The Journalism major prepares Christian students to be outstanding journalists. Students will gain the skills, knowledge, and experience they will need to compete effectively for positions with news media in local, regional, and national markets. Students also develop a strong sense of professionalism, a respect for the institution of journalism and its role in maintaining a free society, and the ability to understand and evaluate trends and practices in contemporary journalism. Most importantly, they will develop a biblically-based philosophy of journalism to guide them as they seek truth as the ultimate goal in all that they investigate and report.
All Journalism majors study basic news reporting and writing (Intro to Journalism I and II) as well as Media Law and Journalism History.
Students may choose between two tracks. A working knowledge of politics is essential in most newsrooms; the Political Journalism Track, with broad and intensive courses in government, prepares students to work as general assignment or political reporters and editors. The Liberal Arts Track, with a professional writing course and other upper-division CLA classes in addition to the core curriculum, is designed for students who want a solid historical and literary background to help them interpret the culture and produce insightful essays, narratives, and other types of features.
Apprenticeship Experience and Methodology
Internships are a key part of the Patrick Henry College Journalism program. After completing Journalism II (usually in their freshman or sophomore year), students spend two semesters as staff members on the student newspaper, magazine, or radio program (Student Publications Internship I and II). In the fall semester, students will take a skills course directly related to their internship; students working with one of the print publications will take Print Media Graphics, while those with the radio program will take Radio Journalism.
Usually in their junior or senior year students must earn at least six internship credits by completing an off-campus internship. Students have interned at, among other publications, the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, WORLD Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, NBC and Fox affiliates in Washington, National Geographic, American Spectator, NBC/Universal in Los Angeles, American Family Radio, USAToday.com, and many smaller newspapers and broadcast stations. Students complete the program's Internship requirements by taking 9 credits of journalism electives (e.g. Political Journalism, Narrative Non-Fiction), additional off-campus internships, freelance project internships under the supervision of the Director of Journalism, or a combination of the above.