Journalism

Catalog Home

Graphic Arts Bldg. (26), Room 228
Phone: 805.756.2508
https://journalism.calpoly.edu

Department Chair: Brady Teufel

Academic Program

Program name Program type
Journalism BS

The Journalism Department offers professional preparation leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. The focus is on core media skills including information gathering, writing, visual and multimedia storytelling, editing, and strategic and critical thinking. We emphasize the core values of accuracy, ethical behavior, diversity and inclusion, and freedom of speech.  All majors must complete the basic journalism core courses in addition to a sequence of courses selected from a track in either News or Public Relations.

All journalism majors are enrolled in courses that contribute to the department's award-winning student media organization, Mustang Media Group. Here, students gain hands-on experience working on digital, print and broadcast editions of Mustang News; the internal public relations firm; Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR-FM; and program operations of Cal Poly's TV station, MNTV. They also apply acquired skills and develop professional abilities in an approved media internship.

Undergraduate Program

BS Journalism

Journalism students learn the skills, values and competencies that lead to a successful career in a variety of media professions. All majors complete basic journalism core courses and select a concentration in News, Public Relations, Media Innovation or, in select circumstances, choose an Individualized Course of Study. Students are strongly encouraged to take a minor to satisfy their elective units.

Concentrations

News

Students will learn how to ethically report on events and trends, interview sources and produce accurate, timely news stories for digital, print and broadcast platforms while covering the campus and the local communities.

Public Relations

The focus of the Public Relations Concentration is on developing accurate and ethical communications that influence, engage and build relationships between an organization and its stakeholders. Students will learn how to analyze public opinion and attitudes, plan, implement and assess public relations campaigns and produce multimedia content while working with organizations in the greater San Luis Obispo community.

Media Innovation

This concentration lies at the intersection of journalism, technology and business. Its focus is on telling multimedia stories on multiple platforms (including emerging technologies), understanding audiences, making decisions with analytics, and solving problems responsibly and ethically.

Students in Media Innovation will learn how to analyze audience needs, develop new storytelling approaches, create media products, experiment with revenue models, foster inclusive civic participation and drive change within media organizations. 

Individualized Course of Study

Concentration consists of a minimum of 20 units, 16 of which must be upper division units. The student selects the courses in consultation with the concentration coordinator and department head and provides written justification for the courses and the way they constitute a cohesive, integrated program of study. The list of courses serves as a contract between the student and the Department.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

How to Read Course Descriptions

JOUR Courses

JOUR 102. Introduction to Journalism. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F

Introduction to current practices in American news media with a focus on emerging technologies and traditional print and broadcast operations. Exploration of changing career opportunities in news and public relations. Overview of student media organizations and requirements for academic success in journalism. 1 lecture.

JOUR 201. News Media and Democracy. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Survey of historical influences in the development of today's journalism. Contributions of women and minorities to American mass media. Rise of technology in the communication industry. 4 lectures.

JOUR 203. News Reporting and Writing. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Introduction to the fundamental techniques of reporting and writing news articles from print and online perspectives. Extensive laboratory and field practices in gathering and evaluating information. Writing basic news stories under close supervision. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 219. Multicultural Society and the Mass Media. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

USCP

The role of the mass media in a democratic multicultural society. Portrayal and stereotyping of ethnic minorities by different mass media forms throughout U.S. history. The growing impact of minorities in the United States. Achievement and goals of current American ethnic media, with special attention to Latinos/as and African-Americans. 4 lectures. Fulfills USCP.

JOUR 220. Introduction to Radio Broadcasting. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: Acceptance as a KCPR staff member and consent of instructor.

Development of skills and knowledge to produce live and recorded radio shows for the campus radio station KCPR-FM. Basic station operations, FCC compliance standards, and basic station management. Required for KCPR staff. 2 lectures.

JOUR 228. Media, Self and Society. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

2020-21 or later catalog: GE Area D2

2019-20 or earlier: GE Area D2 or D3

Overview of the interaction among mass media, social institutions and individuals. Theoretical perspectives from mass communication and psychology. The power and influence of media messages and practices. How individuals and groups develop an understanding of their place within a highly mediated world. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Area D2 (GE Area D2 or GE Area D3 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

JOUR 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

JOUR 285. Introduction to Multimedia Journalism. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Introduction to the social, editorial and technical issues surrounding the web as a form of communication. Fundamentals of gathering, writing and publishing content for the web that includes using photographs, sound, pictures and video to tell a story. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 302. Mass Media Law. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Legal basis for freedom of expression. Court decisions resolving conflicts between First Amendment and right to fair trial, privacy, reputation. Source confidentiality, freedom of information, contempt, copyright. Federal and state laws and regulations affecting mass media reporters, editors, publishers, news directors. Course may be offered in classroom based or online format. 4 lectures.

JOUR 303. Web Audio and Video. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Concepts and technologies associated with bringing video, still images and audio online. Process of web-based audio and video creation, production and publication, from inception to publishing. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 304. Public Affairs Reporting. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Experience leading to advanced skills in reporting and writing stories about contemporary issues, government and courts. Field and laboratory assignments in beat reporting, public meeting coverage, writing style, investigative techniques, and online journalism research. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 312. Public Relations. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Overview of the history, growth and ongoing development of public relations as an information management function in a multicultural environment. Public relations practices used in commercial and non-profit sectors, and firsthand application of public relations skills. 4 lectures.

JOUR 320. Cal Poly Radio Laboratory. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 220 and consent of instructor.

Field experience in radio station operations at KCPR-FM, the campus radio station. Emphasizes support functions such as recording announcements, planning and carrying out promotions, underwriting, events and other station management duties. Required of students also hosting live or prerecorded on-air programs. Total credit limited to 8 units. Open only to students on staff at KCPR-FM. 1 laboratory.

JOUR 331. Contemporary Advertising. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A3 with a grade of C- or better.

Principles of advertising, copy, layout, and production across media platforms, including online, mobile, social, print and broadcast. Economic, political, and social function of advertising in a free market society. Advertising ethics. Social responsibility of advertising in a multicultural environment. Emerging advertising technologies. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 4 lectures.

JOUR 333. Broadcast News. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A3 with a grade of C- or better.

Beginning broadcast news writing and reporting for radio and television. Emphasis on developing news judgment and producing radio newscasts. Introduction to television studio equipment and procedures. Lab experience includes writing and reporting live on-air for KCPR. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 334. Editing. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Editing for print and online publication. Using the Associated Press style. Writing headlines, captions, summaries and other display text. Repurposing various media content for the web and other formats. Legal and ethical issues for the editor. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 338. Podcasting. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 285 or JOUR 303.

Acquire and apply the skills to write, produce, edit, distribute, market and monetize a podcast. Lab experience includes writing and producing a podcast pilot and episodes. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 342. Public Relations Writing and Editing. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 312.

Theory, strategic planning and practice in writing persuasive public relations copy for diverse internal and external audiences. Emphasis on gathering information, preparing news releases, newsletters and other communications vehicles. Analysis of various media case studies. 4 lectures.

JOUR 345. Social Media for Strategic Communication. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Exploration of emerging technologies and media that influence strategic communication, including public relations and advertising practices. Knowledge, insight and analytical skills necessary to create, evaluate, and execute social media campaigns. 4 lectures.

JOUR 346. Broadcast Announcing and Production. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203. Recommended: JOUR 285.

Develop on-air skills in the performance of voice-overs, stand-ups, hosting and the production of televised public service announcements. Emphasis on the effective use of audio and non-linear video editing techniques as well as broadcast writing. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 347. Public Relations Research. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Introduction to the role of research in the field of public relations. Overview of measurement tools and methodologies for gathering and analyzing data. Practical applications. 4 lectures. Prerequisite JOUR 312.

JOUR 348. Electronic News Gathering. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: JOUR 203 and JOUR 333.

Instruction on electronic news gathering (ENG) that includes advanced news writing, field reporting and editing for broadcast. Emphasis on developing research techniques, interviewing skills, responsible and effective non-linear video editing, compelling use of natural sound and professional on-air delivery. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 350. Data Journalism. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 285; and one of the following: STAT 130, STAT 217, STAT 218, or STAT 251.

Introduction to the techniques of finding stories in data sets and presenting them visually via interactive online displays. Emphasis on adapting emerging tools for digital storytelling. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 352. Advanced News Reporting Practicum. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 334.

Reporting lab for the print and digital editions of Mustang News. Total credit limited to 8 units. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 353. Advanced Broadcast Journalism Practicum. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 303 or JOUR 333.

Students produce a live 30-minute CPTV newscast per week, or a one-hour KCPR segment that incorporates news, information, talk and entertainment. Emphasis on news producing, reporting and announcing skills. Total credit limited to 8 units. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 378. Advanced Sportscasting. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 285 and JOUR 303 or JOUR 346.

Develop advanced skills in sports reporting and writing for broadcast, web and social media. Play-by-play. Job search in sports journalism. Field trip may be required. Course offered in hybrid format with classroom-based and online learning. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 385. Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Recommended: BUS 310 or COMS/JOUR 218.

Innovation and entrepreneurship in journalism. Human-centered design. Business plan development. Designing content to reach and engage an audience. Identifying opportunities to create sustainable journalistic enterprises for real-world application in Cal Poly's student-run media organizations. 4 lectures.

