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Minor in Journalism and Integrated Media

School of Fine Arts and Communication


A journalism and integrated media minor is offered with the completion of 24 credits, including 21 credits of core required courses in media law, ethics and career preparation, and 3 elective credits in public relations, visual media or broadcast journalism.


Below are the course requirements for this academic program. In addition to these program-specific requirements, all majors include Biola's traditional undergraduate core curriculum. For more program details, including a sample course sequence, visit Biola's academic catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program's academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Core Courses

This survey course gives an overview of the origins of journalism (particularly its technological developments), the mandate for press inquiry in the First Amendment, limits on that freedom in the U.S. and developed nations, implications for journalistic inquiry and storytelling in today's digital age, and the role of Christians in truth-telling. The course introduces students to the power of journalism to bridge cultural barriers and how journalism done badly contributes to societal discord and misunderstanding between disparate groups.

This course introduces students to fact-based storytelling that combines print and visuals in a web format that meets the needs of students aiming at careers in the convergent media of journalism. Students learn convergence through readings, discussion, observation and project work. Course content introduces basics in writing for web and for social media and exposes students to digital strategies and tools for media production. Students begin to develop their professional online presence as they create the scaffolding for their e-portfolio site. The course serves as a prerequisite to Digital Technology and Social Strategies for Media.

This course gives students introductory skills in writing for print and digital media, including narratives aimed at audiences who read, who listen and who watch (in video and social media formats). Students learn reporting as a research method, including interviews, use of public documents and data, and the ways visual media interacts with narrative online. Students learn how writing coaching and pitching of stories is part of writing in any journalistic setting. Cross-cultural understanding is introduced in the course as an influence on interviewing and narrative approaches. Grade Mode: A

An examination of the basics of photography-editorial, graphic and technical. This introduction presumes no previous knowledge of photography. Students learn to capture images and some video based on the above criteria with standard digital photographic equipment (DSLR based). It is meant to introduce the basics of the SLR camera as well as composition, use of light, moment capture and some basic video capture. Students also learn basic skills to edit photographs with the "digital darkroom" and prepare them for publications and web-based media.

Students learn basic techniques of broadcast news-writing, video shooting, editing and production. Classes consist of lecture/discussion and guidance in project work for telling visual and/or audio stories adapted to traditional broadcast settings as well as Web audiences. Grade Mode: A

Workshop course to provide an introduction to the field of audio production for radio, film and television. In this course students will learn and practice techniques for recording, editing, mixing and exhibiting radio, film and television sound. Introduces audio production techniques and equipment operation. Includes terminology, basic script writing, editing, producing commercials, public service announcements and news casting in a studio setting. Introduction to the place of sound (voice, music, sound effects) in radio, television, motion pictures, and the Internet. An overview of technology and its use in audio recording and editing; using analog and digital equipment.

Students will learn the essentials in shooting, editing and streaming compelling video; preparing them for the other video courses in the broadcast curriculum. Also, students will learn about multi-media reporting and a convergent newsroom, shooting DV and editing on Final Cut Pro, all necessary skills to become a competitive broadcast journalist.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for making the step from academia to journalism and public relations careers. Students interact with working professionals through guest lectures, media tours and mock job interviews, examining the maturity of their gifts and skills and whether they have the readiness needed for effective participation in journalism, public relations, or other media environments--whether as an intern or a new employee. The course also helps students examine steps needed to prepare for graduate school, law school, and church or missions-related ministry as options naturally following their journalism preparation. Grade Mode: A.

A portfolio-driven, introductive learning experience beyond the university classroom via working in a company, business or media-related organization. This course will allow students to explore their interest, aptitude and stamina for work within their chosen area of journalism or media-related organization or ministry. This course is aimed at providing students with a beginning portfolio of work suitable for applying to an advanced internship.

Study of theoretical approaches to the First Amendment as well as specific areas of concern to professional journalists such as defamation, privacy, fair trial, obscenity, copyright, shield laws, sunshine laws, etc. Exploration of applied professional ethics and contemporary professional issues of ethics for journalists. Grade Mode: A.

Elective Courses

Select one of the following:

Explores reporting and documentation through the visual medium of still images. Students photograph assignments under working press and commercial-type conditions and advance their skills using the DSLR camera.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for covering youth, varsity and professional sports for deadline news media (print, broadcast and Web). The course will emphasize techniques for interviewing, reporting and writing about sports for print and online media, but will include elements applicable to video and audio components of a convergent approach to sports journalism. Ethics of sports journalism practice from a Christian world-view are applied to the media marketplace through discussion and project-driven experience.

Laboratory, lecture and discussion course in advanced principles of identifying news, its sources and the connection of issues with trends. Course emphasizes in-depth (documentary-style) interviewing, variable deadline writing, introductory use of and analysis of online and retrievable databases, and other online resources. Students will resource professional tools for visualizing data, exploring ways the visual can help tell the story of numbers in compelling ways.

Students will be part of a team that will produce a streaming weekly webcast featuring news of the Biola campus, surrounding community and Los Angeles. Practical skills of producing a TV newscast, the language of TV, writing a reader, a VO, a VO-SOT, a news package, incorporating sound bites, reporter stand ups, and the timing and producing a newscast will be taught. A deeper understanding of multi-media reporting and a convergent newsroom, shooting DV and editing on Final Cut Pro will also be gained.

Exploration of aesthetics and design with emphasis on copy editing and marking skills necessary for quality presentation of material both in printed and digital journalistic venues. Practice of copy editing with attention to style, grammar, punctuation, writing headlines, cutlines, selection of type, use of color and art as all relate to print or digital presentation. Because of this, SEO and analytics are further explored from the management position.

Principles of writing for targeted audiences that win readers and editors at niche and mainstream magazines. Students move articles from inception to querying through the revision processes of medium and long-form features and in-depth article writing. Course includes elements of business self-management, budgeting and copyright guidelines.

A lecture, discussion and writing course exploring the power and ethical implications of opinion in media. Students will learn how opinion journalism helped frame the cause of freedom in our nation's founding and how it has had a role in every major era in our nation's history. Students will also examine the role of opinion journalism today in social media, in public opinion polling, and in reviews of the Arts (e.g. music, dance, film, books, theatre productions) and of products in the marketplace (e.g. electronics, cars, hotels, restaurants). Students will examine, learn and demonstrate techniques for critical thinking in effective opinion journalism in forms ranging from news or sports analysis to blogs, tweets, and social media platforms that implement opinion alongside, or consisting of, photos and video. Grade Mode: A.
A rotating variety of topics and production experiences often employing special guests from within Journalism or Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, Documentary Reporting, Political Journalism, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, Cross-cultural journalism, advanced multimedia, or advanced photojournalism. Notes: May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A.

Students in this mastery-level course will explore in-depth a topic using a team approach that moves their inquiry from a core idea into a multi-part exploration that, by the end of the semester, becomes a finished book published by the department through on-demand technology. Book topics will vary, but urban and cross-cultural themes will be emphasized, pointing towards the needs and solutions being sought to help the marginalized and alienated within and around the American evangelical church and/or internationally. Projects will include reporting through written and visual form, and as needed, video storytelling and web development that enhances audience understanding of the book's topic.

Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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