The journalism sequence prepares students for careers in the traditional print media, such as newspapers, magazines and newsletters, as well as in the emerging online publications. Students are schooled in journalistic techniques that remain essential in the digital age:
- Developing sources and interviewing them;
- fact-checking to ensure accuracy;
- writing comprehensive and objective news stories or colorful, entertaining feature stories;
- adhering to an established style to ensure consistency;
- taking professional-quality photographs;
- designing and laying out print or digital publications; and
- editing copy.
Emphasis is placed on journalistic ethics and on receiving a broad, liberal arts background.
Journalism majors also must complete an 18-hour minor and an internship. Many students begin their writing careers at The Vermilion, UL Lafayette’s weekly student-run newspaper. They also have the opportunity to join UL Lafayette’s chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, a national journalism organization founded in 1909, and to attend SPJ national and regional conventions.
The Department of Communication holds membership in the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC), consisting of about 40 mass communication programs in seven states, which holds a convention each February.
Both SPJ and the SEJC sponsor annual awards competitions for student journalists. UL Lafayette has traditionally performed well in these competitions, proof of the quality of the professional training offered in the journalism program.
Many UL Lafayette journalism graduates have gone on to successful careers, and one shared in a Pulitzer Prize for her newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
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