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Mass Communication & Journalism

Chair's Welcome

Welcome to our website! At the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, we offer programs that are rigorous, accessible, and relevant to industry needs. We are driven by curiosity and compassion, and, I must admit, we want to make a difference in your life.

Our undergraduate program leads to the B.S. degree in Mass Communications in one of two tracks: Journalism and General Broadcast. It meets standards of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the national agency of program quality in our discipline. Our graduate program, which leads to the M.A. degree in Media and Communications, is available in three sequences: Mass Communications, Interpersonal Communication, and Journalism. As part of the College of Liberal Arts, our programs necessarily offer an education in civic rights and obligations, thus enabling appreciation of the higher values: service, compassion, duty and justice. They draw context, strength and purpose from the liberal arts.

Our programs offer instruction in theory, skills and criticism to prepare graduates for careers in the media industries: Journalism, Digital Content Production, Broadcast Production, Public Relations, Advertising, Campaign Communications, Event Management, and Marketing. Students learn to produce, edit and publish content in a timely, comprehensive, accurate, legal and ethical manner, and for multiple mass media: Web, broadcast, newsprint, cable, and social and real-time media applications.

Our students are encouraged to do external internships, enroll in one of our several student organizations, including the National Broadcasting Society, and work at a campus media facility: the Spartan Echo newspaper (even more popular on the Web), television studio, and radio station WNSB 91.1 FM. They prepare for uniquely exciting media jobs: news reporting, editing, anchoring, photojournalism, public relations, copywriting, digital content production and management, and so on. We have a plan in place to gain resources, including faculty expertise and collaboration, to develop future course offerings in emerging job areas such as augmented-reality production, bot and app development, data analytics and investigation, and public code editing.

Our students have access to intellectual space and practical expertise. Our learning environment is open, inclusive, and designed to help seeking minds to blossom in meaningful ways. We have moved into a splendid, new building equipped with high-tech classrooms, production studios, and student lounges.

The media industries are central to democratic aspiration, for they negotiate and determine public discourse. Our graduates, consequently, can naturally expect to have careers in which they contribute richly to the public discourse. There is gravitas and glamor associated with media careers, but not more than talent, diligence and integrity.

Perhaps no public institution is qualified to defend the First Amendment better than a press that reports and comments with integrity. A good defense of education, on the other hand, lies in its power to bring out the latent best in its seekers. The philosopher of India, Swami Vivekananda, has stated, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man” (letter from Chicago, dated 1894). We are confident that our courses, which together are recognized as a Signature Program within the university, offer an education that is second to none in southeastern Virginia.

Mass Communications is a quickly evolving discipline, evident in the nature of content and its production and publication, but also in the structure, organization, and best practices of the media industries. It draws theory liberally from other disciplines, primarily Sociology, Psychology, and Culture Studies. It offers students and practitioners a fertile field of inquiry, innovation and ideas. Teaching it calls for specialized equipment, professional experience, and an affinity for criticism and debate, all attributes that, I am proud to state, exist in abundance in our department.

I invite you to email or phone us with questions about our discipline or programs. Better still, come visit us in the New Brown Hall, Replacement Building, Suite 241. Call for an appointment at 757-823-8330. Consider joining our programs as a student or an instructor. We would love to meet you!

Nikhil Moro, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair