Minor in Journalism
What does it mean to be media literate? How do the news media influence public opinion? What are journalists' obligations in free and democratic societies? What does reliable journalism have to do with democracy? Do Facebook and Fox News have anything in common? The Brandeis journalism program will empower you to answer these questions and more.
In our unique interdepartmental program — which is open to all Brandeis students, class size allowing — you’ll take a liberal arts approach to the study of journalism, exploring it through historical, sociological and ethical lenses. As a journalism minor, you’ll learn how social, political and corporate institutions interact with media institutions. Working with both scholars and practitioners, you’ll gain real research, writing and production skills that you can apply to print, broadcast and internet media platforms.
In an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” telling verified stories, and telling them well, has never been more important. Regardless of whether you go on to practice journalism, you will find our program has helped you become a critical thinker, an effective writer and a more informed and analytical consumer of the news.
Brandeis is located mere minutes from Boston, one of the largest media markets in the country, with many award-winning print and broadcast institutions. You’ll be able to see local, national and international news reporting up close, be taught by local talent and even intern in a major newsroom.
Our program offers engaging courses on a variety of topics, ranging from multimedia journalism, sports reporting and opinion writing, to the history of advertising's relationship with the news industry and the challenges journalists face in packaging international news for an American audience.
As a minor in journalism, you will complete:
Two core courses in history/culture and writing.
One course in ethics.
An internship, independent study or senior thesis.
Two electives on a wide range of topics.
If you choose to do a senior writing project rather than an internship, you’ll take Independent Study (JOUR 98a or b). You’ll work with a faculty member to design your own course of study and spend one semester researching and writing a paper.
If you would like to explore an area of journalism as it relates to your disciplinary interests and professional plans, consider writing an honors thesis in your major on a topic related to the media. Recent theses include:
“Trafficking With Images: Journalism, History and the Image of Columbia in the United States” (History of Ideas)
“The Right to Privacy and the Freedom of the Press: A Balancing Act” (Politics)
“Media Crisis: Health Care Coverage in the 1960s and the 1990s” (American Studies)
In our interdisciplinary program, you’ll be taught by professors from a variety of departments, including sociology, American studies, anthropology and economics. You’ll also learn from visiting professors who are practicing professionals in print and broadcast news.
Here are just a few examples of the dedicated scholars and practitioners you will work with:
Maura Jane Farrelly, director of our program and associate professor of American studies, covered religion in America for the Voice of America for four years, working out of their Washington, D.C., and New York bureaus. Before that, she was a general assignment reporter for Georgia Public Radio in Atlanta, where she also freelanced for NPR, the BBC and Public Radio International.
Eileen McNamara is the author of “Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World” (Simon & Schuster, 2018). A former reporter and columnist for The Boston Globe, she won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and contributed to the coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. Her writing continues to appear there and on Cognoscenti, the commentary pages of WBUR.org, Boston's National Public Radio station.
Mark Dellelo is a filmmaker and educator working at the intersection of the performing arts, the visual arts and storytelling. He teaches multimedia storytelling and is an expert on digital media technology, motion picture production, filmmaking and film as narrative.
Peter May has been a lecturer in the Journalism Program since 2012, teaching Sports Writing, Literary Journalism, The Contemporary World in Print and Contemporary Media: Internship and Analysis. Prior to joining the faculty, he covered sports in Boston for more than three decades for United Press International, The Hartford Courant and The Boston Globe.
Kevin Rothstein is an award-winning producer for the investigative unit at WCVB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Boston. His previous jobs include working as a reporter at Boston-area newspapers including the Boston Herald, where he covered politics and education.
Internships and Student Clubs
Want to see how the world of journalism really works? Most journalism minors do. Our students have secured one-semester internships at many of Boston’s print and broadcast institutions, including the Boston Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, WGBH public television and the Boston affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC.
During the semester of your internship, you’ll also take the course Contemporary Media: Internship and Analysis (JOUR 89a), which will enable you to engage with other students doing media internships.
You can hone your skills and gain a sense of community by joining student clubs and publications like The Justice, The Brandeis Hoot and WBRS.
Careers and Alumni
About half of our minors in journalism pursue careers in the field immediately after graduation. Still others pursue careers in professions like education, law, public relations and advertising, where they are called upon to understand complicated arguments, make clear and concise statements about those arguments, and make complex ideas or issues accessible and interesting to mainstream audiences.
Here's a snapshot of recent graduates of our program:
Michelle Banayan ’18, who created Humans of Brandeis, is currently a JD candidate at UCLA School of Law.
Hannah Schuster ’18 is a reporter working for the Mashpee Enterprise on Cape Cod.
Ariel Wittenberg ’11 is a Washington, D.C.-based reporter on water issues for E&E News, a news organization focusing on energy and the environment.
Claire Moses ’08 is homescreen and mobile editor for The New York Times in London.