JOUR 387. Sports Communication. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Examination of the interrelationship between sports and community including participant, sports organization, sports media, and sports fan. Explores how these interrelationships reinforce social values, challenge social norms, and social identities relevant to sports and cultural values. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as COMS/JOUR 387.

JOUR 390. Visual Communication for the Mass Media. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Theory and application of visual communication in today's media. Visual communication's power to inform, educate and persuade. Production of visual media across digital, broadcast and print platforms. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

JOUR 401. Global Communication. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203 and junior standing.

Global communications facilities and operations; world transmission of information; survey of world wire services and international print and electronic media. Analysis of press operations under varying government ideologies, including third world countries. 4 seminars.

JOUR 402. Journalism Ethics. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Current issues revolving around the social responsibility of the mass media. Role of the public, government, and media in considerations of media accountability. Professional behavior in media organizations. 4 seminars.

JOUR 403. Multimedia Production for Public Relations and Advertising. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: JOUR 303 or JOUR 346.

Development of fundamentals pertaining to the technical and aesthetic proficiencies used in video communication for public service, public relations, marketing and advertising. All aspects of pitching, planning, production, editing and post-production in addition to historical and regulatory aspects of communication policy and mandates. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 407. Feature Writing. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: JOUR 203.

Practice in researching, interviewing and the writing and marketing of both long and short form nonfiction articles for various media outlets. Analysis of similar work in current distribution. 4 lectures.

JOUR 410. Advanced Digital Journalism. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: JOUR 285.

Apply the theories and applications of digital journalism to the development and publication of innovative digital content. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 412. Public Relations and Crisis Management. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Apply contemporary public relations theory to turn crisis into opportunity. Analyze Homeland Security and FEMA best practices using public relations framework and strategy. Practical exercises in planning, implementing, and evaluating public relations messages in a variety of media platforms. 4 lectures.

JOUR 413. Public Relations Campaigns. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: JOUR 312 and JOUR 342.

Development of skills needed to plan and conduct internal and external public relations campaigns for corporate and non-profit organizations. Includes goal setting, management of resources, budgeting, creation of campaign communications, and outcomes analysis. 4 lectures.

JOUR 415. Senior Project: Public Relations Practicum. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Senior standing and JOUR 413.

Capstone experience that applies public relations principles and strategies in the context of the student-run agency, Central Coast PRspectives. Emphasis on proposing, creating, managing, and implementing public relations campaigns. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 418. Copyright, Trademark, Patent and Commercial Speech in Digital Media. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Junior standing; and completion of GE Area A with a grade of C- or better.

Examination of intellectual property rights covered by copyright, trademark and, to a limited degree, patent law as well as commercial speech rights in a digital media age. Emphasis on intellectual property rights as they affect content creators and other publishers in a digital world. 4 lectures.

JOUR 444. Media Internship. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

CR/NC

Prerequisite: JOUR 352, JOUR 353, or JOUR 413; and internship coordinator approval.

Application of techniques on daily basis with media under supervision of department faculty. Credit/No Credit grading only.

JOUR 455. Media Management Laboratory. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Field experience in management of Cal Poly student media. Emphasizes planning, leadership, media integration, goal-setting and measurement. Required of students in elected leadership positions in KCPR-FM, Mustang News, Central Coast PRspectives and MNTV. Total credit limited to 8 units. Intended for students in leadership positions of student media. 1 laboratory.

JOUR 460. Senior Project. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor; Journalism majors only.

Selection and completion of a project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates must solve in their fields of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 120 hours total time.

JOUR 462. Senior Project: Media Practicum. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Capstone experience that applies principles and tools of print, broadcast and digital journalism to tell engaging stories across multiple platforms. Emphasis on integrating text, video, audio, graphics, search engine optimization and social networking to produce content for digital publication. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

JOUR 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor; junior standing.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

JOUR 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

Dan Eller
B.S. California State University, Northridge, 1984; M.P.H., 1987; Ed.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010.

Richard O. Gearhart
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1991; M.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2009.

Mary M. Glick
B.A., State University of New York at Oswego, 1972; M.A., California State University, Fullerton, 1982.

Patrick C. Howe
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1993; M.A., University of Missouri-Columbia, 2011.

Casey McDonald
B.S., Brigham Young University, Idaho, 2007; M.A., Brigham Young University, Utah, 2016; Ph.D, University of Florida, Gainesville, 2020.

Michael Park
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1999; J.D., University of California, 2004; Ph.D., Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, 2014.

Patti Piburn
B.S., Arizona State University, Tempe, 1995; B.A., Arizona State University, Tempe, 1995; M.S., South Dakota State University, Brookings, 2013; Ph.D. ABD, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 2019.

Yan Shan
B.A., Nanjing University of Science and Technology, 2009; M.A., University of Central Florida, 2011; Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2014.

Brady Teufel
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1997; M.A., University of Missouri, 2003.