Major in Journalism
Major in Digital and Print Journalism
The journalism major provides comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of journalism. Areas covered include reporting, editing, feature writing, advertising, mass media and more. The skills you will learn in order to gather information, analyze it, and organize it into a news story will prepare you well for your further academic studies and for a wide variety of careers.
Why study Journalism?
Although most people think of journalism in terms of newspapers, a major in journalism prepares you for a wide variety of careers in which gathering information and communicating it are important. Journalism majors are employed in fields such as reporting, editing, publishing, public relations, advertising, newspaper, television and radio, newsletters and corporate publications, writing training programs, screenwriting and writing books.
Why study Journalism at Wayne State?
The journalism program at Wayne State University is widely respected as a professionally oriented program, designed to prepare you to work in the world of journalism. Our graduates are now on the staffs of the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and numerous other newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and on public relations staffs. The program uses talented professionals to teach students to write clearly, concisely and correctly. At the same time, we teach them ethics and life skills and how to get a job and keep it.
Although The South End, WSU's student-run newspaper, is not formally affiliated with the Department of Communication, many journalism students work at the paper. The opportunity is exceptional and an important training ground for students.
The journalism program at Wayne State is flexible to a students' individual needs. The faculty are friendly and professional and their doors are open. They like dealing with and mentoring students and take pride in helping hard working students accomplish their goals. Students have the advantage of utilizing up-to-date technology in our computer lab facilities and tv production studios as well as opportunities available through our community network of internships.
Journalism Institute for Media Diversity
The Journalism Institute for Media Diversity at WSU is the first of its kind and is one of the few programs in the country dedicated to increasing diversity in the area of journalism. JIMD awards first semester scholarships to new students and other scholarships are available after one semester as a journalism major.
Major in Broadcast Journalism
A major in broadcast journalism prepares students for a variety of careers. Broadcast journalism majors are employed in fields such as broadcasting, reporting, public relations, advertising, newspaper, television and radio, newsletters and corporate publications, writing training programs, screen writing and writing books.
Careful planning is required to assure timely completion of the program. An advisor should be consulted as soon as you decide to enroll in the journalism program. Inquire at 553 Manoogian Hall, (313) 577-2627. All students are expected to follow the published curriculum for their major and to consult regularly with a journalism advisor.
Course work is only one part of your undergraduate education. Employers pay close attention to the types of activities in which applicants participated as students. There are many valuable campus activities. You are encouraged to participate in such activities as student government, the student newspaper (The South End) and the student radio station (WAYN Radio). In addition, the Department of Communication sponsors the Wayne State University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), as well as the nationally acclaimed debate and speech team.
Broadcast Journalism Curricula
Wayne State Journalism Faculty
Stine Eckert (Ph.D., University of Maryland) joins the Wayne State journalism faculty in Fall 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and her Master’s of Science from Ohio University after studying journalism studies, communication and media studies, and American studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. She earned a Certificate in Graduate Studies from the Women’s Studies Department from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include international, comparative work and the intersection of social media, minorities and gender as well as the democratic potential of social media. She has published articles in International Journal of Communication; Media, Culture & Society; Journal of Communication Inquiry and Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. She co-authored the chapter “Wikipedia’s Gender Gap” in Cory Armstrong’s (Ed.) Media Disparity: A Gender Battleground (2013). Eckert also co-founded the Wikid GRRLS project to teach middle and high school girls how to create content on knowledge sharing sites such as Wikipedia. More information about her work and projects is available on stineeckert.com and on Twitter via @stineeckert.
Michael Fuhlhage (Ph.D., UNC Chapel Hill) joins the Wayne State journalism faculty in Fall 2014. He has 17 years of experience in news, sports, and feature editing, design, and writing, including work at The Santa Fe New Mexican, Des Moines Register, Columbia Missourian, Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif., and the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times.
He taught newspaper editing, news design, and general semantics for five years while serving as a professional practice assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. There, he was a news editor at the Columbia Missourian newspaper, the Missouri School of Journalism’s teaching laboratory in community journalism. He also taught in MU’s Dow Jones Center for Editing Excellence, a training program for interns in the Dow Jones News Fund editing internship program. He also served on the Dow Jones intern selection committee.
Fuhlhage has presented refereed research at the annual meetings of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the American Journalism Historians Association, the Institute of General Semantics, and the Southeast Colloquium. His refereed research has earned awards from AEJMC's History Division, Minorities and Communication Division, and Community Journalism Interest Group and from the American Journalism Historians Association. His research and reviews have been published in American Journalism, Journalism History, The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Etc., and General Semantics Bulletin. He is a member of the national board of directors of the American Journalism Historians Association. He is also a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society in journalism and mass communication.
Jack Lessenberry is area head of the journalism faculty at Wayne State and primarily teaches COM 5080 History and Law of Journalism and COM 5250 Issues in News Media Management, in addition to supervising all internships for the Department of Communication. He holds the professional journalist's seat on the WSU Board of Student Publications. When not at Wayne, he serves as Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst and does on-air interviews and commentary on three NPR affiliates every day. He also hosts the weekly television show “Deadline Now” on WGTE-TV, a public broadcasting station in Ohio.
He is or has been a writer for many national and regional publications, including Vanity Fair, Esquire, George, New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe. He is a contributing editor and columnist for Metro Times, Traverse City Record Eagle, Windsor Star and Toledo Blade, and has written for many other newspapers. He also serves as The Blade's writing coach and ombudsman. He is a former foreign correspondent for, and executive national editor of, The Detroit News, during which time he reported from more than 40 countries. He has worked for other newspapers in Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio, and was Editor-in-Chief of both Detroit Monthly and Corporate Detroit magazines.
