“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 is about giving insight into the world around us and communicating it to the masses, no matter how big or small the audience. 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 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 UF College of Journalism and Communications
The department awards a bachelor of science degree to students who complete 124 credit hours.
Department faculty, adjuncts, and graduate students teach a variety of courses—from foundation principles of journalism to cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Virtually all faculty have professional media experience, and the faculty is a mix of those with scholarly specialties and those with professional specialties. They return often to the profession to enhance skills, stay up to date on industry practices and learn new techniques to teach students. Students have a wide variety of options when it comes to gaining experience through our curriculum and related activities. Our students work in the Innovation News Center in Weimer Hall, various other media properties, The Independent Florida Alligator (though this is not affiliated with the University of Florida), Orange & Blue magazine, and many other experiences via the classroom and emerging opportunities. Each year journalism students place in numerous national competitions, including those sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
The department is dedicated to continually evolving curriculum to offer new and innovative courses in the media field, ranging from data journalism and coding to specialized reporting classes and social media. The curriculum is based on foundational journalistic and media principles, ethics, and the First Amendment.
The Department of Journalism has an Advisory Council, a group of about 20 professional media members, 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 Media 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.