In an effort to better prepare students to enter an industry that is becoming increasingly more focused on the web, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism has changed two of the majors it offers to students.
The school informed students Monday that two bachelor of arts degrees — print journalism and broadcast journalism — have been renamed. Annenberg students can now major in “print and digital journalism” and “broadcast and digital journalism” beginning this fall.
Long known for the convergence philosophy behind its curriculum — all Annenberg students take classes in print, broadcast and online journalism, regardless of their specialty — the school made the decision to rename the majors to better reflect what was going on within its classrooms.
“The change was in recognition of a program that’s really evolved over the last three or four years,” said Kay Heitzman, executive director of public affairs and special events for Annenberg. “The name just wasn’t representing what was going on in journalism education right now.”
Annenberg is also planning an “extensive curriculum rehaul,” according to Laura Castañeda, the assistant director of the School of Journalism. The new majors reflect these upcoming curriculum changes, she said.
“We’re hoping to integrate the majors a lot more than they have been. Traditionally, we’ve tried to converge them at some points,” Castañeda said. “What we’re going to try to do in the future is to integrate them a lot more … students have to learn the fundamentals of all of them.”
Despite the impending changes, school officials have said students currently majoring in either print or broadcast will have to take no additional classes to earn the new degrees. They also have the option to keep the traditional degrees rather than make the switch.
Ultimately, Castañeda said, the name change reflects Annenberg’s ongoing effort to best prepare students for a transitioning journalism industry.
“We were one of the first [schools] to try and change the curriculum a bit and since then a lot of schools have done the same thing. It’s just a continuation of something we started a long time ago,” she said. “We’ve had lots of time to look at the curriculum, reassess it, talk to students about it. It’s something we’re going to be doing every few years.”
Students wishing to change their major to include the digital emphasis should contact Annenberg Student Services or their academic adviser.
Lucy Mueller contributed to this report.