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Major in Journalism

Journalism, the collection and distribution of current news and information, is essential to all democratic societies. Journalists write, photograph, manage, edit, record video, publish and present news for the public through various forms of media including online publications, newspapers, magazines, specialty publications catering to unique audiences, radio and television.

Public relations is also a strong and growing career field that requires a deep awareness of journalistic skills and concepts. 

Program Overview

Our journalism major has courses in print journalism, journalism theory and history, graphic design, public relations, media convergence and broadcast news.

In addition, students have a high degree of success in obtaining internships and viable employment through our vast network of alumni (there are approximately 5,000 journalism and public relations alumni) and organizations with synergistic goals such as the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association.

The major in journalism prepares students to function effectively in a multimedia and multicultural environment, practice ethics in communication and maintain the professional standards of journalism.

Journalism courses include:

  • Writing (including introductory courses) opinion writing and article writing
  • Broadcast television news production
  • News reporting and news editing
  • Photojournalism, press photography and graphic design
  • Research and information gathering
  • Contemporary issues in journalism and critical analysis of news
  • Media convergence
  • History of journalism
  • International journalism
  • Mass media and society
  • News and entertainment
  • Public relations principles, public relations writing and advanced public relations

Special topics courses in journalism or public relations are available as well. Students can often work individually with faculty members on independent study courses. You can also join several journalistic and/or public relations advocacy organizations, such as the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Northern Television Center (NTC)

NTC is the award-winning "nerve center" of broadcast journalism at NIU. It houses our advanced studio production facility where students produce original local news, sports, weather and entertainment programming for the campus and surrounding communities.

Majors may choose to take courses in broadcast news which are taught at the Northern Television Center.

Undergraduate Advising

Laura Vazquez
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Watson Hall 213
(815) 753-7107

Nathan Rice
Office Support Specialist
Watson Hall 209
(815) 753-1712


Ryan Pumroy
(815) 753-5354
Watson Hall 217