Digital Journalism

51风流官网鈥檚 Journalism program has recently gone through some significant changes.


First, Communication and Journalism are now separate programs. That means 鈥淐OJO鈥 no longer exists. In addition, Journalism has changed its structure and focus. We鈥檙e now the Science and Environmental Journalism Department. The following are answers to some questions you might have as a current Digital Journalism major:


Why did COJO make this change?

Journalism and Communication can be similar fields, but the Communication program at 51风流官网 focuses on theory, while the Journalism program emphasizes skill building and practical application of those skills. Since each program has different goals, 51风流官网 decided they should be separate departments. Journalism majors often minor in Communication and vice versa. That won鈥檛 change. 


Why Science and Environmental Journalism? 

While many areas of Journalism are shrinking, Science and Environmental Journalism is an area of growth. More jobs in this specialty are being added every month. In addition, 51风流官网 is at the forefront in many areas of science, especially climate change. With so many stories in 51风流官网鈥檚 backyard, there鈥檚 lots of material for students, making this change a natural fit. Finally, while there are dozens of graduate programs in Science and Environmental Journalism, just a handful of colleges and universities offer an undergraduate program, and none of them exists at a top research university. This makes 51风流官网鈥檚 program unique.


But I鈥檓 a Digital Journalism Major. Does this mean my major will change? 

No. If you declared as a Digital Journalism major prior to the Fall 2023 semester, you are still a Digital Journalism major and will graduate with a B.A. in Digital Journalism. If you would like to change your major to Science and Environmental Journalism, however, you can do that! 


What about the course catalog? There鈥檚 a lot of changes. 

When we redesigned the program, we eliminated courses that hadn鈥檛 been taught in recent years. We changed others. All courses now use the designator JOUR instead of COJO, so that鈥檚 where you鈥檒l see them when using Course Finder and other resources. 

Some courses changed only in course number or name. For example, COJO F323: Editing for Journalists is now JOUR F303: Copy Editing. COJO F251: Introduction to Video Production is now JOUR F307: Video Production. What鈥檚 covered in these courses is the same. 

Other courses have incorporated more significant changes. COJO F310: Reporting has been restructured as JOUR F301: Reporting Science. As a Digital Journalism Major, a reporting class is required, but never fear! The majority of instructional material remains unchanged. Just like Reporting, in Reporting Science you鈥檒l dive deeper into research, interviewing techniques, writing and story structure than in News Writing for the Media. We鈥檒l also cover ethics, Freedom of Information Act requests and beat reporting. Those things are the same whether you鈥檙e writing about sports, art or climate change. But in Reporting Science, we鈥檒l focus on 鈥渢he environment beat,鈥 for example, and practice interviewing techniques for more complex subjects. 


What about required courses that don鈥檛 exist anymore, like Newscast and Extreme Alaska? 

This is an exciting opportunity for you as a Digital Journalism major. Because some courses have been eliminated, you get to work with an advisor to customize your degree. You鈥檒l choose courses based on your interests and goals and, provided they add up to the equivalent of what鈥檚 required, they鈥檒l count in place of courses that have been dropped from the catalog. Your Journalism advisor will work with you to submit the required paperwork for these substitutions. 


I still have questions. Where do I go for answers? 

If there鈥檚 something you鈥檙e unsure of or you have additional questions, please contact Professor Lynne Snifka (, Professor Charles Mason (, or Professor Jack Pagano ( We鈥檙e happy to set up an appointment to go over your degree and make sure you鈥檙e on track to meet your goals and graduate.