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Cross-Cultural Media Concentration

Studying Cross-Cultural Media at Biola

The cross-cultural media concentration gives journalism students the unique skills, training, sensitivities and language preparation needed to interact with and understand people from diverse cultures. That’s crucial for any journalist in our globalizing nation; it’s especially valuable for those whose job description will be to seek out and tell the stories of people in other countries and those in ethnic communities across the U.S.

As a student in the cross-cultural media concentration, you will learn to tell stories across boundaries. You’ll learn to understand the complexities of people’s lives and experiences in diverse settings: how they uniquely think about them, talk about them, hear them. You’ll be trained with deep empathy and biblical humility in use of media tools that explore those worlds.

Similar to other Biola journalism students, you will learn about current trends in professional journalism and digital media, laws governing your craft, ethical challenges you are likely to face on the job, and how you can bring glory to God by excelling at what you do.

Like all our students, you will be encouraged to hone your journalism skills through several student-run media outlets on campus. You can become a staff writer, editor, photographer or videographer for the daily Chimes newspaper; you can create visual or written pieces for The Point magazine and its online site; or you can work with the EagleVision news program or create a show or produce podcasts for KBR-The Torch radio; these practical learning experiences will give you tangible proof that you’re ready to compete for the best internships available nationally. You will also have opportunities to create digital media projects in upper division coursework that will stretch you in your cross-cultural storytelling abilities (two of those are Media Narrative book project and Gradient Magazine photo project).

In our cross-cultural media concentration, you will learn:

  • how media and culture interact;
  • the biblical mandate for reporting and truth-telling
  • the significance and practice of building empathy into reporting on cultures that are not your own;
  • why truthful, balanced news is crucial to our democracy and to others emerging around the world;
  • how photos, graphics and/or video have unique power in cross-cultural settings
  • to seek out and participate in social media and understand the analytics behind it
  • how to blog effectively — with video or audio files — and integrate it with useful background context, perspectives and resources.
  • how to find your personal calling as a media professional seeking to honor God, and to be guided toward taking that calling through practical instruction and hands-on work — all leading to solid internships and entry-level jobs.

Gain hands-on experience

Our program teaches students by putting students’ hands on professional-level tools. In this concentration you will explore how media works by creating media projects in advanced-level courses, in practicum courses and in internships — all in cross-cultural settings. That’s a mix that can make you expert in the sharing of cross-cultural fact-based stories that many other media groups neglect. An added bonus to this concentration is that you will take courses through Biola’s Modern Languages curriculum, through Biola’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies, and our own nationally-relevant journalism curriculum. News operations near Biola in Los Angeles and Orange counties provide excellent training and educational experiences for Biola students. Our journalism students have:

  • worked with national ministry organizations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and Compassion International;
  • joined the press offices of regional and national political figures and sports teams;
  • completed internships with news organizations, including those in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Washington, D.C. and New York;
  • interned and joined as full-time staff in newsrooms and news departments of regional broadcast affiliates or news organizations across the nation.

Featured Work

John Fredricks, a graduate of Biola’s Department of Digital Media & Journalism, has had photos published by many media organizations including National Geographic Adventure and Time Magazine. He currently works as a reporter for Epoch Times.

“When God opens the door I’m like, ‘heck yeah, I’m gonna jump through it. Like, let’s do this.’”

“Christ came to save unfaithful people like me, and He keeps opening up the doors... If the door is open, I think it would be kind of rude to not walk through it.”


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