journalism teachers and students.
The Institute for Public Relations, founded in 1956, exists to expand and document the intellectual foundations of public relations and to make this knowledge available and useful to all practitioners, educators, and researchers as well as the corporate and institutional clients they serve. IPR has been headquartered in the College since 1995. FSPA and IPR are separately incorporated organizations. Their support by the College is another example of the College’s strong commitment to provide professional and public service in ways that help the public and the professions for which the College prepares students.
The College’s four academic departments also have strong records of additional specific service to their respective professional and academic communities at state, national, and international levels.