The picture of journalism is no longer that of a reporter holding a notepad, feverishly taking notes as their sources spill the latest news. Journalism is so much more, and Olivet’s journalism and mass communication program is a pure reflection of that.
“We believe our program’s learning outcomes equip our students for the many and varied formats available to readers, viewers, listeners, followers and consumers today and to organizations that incorporate ethical, creative media content,” Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, said.
Graduates of the journalism and mass communication program go on to become internet reporters, magazine writers, graphic designers, television news producers, marketing professionals, photographers, professors, film producers and much more.
Students can get involved in many ways such as writing for The Echo, OC’s award-winning student newspaper, working as a DJ to learn about radio production and calling sports live on the student radio station, WOCR 89.1 FM. Those who enjoy creative writing can write for the campus literary magazine, The Garfield Lake Review, and students can also benefit from opportunities in podcasting, videography and photography with partners on and off campus.
Professor Williams also stresses the importance of internships, community service and club memberships so students can practice their communication skills in the real world. She believes these are worthwhile companions to the lessons students learn in class.
“The real world experience we encourage is backed by classroom learning rooted in ethics, responsibility and an education rooted in history and aimed toward the next big thing in media,” Professor Williams said.
Sophomore Alyssa Bergey has benefited from the many learning opportunities outside the classroom.
“The journalism and mass communication major has prepared me for the professional world by letting me get hands-on experience of what my work could be like,” Alyssa said. “I am lucky enough to have been able to work in a radio station and work as the editor of a newspaper. Even though I may not go into these exact jobs in the future, they still teach me how quick the world of news is.”
Senior Michael Domzalski took a more roundabout path to the journalism and mass communication major. As a first-year student, he pursued sports recreation management then switched to insurance and risk management. He finally landed on the journalism and mass communication major.
“I found that the journalism and mass communication program was a better fit for me, not just because of my love for writing, but I also felt that I could use my creative ideas for something big like television, radio, billboards or books. I felt like the major was calling me home,” Michael said.
Michael believes the program takes students further than basic journalism skills. Its focus on communication skills, time management and networking adds to the major’s value.
“The journalism and mass communication program will help you with more than just journalism,” Michael said. “The program will help you become successful when it comes to improving your communication skills by going to career fairs and speaking to companies. It will also help you manage
your time as you get further into your degree. Communicating and managing my time will make me successful in the working world.”
Professor Williams emphasizes that teamwork is another skill greatly stressed in the major.
“Another aspect of today’s media world, and our program, is the importance of teamwork,” she said. “No one does it all, so if you’re a great writer, you’ll have photographers and designers on your team to help deliver your message in the best way possible. Small group work is a cornerstone of our coursework so students learn not only how to collaborate in a group effectively, but also learn the roles and duties that go along with different titles and positions in media.”
Alyssa cites the support from her professors as a key to her success in the field.
“You are able to start actually working the minute you come in to the program,” she said. “You learn skills for the jobs you may want in the future, and the professors are right there cheering you on. They are always looking for opportunities for you and cheering you on while simultaneously pushing you to do better. There is always something new to learn and someone to help you out.”