Multimedia Journalism, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you relish being the first to know what’s going on in the world? Are you passionate about telling stories and dream of seeing your name in print? If so, you should consider earning a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism. At PLNU, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of this dynamic and crucial field from faculty members who are key practitioners of journalism and from those who publish on both mass-media and scholarly sites.

After completing introductory courses in journalism, mass media, and literature, you'll learn investigative reporting techniques and creative ways to tell stories. Upper division courses will introduce you to the challenges of media ethics and ever-changing technology. You'll be given opportunities to develop skills in interviewing, editing, web and page design, investigative techniques, and data research — all skills that are important for careers in journalism as well as in law, education, business, public relations, advertising, marketing, science, research, psychology, and beyond.

PLNU's professors have an in-depth understanding of this dynamic field and many of them are practicing journalists. Our faculty members have anchored television network news, written pieces for publications such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe, and published in scholarly journals such as Princeton University Library and The Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

The multimedia journalism program offers many opportunities for firsthand experience on and off campus, including KPLR, PLNU's campus radio station, and PLNU's Point TV television station, which includes Coastline newscast, a live biweekly news program, and many other TV and film programs. Also, the campus newspaper and website, The Point Weekly, provides hands-on opportunities for students to inform the campus community. In addition to the newspaper, students can participate in the campus yearbook (Mariner) and literary magazine (Driftwood).

For even more real-world applications, internships are available at U-T San Diego, San Diego Magazine, Orange County Register, San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, Voice of San Diego (online news site), all local television and radio stations, One America News national cable television network, and dozens of other organizations in the San Diego region. These internships provide invaluable experience, and often lead to the employment of many PLNU students and graduates.

Concentrations

  • Writing: This program will immerse you in great storytelling that will span from present-day writers to those who produced some of the world's best literature. Courses in narrative journalism, creative writing, and investigative reporting will facilitate critical-thinking skills and a deeper understanding of why storytelling matters. You'll have the opportunity to have your work published, posted, and broadcasted on student media and beyond.
  • Visual Storytelling: This program will immerse you in writing, production, and multimedia courses through which you'll learn how to tell stories across the most effective contemporary platforms. Courses will prepare you to tell visual narratives in the most creative and professional manner using video, audio, images, data, and text.
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Spotlight

Dean Nelson, Ph.D.

By any account, professor of journalism Dr. Dean Nelson is a talented author, outstanding teacher, and keen PLNU advocate. And yet, get Nelson talking about himself, and you will quickly learn that there is more to his story than his many accomplishments.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Career Opportunities

Do you have a passion for exploring our world through storytelling, writing, speaking, and film? Turn these traits into a career with a degree in multimedia journalism from PLNU. The skills you’ll learn will prepare you for the journalism field which is far-ranging from digital to broadcast to podcast to print. With PLNU’s journalism program, you’ll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in all these media platforms and graduate ready to take on the ever-evolving journalism world. 

At PLNU, our multimedia journalism program focuses on growing four skills:

  • Knowledge of investigative reporting techniques
  • Finding creative ways to tell stories 
  • Robustly understanding the challenges of media ethics and ever-changing technology 
  • Interviewing, editing, web and page design, investigative techniques, and data research 

What do journalism jobs look like post-graduation?

Employment in careers related to solely journalism is projected to be competitive, however, that is not to discourage prospective students. The opportunities to gain experience through internships and jobs are vast at PLNU. Additionally, the skills learned from this program while preparing you for the journalism field also set you up for jobs in publishing, literature, website development, government, and law. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts is projected to decline 11% from 2019 to 2029. However, the employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).  

What are PLNU alumni doing with their degrees in journalism?

Many graduates of the PLNU journalism program have gone on to produce work at well-known news networks and publications such as NBC, the San Diego Union-Tribune, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. Locally, many graduates have found success at San Diego-based print publications. However, not only have graduates worked in the journalism field, but also in industries such as marketing, law, non-profit work, and website development.

Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:

News Reporters and Journalists

2020 Median annual salary: $49,300

News reporters and journalists inform the public about news and events happening locally, nationally, or internationally. They must have a drive and dedication to the truth and good storytelling. Much of a journalist’s job consists of finding key sources, conducting interviews, writing up transcripts, taking photos, and of course writing for their specified publication. Reporters must be very poised speakers. They often are at the scenes of crimes or major events, telling what’s happening in real time.  Both positions require excellent communication skills, writing, and storytelling.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Strong writer and speaker
  • Maintain and make quick deadlines
  • Self-motivated and confident
  • Connected to community or strong network
  • Strong sense of ethics and commitment to the truth
  • Creativity and knowledge to come up with story ideas and pitches
  • Tools and knowledge to research topics and stories
  • Thorough understanding and application of AP style 

Public Relations Specialist

2020 Median annual salary: $62,810

Public relations specialists create and uphold a favorable public image for the organization they represent. These specialists write media releases and craft social media programs to shape a positive public perception of their organization, while also increasing awareness of the organization’s work and goals.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Strong writer and speaker
  • Draft speeches, press releases, and arrange interviews
  • Maintain and make quick deadlines
  • Interpret social media trends and public interactions
  • Aid their clients in effectively communicating with the public 

Producers and Directors

2020 Median annual salary: $76,400

Producers and directors are known for creating movies, television shows, theater productions, and commercials. However, they also can work in podcast, broadcast, and print. Producers and directors work under a lot of pressure and often manage a large crew and cast. In context to the journalism field, directors often make big decisions regarding their publication or station and how they’ll best compete with other networks in the industry. They must have a strong network and understanding of how to keep their organization efficient and producing newsworthy content. Producers make the business and financial decisions for the organization.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Creativity and leadership
  • Knowledge of how to keep a project on schedule and within budget
  • Analysis to approve a design and financial aspects of a production
  • Networking to promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals
  • A bachelor’s degree and several years of experience in the journalism field

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

2020 Median annual salary: $65,810

Marketing research analysts and marketing specialists follow and interpret market conditions to capitalize on and inform clients and organizations of potential sales of a product or service. They’re experts at understanding which products people want, who the buyers are, and what price those buyers are willing to pay. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Robust understanding of market trends and patterns
  • Innovation in creating methods for collecting data (surveys, questionnaires, polls, etc.)
  • Ability to gather, interpret, and utilize data
  • Strong writing and communications skills in presenting reports and results

Utilize your degree to write and report on the conflicts and events happening in today’s ever-changing world. 

Journalists not only have the power to make an impact in their community through verified and trustworthy news, but also in fostering civic engagement and community involvement. A good and truthful story can make all the difference in how a community interacts with and views its local news provider. Journalists have the opportunity to speak up and write about the issues and controversies impacting their communities. How will you make your mark in the journalism world?

Start by applying to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

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Abby Hamblin

Alumna Story

Abby Hamblin (14) talks about her experience as a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune and how PLNU helped her reach her dream of working for a major newspaper publication.

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Abby Hamblin

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