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Digital Journalism Concentration

Studying Digital Journalism at Biola

Fluency in the art of digital journalism is more important today than ever before as millions around the world continue to turn to their screens for information. The BBC’s "Academy" — a resource for training journalists on the changing dynamics of the field — holds that "the future of journalism is digital." This position recognizes the need for journalists to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and web analytics as they make editorial decisions. It also underscores the importance for journalists to be able to produce quality video, text and photos for the online audience.

The Advanced Media Institute at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism says: "people, especially the young, are turning to the Internet for more and more of their news and developing an effective digital strategy is essential for long-term survival." Another change alongside the shift to online resources for information has been the "digital culture of public participation, re-mixing by individuals of data and information, harnessing the power of collective intelligence and providing services, rather than products," according to the Berkley Center. Although these elements, among others, are woven throughout Biola’s journalism and integrated media curriculum, they are most acutely addressed in particular classes that are folded together in this digital journalism concentration. The future for students of this data and digital-focused concentration is exciting, as internships and jobs within the industry are plentiful.

In our digital journalism concentration you will learn:

  • about the biblical mandate for news reporting;
  • why truthful, balanced news is crucial to our democracy;
  • how to find news in data and to be ethical in reporting from that data;
  • how to report information with photos, graphics and video;
  • to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and resource it for your own stories;
  • to resource social media and understand the analytics behind it;
  • basics of code and resources for further development of various languages of code;
  • to design digital content for web and mobile media;
  • how to blog news effectively — maybe with video or audio files — and link it to useful background material. News convergence is a cutting-edge trend in news across the U.S. and around the world and it’s our focus at Biola;
  • how to find your personal calling as a digital journalist seeking to honor God, and then be guided toward taking that calling, starting with practical instruction and hands-on work, and leading into solid internships and entry-level jobs. Our hope is that you will be among those students who get hired even before they graduate.

Gain hands-on experience

Preparation as a digital journalist positions students for cutting-edge experiences in reporting information in today's media world. Resourcing new expressions of story through mediums like blogging, podcasting and digital visual documentaries, students prepare to tell stories in ways uniquely suited to today’s audiences.

Like all Biola journalism students, you will learn about current trends in mass media, laws governing the way you go about 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. The electives you choose will give you extended, specialized experience in web and digital design, video journalism, data visualization and reporting, and other interesting areas. In a Data Journalism course, you’ll learn to examine data and reports to find the stories that are otherwise hidden from the public. In a Design Essentials course, you’ll create a prototype of a mobile app and work with data to create visualizations. In an SEO, Social Media and Digital Strategies course, you’ll learn to read analytics, gather appropriate information and report on the success of online strategies.

With several student-run media outlets on campus, you will constantly have opportunities to hone your skills, whether through working with The Chimes (online and print news), The Point (campus feature magazine both in print and online), EagleVision (news show online) or The Torch (podcasting). These practical learning experiences will give you valuable knowledge about the inner workings of media outlets like the ones you will join after graduation.

News operations near Biola in Los Angeles and Orange counties provide excellent training and educational experiences for Biola students. Our journalism students have:

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

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