We’ll help you become the best reporter, producer, anchor, editor, writer, correspondent, bureau chief, publisher or entrepreneur you can be.
Our approach is informal, our experience broad, our standards high. All of our faculty members have hands-on experience in the real world of journalism. We have reported all over the world, and in urban and rural areas of the United States. Trained and experienced as dispassionate observers, fair and balanced, we are passionate about the disparities in coverage in our own back yard: Chicago, our premier reporting laboratory. We want to educate future journalists who grew up in disadvantaged communities and those from more privileged backgrounds, widening world views and smashing stereotypes, covering stories and communities that no one else is.
We emphasize ethics across the curriculum. The Journalism Department offers concentrations in News Reporting and Writing (including a Sports Reporting emphasis), Magazine Writing and Editing, Broadcast Journalism (Radio and Television) and Science Journalism. We cooperate with other departments to offer individually tailored interdisciplinary majors. Course in online, mobile and entrepreneurial journalism prepare students for the booming Internet sector of our field. Our students are grounded in the fundamentals, and can explore specialties such as business, fashion, music, food, sports, international and narrative journalism. Our Travel Writing course had taken students to Florence, London, Paris, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Peru. Once a year, we offer an intensive five-week program in Los Angeles for upper-level students, focusing on in-depth coverage of the entertainment industries. Classes are held on a studio lot. Students meet influential media makers, visit entertainment shows and magazines and interact with major players in the music, television and movie businesses.
Each semester, students produce the full-color Echo magazine. The Columbia Chronicle, a weekly newspaper and frequently updated website, covers the campus, the South Loop and greater Chicago. Both publications have won many awards, and individual student work is also often recognized with state and national honors. Broadcast majors have opportunities for on-air experiences on the Columbia College radio station WCRX and in News Beat, a course which produces a live half-hour news, sports and entertainment program. More in-depth, magazine-style pieces, in Spanish and English, are produced during the Metro Minutes practicum. All provide materials for students’ portfolios, leading to top internships and jobs upon graduation. Students in the Senior Honors course have won national awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.
The essential building blocks for excellent journalism—generating ideas, figuring out how to report, research and verify information, and telling stories in an intriguing way—will remain the foundation of our curriculum, as we encourage students to think critically, creatively and independently. This approach prepares students for the challenges of technologies and occupations not yet imagined.
Our faculty is talented and diverse. They have earned Emmys and Peabodys, top honors in broadcast journalism; a Pulitzer Prize; Fulbright Fellowships and many other honors.
In addition to the unique professional networks of our full-time and adjunct faculty, the department employs an Internship and Special Projects coordinator who develops and supervises all internships, providing one-on-one guidance. Students intern at national magazines in New York, all major networks’ affiliates in Chicago, and at the top three daily newspapers in Illinois, among dozens of placements each semester. Our alumni are prominent and plentiful in professional news media and public affairs positions, from CNN to National Public Radio to Harpo Productions.
Our courses and opportunities are relevant, rigorous and exciting. We hope you will join us.