Are you curious as to how to become a journalist? Appalachian State University’s Digital Journalism (BS) degree will teach you how to find and gather information from primary sources and then communicate your research to a specific audience through multi-media storytelling. Students also learn how to be a watchdog for the public as a part of the democratic process. Even if you choose not to work in the news industry, the study of journalism teaches critical thinking skills that are valuable in any job setting.
App State's digital journalism program, housed in the Department of Communication, emphasizes practical experience. For example, in introductory reporting classes students attend and report on local events, interview public officials and cover breaking news. In advanced courses, students fine tune their skills in copy editing and learning industry-standard computer software. All types of writing are taught: news, features, editorials, photo essays and video. Students are encouraged to pursue internships, attend department-wide speaking events by alumni and others, and work for the student newspaper.
Employment: Students who graduate this degree are job ready by the industry’s standards. Employers often look for experience over graduate education when students are first starting their careers. Employers include:
- National Public Radio
- Dow Jones Internship
- Fox 8
- Sky High News
- Construction Data Company
- International Trade Administration
- High Country Home Magazine
- Samaritan’s Purse
- Tampa Bay Times
- The Daily Progress
Graduate school: Students who choose to pursue a graduate education have attended Syracuse University, Indiana University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
A minor is required. Students are advised to choose their minors in one of two ways:
- Students who are interested in preparing to report on or broaden their education with an area of expertise often choose a minor accordingly. For example, students who want to report on music may choose a music minor, while a student who wants to cover business may choose to minor in business.
- Students who are not interested in pursuing an expertise are advised to pick a minor that will further develop a skill set such as writing or multi-media storytelling. Students often choose a minor in: English, a foreign language, Media Studies, Communication, or Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi) - Students involved in SPJ make valuable professional contacts and have access to several professional publications for journalists.
- The Appalachian - This is the university’s newspaper run by students for students. Students can join for experience in the writing, copy editing, leadership, marketing and business sides of the newspaper.
- The Peel Literature and Arts Review - The student literature and arts review is released at the end of fall, while both an online and print edition are released at the end of spring semester.
- AppTV - The department’s cable television station gives students experience in television reporting and production.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The Department of Communication has study abroad opportunities in Poland, Belize and Armenia.
A cumulative 2.5 GPA based on earned semester hours at App State is required prior to declaring the Digital Journalism major.
- To adapt with the ever-changing world of media, App State’s digital journalism students learn how to collect information and produce multi-media stories.
- Class guest speakers and department-wide speaking events by alumni and others enhance students’ professional knowledge and networking.
- This program gives students a multi-faceted skill set useful beyond journalism – they develop critical thinking skills, learn to find information and report it back to their audience.
- The Department of Communication has an internship coordinator to help students find internship host sites and receive class credit for their work.
- The department has a strong alumni network that keeps alumni, faculty and current students connected.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
- Audiovisual Production Specialist
- Bureau Reporter
- Copy Editor
- Copy Writer
- Editorial Writer
- Freelance Writer
- Journalist Researcher
- Publicity Manager
- Section Editor
- Technical Writer
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College of Fine and Applied Arts
Dr. Scott Welsh