Journalism Department Unveils Revamped Program

The Journalism Department at Concordia University has revamped its programs to reflect the evolving nature of the profession.

“We want our students to know how to do everything and have a real grounding in the social media,” said Linda Kay, chair of the Journalism Department and an associate professor.

A mandatory class will be added starting in the fall semester for all first-year journalism students that embraces new journalism tools like Twitter and multimedia websites.

“We used to make it mandatory to take an Introduction to Computers [course] and then we stopped doing that because students were already pretty well-versed in computers. But now in this digital environment, we’re adding things like social networking into the course [and making it mandatory again],” said Kay.

Students will also have the option of choosing a new concentration, “Specialization in Journalism – Multi-platform,” which adds an extra 12 credits of journalism courses.

“We just felt like some students had their minds set to take the maximum number of journalism courses they could,” said Kay.

For students who only want to take 60 credits of journalism courses, there are now two options to choose from—a textual specialization option and an audiovisual one.

Whether students take the 60 or 72 credit-hours option, they are now required to take 12 additional credits outside of the journalism department.

The department has never required students to take courses outside of the department before. “[It] makes students really think about what else it is that they like and maybe want to minor in,” said Kay.

Kay stressed how important she thinks it is for students to take a minor. She said employers like to see not only that a student has journalistic
skills, but also that he or she has a specialization and an interest in something else as well.