WesternU to replace journalism MA with joint journalism/communications degree

October 22, 2014

WesternU is planning to replace its journalism MA with a new program that focuses on both journalism and communications. The move is intended to respond to labour market trends, specifically the decline in traditional media jobs and the “blurring of the lines” between journalism and public relations. “We decided to take a step back and look at the trends happening in the industry and decided we needed a major renovation,” said Mark Rayner, Program Coordinator for the new Master of Media in Journalism and Communication degree. “We’ll continue to focus on training journalists to become great storytellers, but we’ll also talk about the relations between journalists and PR.” Among the changes to the curriculum will be the addition of an introductory communications course focused on strategic storytelling and an elective in media relations. Students in the proposed one-year program would spend 2 terms on campus and complete a summer internship in either journalism or communications. The program is still awaiting approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, but WesternU hopes it will be ready for launch in fall 2015. J-Source