Journalism Department Unveils New Science Reporting Minor

New Learning Opportunity Bridges Journalism and the Sciences

  • Science and journalism join forces for a new minor. Photo Carl Bindman

The Concordia Journalism department’s minor in science journalism was approved by the senate on Jan. 24. The department’s first minor could be available to students as early as fall 2021.

The motion was presented to the senate by David Secko, Chair of the Journalism department. It will be open to students currently pursuing an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in science.

Secko’s vision of the program is one that encompasses both natural and social sciences. He will be engaging with science students to address the key topics and issues that relate to science journalism.

“It really came from science departments because they’ve been struggling with misinformation and properly expressing themselves, which is what [journalists] are really good at.” —David Secko.

When he was hired in 2007, Secko said there was a conversation on the impact that science has on society. The need for science journalism led up to the minor’s creation. It was part of his mandate when hired to create a research and teaching mandate around science journalism.

“It really came from science departments because they’ve been struggling with misinformation and properly expressing themselves, which is what [journalists] are really good at,” says Secko.

The new program will be a 24 credit minor. Students will first learn the basics of reporting and multimedia journalism, then focus on specialized science journalism classes. There will be a variety of electives from the journalism department and other faculties.

The minor has been a long work in progress. Secko wanted to create something well thought out and that fit the concerns of those in the sciences. He first tested the content of the minor with a health and science journalism course which he says was well received by the journalism students.

Secko assures that the new minor won’t negatively impact class space in the journalism program, which already has a scarcity problem. If there is a significant interest in the minor they will add another section and if not, both programs will be blended.

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