Lessenberry does regular radio commentary and occasional analysis for other television stations, and won a National Emmy award in 1994 for one of two Frontline documentaries he helped report and produce on Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He was named Journalist of the Year in 2002 by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Lessenberry, 61, has a master's degree in journalism and east European studies from the University of Michigan. His partner for life, Elizabeth, is a rare books specialist and private librarian and archivist; they live in Huntington Woods and are owned by their Australian Shepherd, Ashley.
Alicia Nails directs the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and freelance writer, including appearing in the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Michigan Chronicle, and BLAC magazine. She serves on the BLAC advisory board and the board of the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a sought-after voice in the community, appearing on both radio and TV.
Her journalism background includes writing/producing television at WXIA (NBC) Atlanta; WTVS (PBS) Detroit; WCBS (CBS) and Essence Communications, both in New York City and at Detroit’s WJBK FOX-2. She reported breaking news and features as a writer/producer at Detroit’s WWJ Newsradio 950 (CBS).
Nails executed city-wide PR campaigns for the African World Festival, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Detroit Alumnae Chapter. She is Delta’s Michigan state journalist and managing editor of national publications and executive communications for The Links, Incorporated. She has produced major fundraisers, including WSU’s “Salute to Emery King,” and “Salute to 25 Year Journalists.” For the UNCF she produced several Mayors’ Balls and presentations of the Ebony Fashion Fair.
Kimmerly Piper-Aiken, PhD, teaches broadcast journalism and television production. She created the TV News Reporting and Digital Editing course and revamped the Broadcast News Writing class to include hands-on editing and radio newscast preparation.
She is studio manager for the Midtown TV Studio. She teaches COM 5384, an advanced TV production class that produces Wayne State's PBS series MetroArts Detroit. The show highlights artists from the Detroit area and airs on WTVS Detroit Public Television.
Piper-Aiken has a solid blend of both professional and academic experience. Her broadcasting career in the Rocky Mountain West dates back to 1975 when she started out as a radio "disc jockey" during high school. For over 20 years, she worked at television, commercial radio and public radio stations. She was a news director, reporter, producer, and worked in creative services/TV production. When she's not on campus, she enjoys her kids/grandkids, cats, and Detroit Sports.
Elizabeth Stoycheff teaches journalistic reporting and new media for undergraduates. In 2013 she was named a Promising Professor by the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication. Her research focuses on the role of new media in shaping international public opinion about democracy, media censorship, and press freedom. Despite her recent move to Michigan, she maintains an allegiance as an Iowa Hawkeye and Ohio State Buckeye football fan.
Stoycheff, E. & Nisbet, E.C. (Forthcoming). What's the Bandwidth for Democracy: Deconstructing Internet Penetration and Citizen Attitudes about Governance. Political Communication.
Pingree, R. & Stoycheff, E. (Forthcoming). Differentiating Cueing from Reasoning in Agenda-Setting Effects. Journal of Communication.
Fred Vultee (PhD, University of Missouri) is an associate professor in the journalism area of the Department of Communication. He teaches news editing, political communication, and content analysis, among other courses. His research looks at media content, media practice, and media effects, particularly in conflicts and crises, and he also coordinates the department’s research lab. His research appears in such journals as Journalism Studies; Media, War & Conflict; International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters; and Journal of Mass Media Ethics.
Before attending graduate school at the University of Missouri, Dr. Vultee was an editor at newspapers for 25 years, and he is a member of the executive board of the American Copy Editors Society. He is working his way forward through the “Dr. Who” back catalog and enjoys playing the banjo and mandolin.
Vultee, F., Ali, S.R., Stover, C., and Vultee, D.M. (in press). Searching, sharing, acting: How audiences assess and respond to social media messages about hazards. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.
Kalyango, Y., and Vultee, F. (2012). Public attitudes toward media control and incitement of conflicts in eastern Africa. Media, War & Conflict, 5(2), 119-137.
Vultee, F. (2012). A paleontology of style: Changing frames of the Arab and Muslim worlds in the Associated Press Stylebook, 1977-2010. Journalism Practice, 6(4), 450-464.
Vultee, F. (2010). Credibility as a strategic ritual: The Times, the interrogator, and the duty of naming. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 25, 3-18.
Vultee, F. (2011) Securitization as a media frame: What happens when the media “speak security.” In Balzacq, T. (ed) Securitization theory: How security problems emerge and dissolve; pp. 77-93. New York: Routledge.
Lee Wilkins teaches and studies media ethics and media coverage of hazards and disasters. She is co-author of one of the most widely used college media ethics texts, Media Ethics: Issues and Cases, now in its 8th edition, and has written books and scholarly articles on how journalists and public relations professionals make moral decisions. In 2010 her work on ethical thinking by public relations professionals received the PRIDE Award, as the best research in public relations, by the National Communication Association. In 2009 her co-edited book Handbook of Mass Media Ethics was named the best edited book by the ethics division of the National Communication Association. She is a former newspaper reporter and editor and, before coming to Wayne State, taught at the University of Colorado, and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she is a professor emeritus. She earned her doctorate in political science from the University of Oregon, holds a masters in journalism from the same school, and undergraduate degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Missouri. Her hobbies include quilting and community theatre. Two of her favorite books are Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She and her husband David are owned by three border terriers. Wilkins currently serves as chair of the department.