For Immediate Release | August 22, 2012
ASJMC Press Release (PDF version)
Journalism and mass communication programs are making sweeping changes to their curricula and putting new models in place for training the next generation of American journalists.
Results from the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments indicate that nearly 80 percent of all U.S. university programs in journalism and mass communication have made changes to their curricula in the last two years to reflect changes in the communication landscape.
Among the digital skills more than three-quarters of the programs reported teaching are:
- 96% writing for the web
- 95% using the web in reporting
- 94% using social media
- 92% using video on the web
- 92% using still photos on the web
- 90% creating and using blogs
- 89% using audio on the web
- 88% web layout and design
- 88% editing for the web
- 88% using the web in public relations
- 87% using graphics on the web
- 82% digital storytelling
- 77% using slide shows on the web
In addition, just under half of programs reported teaching management skills for online or web publishing (46%) and teaching entrepreneurial “start-up” skills (44%).
“A recent ‘Open Letter to University Presidents’ from leading foundations that support journalism and mass communication education underscores the importance that our programs must place on continuously moving the culture and the curriculum forward to reflect and anticipate the changing media environment,” said Peggy Kuhr, president-elect of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Montana. “Often these changes occur in subtle ways, and sometimes with greater fanfare. What’s important about the results of this survey is the consistency of the message: Our programs have made change, and I know we’ll see even more in the future, particularly in the areas of mobile technology and entrepreneurship.”
“The Open Letter raises issues that have been important to the accrediting process for several years now,” said Peter Bhatia, president of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and editor of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Ore. “As this survey shows, many, many programs are embracing the necessary and ongoing curricular change required to prepare students for the digital world. They should be applauded and encouraged to keep pushing ahead and to be doing so in a timely and continuing fashion.”
More than half of the programs responding to the survey reported having hired new full-time faculty members with digital media skills (55%). Three-quarters of the programs said they had hired adjunct faculty with digital media skills (77%). Nearly seven in 10 (68%) of those responding said they had sent faculty members to digital media training programs, while a quarter (26%) said they were now using digital media skills as a criterion for promotion of faculty members.
“These results indicate that journalism and mass communication programs are well aware of the imperative for our curricula to change so that our students can continue to be prepared to enter the media industries or go on to graduate study,” said Beth E. Barnes, president of ASJMC and director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. “Even as programs continue to face budget challenges, they are finding ways to enhance current faculty members’ digital skills and bring in outside expertise to provide their students with access to current practice.”
The survey of administrators at 491 programs offering coursework in journalism and mass communication was conducted between October 2011 and July 2012 and asked about curricular offerings and enrollments during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.
The survey identified 487 programs offering bachelor’s degrees related to journalism and mass communication, 222 with master’s degree programs and 50 with doctoral programs. In Fall 2011, these programs enrolled 203,561 students in undergraduate programs, 13,392 in master’s programs and 1,789 in doctoral programs.
Not all of the administrators answered the questions on program offerings. Responses were weighted to reflect the full population of programs.
The Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments is conducted every year in the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, also directs the enrollment survey project.
All programs listed in either the Journalism & Mass Communication Directory, published by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, or The Journalist’s Road to Success: A Career Guide, published online by the Dow Jones News Fund, Inc., are included in the survey.
For further information:
Dr. Beth E. Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor and Director, School of Journalism and Telecommunications
Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Programs, College of Communication and Information
University of Kentucky
Dr. Lee B. Becker, email@example.com
Professor and Director, James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Georgia
The Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication promotes excellence in journalism and mass communication education. A valuable resource for chairs, deans and directors, ASJMC is a non-profit, educational association composed of some 190 JMC programs at the college level.