In an era of media mistrust, training the next generation of journalists, advertisers and public relations professionals to a high standard of professionalism and ethical excellence is critical for our local community and the continuance of our free society. Finding the next generation of those who are willing to rise to the challenge is equally important.
The mission of Fresno State’s Department of Media, Communications and Journalism (MCJ) at Fresno State is to build leaders who can think critically, write well and thrive in rapidly changing environments through theory, professional practice and hands-on learning.
This fall, hundreds of high school students from around the Valley will visit Fresno State for MCJ Day. For many, it will be their first time to see a collegiate path forward on their journey to a career as an advertising, public relations, multimedia production, broadcasting or print/digital journalism professional.
“The MCJ faculty, alumni and current students are extremely excited to be able to share and encourage up to 800 area high school students about the industries we love. What we do is important to democracy, the economy, healthy communities, and social justice — and we want the world to know!” said Professor Betsy Hays, MCJ Dept. chair.
MCJ Day will begin at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 4th at the Satellite Student Union with presentations on each major option that MCJ has to offer followed by an all-star alumni panel. During the afternoon, students will move into breakout sessions at various locations across the campus to experience their areas of focus and connect with Fresno State professors and alumni.
“We hope to raise awareness about the exciting and numerous career paths that are available via the MCJ professions, as well as put out the welcome mat and encourage area high school students to study with us!” said Hays.
The advertising option offers students background, exploration, and skills for an entry-level job in advertising. Students study advertising procedures, advertising sales, advertising copywriting, advertising media, and advertising campaigns.
Each course has both theoretical instruction and practical application related to contemporary advertising practices. Students gain an understanding of the advertising business from the advertising agency to the client side; study account service and sales while working for a real advertising vehicle; learn computerized media buying programs while executing local and national media buys, and using real clients, gain experience in research, strategic development, and creative execution while preparing local and national advertising campaigns.
The broadcast journalism option is designed to prepare students for careers in radio, television and multiplatform news. In addition to basic courses in Media Writing and Reporting, students take classes in Broadcast and Online News Writing, Media Performance, Video Production and Television News Production and Reporting. To round out the preparation for these careers, students also take classes in Media Law and Media Ethics. Many of the graduates of this option at Fresno State are currently working in the broadcast news industry, including reporters, anchors, and producers at stations in Fresno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, New York and CNN in Atlanta.
The Multimedia Option at Fresno State prepares students to communicate through a number of different mediums including writing, photography, video, audio, and the web. Multimedia Majors are creative storytellers, excellent communicators, and well-rounded students who are passionate about their community and excited to share that passion through visual and audio storytelling. Multimedia graduates, by learning to communicate through different mediums, are prepared to enter a workforce that demands flexibility and adaptability.
The Multimedia Production option offers two service-learning courses in which students work with Community Based Organizations applying what they are learning to real-world client situations.
Print / Digital Journalism
The print and digital journalism sequence are designed to give students a foundation of journalistic excellence in an ever-evolving field. Students learn the fundamentals of reporting, writing, editing, law, and ethics in an environment that prepares them for the demands of the industry and the call to serve the public. Students also learn to use cutting-edge digital tools, and how to turn data into powerful and compelling storytelling.
At the heart of the print and digital journalism program is the opportunity for students to get hands-on experience at Fresno State’s award-winning campus newspaper, The Collegian, which is regularly recognized by the California College Media Association as one of the top large-circulation student newspapers in the state.
Print and digital journalism students also have the opportunity to take courses from award-winning professors, as well as those with professional journalism experience, and connections to some of the best newspapers and digital news sites in the country.
The public relations sequence is one of the largest in the Media, Communication and Journalism Department, and serves as a launching pad for the region’s most savvy PR practitioners. The sequence also includes the leadership and instruction of long-time public relations and advertising guru Jan Edwards.
In addition to taking a series of hands-on, information-packed courses, public relations students are also able to obtain additional leadership and practice skills through the Fresno State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. The MCJ Department also has a student-run PR firm, TALK, that is open to all majors.
A proven pedagogy, service-learning integrates community service with curriculum, providing a professional, personal and academic experience that enriches student learning.