Journalism degree to be offered at Delta

By Jack Rechsteiner, managing editor.

If your goal is to change the world, journalism can be one of the most immediate ways to do it.

Thomas Jefferson said that all liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. Albert Camus said that a free press can be good or bad, but most certainly, without press then freedom can never be had. Journalism has been loved and it has been hated, but it has most certainly always been instrumental for changing the world and maintaining freedom. This isn’t any less true today, and it’s why Delta College has worked to put together a full-fledged program that will offer an associate degree in journalism and emerging media program.

In the fall semester of 2017, Delta College held an advisory committee meeting to evaluate and establish the journalism and emerging media program that will be available in upcoming semesters to Delta students. Advisory committees are important in connecting Delta College with the work world, as they assess what Delta’s academic program can do to meet the current needs of employers.

“Delta College’s advisory committees truly value and monitor the conditions and skills needed within the current market by the participation of local businesses as committee representatives,” says Adeline Wicker, of Dobson Healthcare Services.

The outcomes and objectives for the journalism and emerging media program are to teach students how to create accurate, timely and meaningful works of journalism that adhere to industry standards and timeframes so they can perform effectively as working journalists. The program also aims to show students the role of journalism in society along with the ethical and legal cornerstones of journalism.

The program will introduce five new courses to Delta’s curriculum; the classes will be Media Literacy, Photojournalism, Introduction to Public Relations, Media Innovation Lab and Special Projects in Journalism. Key courses are set up to easily transfer to other schools, such as Central Michigan University’s journalism program and Saginaw Valley State University’s Professional and Technical Writing program.

In a time of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” people with an education that includes fact-checking and verification skills will likely become more and more important. The skills learned while earning this new degree will open doors for jobs or internships at newspaper, magazine, radio, television and other media outlets, as well as careers in public relations and marketing positions for area companies.

Present-day journalism is far more than just newspapers; it’s a constantly evolving field of information gathering and presentation. Journalism uses mediums that range from social media to print magazines to podcasts to live streaming video to press releases. Demand has dropped for old-school print and TV jobs, there has been growth in public relations, writers, web developers and multimedia content providers. The not-so-recent rise and worldwide domination of social media has led to new opportunities for journalism careers that are not yet carved out as specific careers, but are expected to be soon.

For those interested in learning more about the journalism and emerging media program and the opportunities it presents, you can reach program coordinator Crystal McMorris at [email protected] or at 989-686-9151.

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