Journalism Competencies

Our Journalism Courses

Journalism courses at Millersville are taken by a variety of students, including students minoring in journalism or with a concentration in journalism in English.  MDST's in Digital Journalism, Sports Journalism, and Science Writing also take a number of journalism courses.  In addition, students interested in marketing, public relations, and good writing take journalism courses, even if they do not major or minor in the subject.

Press and Society (ENGL 250)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Evaluate the role of journalism as a watchdog on power and a voice for reasoned discussion of issues in society
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical and moral quandaries journalists face on a range of issues including, among others, the pursuit of truth, objectivity, and transparency, and the challenge to powerful institutions
  • Explain the history and evolution of the culture of American journalism and its impacts.
  • Analyze the various ownership, governmental, and financial structures that pressure the practice of journalism
  • Employ critical strategies to evaluate journalism.
  • Identify contemporary issues facing journalism because of rapid technological changes and the impact of those changes on the broader American culture.
  • Appraise and critique the above ideas through revised prose. 

Fundamentals of Journalism (ENGL 313)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Write news for print and online media in various news genres following the rules of the AP style guide
  • Find and evaluate information for reporting
  • Describe what makes a news story and articulate a sense of “news value”
  • Explain the history of American journalism and the role it plays in America
  • Employ critical strategies to evaluate journalism.
  • Analyze journalists' ethical and legal problems

Advanced Reporting (ENGL 315)

  • Articulate and apply both traditional and modern methods of reporting that produce complete, accurate, and fair news stories in a variety of media.
  • Conduct interviews, research public records and commercial databases, and pursue a story wherever it leads to find, organize and encode information in various delivery formats
  • Demonstrate persistence and thoroughness in gathering information, while avoiding unacceptable practices like the selective use of sources, failing to include all information, adding information, and presenting information as one’s own that comes from other sources.
  • Assemble and organize information to create story structures in several forms and using varied techniques.
  • Use attribution when required and skillfully integrate it into news stories.
  • Consume the major forms of modern journalistic practice and critique the handling of ongoing events, issues, institutions, and ideas
  • Withhold judgment about how a story will play out until reporting is completed.
  • Demonstrate accuracy, proportion, and comprehensiveness in reporting stories
  • Identify extraordinary professional behaviors expected of journalists

Editing for Publications (ENGL 317)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Efficiently copy edit an article for style and grammar
  • Evaluate the importance of layout and design to the delivery of news
  • Design a full front-page layout for a newspaper
  • Describe the evolving design needs of the news industry, the importance of legacy media layout and design, and their influence on emerging media
  • Edit copy and texts in multiple forms of media such as print, photography, audio, and video
  • Analyze the ethical issues surrounding editing and the ways editorial choices influence public perception of stories

Feature Writing (ENGL 327)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply the skills learned in previous journalism courses to the writing of longer form stories
  • Construct stories using different approaches to a wide variety of story types
  • Describe the qualities of good non-fiction and its influence on the reading public through exposure to a variety of non-fiction authors
  • Produce multiple, longer stories that display significant advances in writing abilities and styles, in a variety of formats

Computer-Assisted Reporting (ENGL 330)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply and improve the skills learned in previous journalism courses to writing longer form pieces, data-driven reporting, and articles requiring extensive research
  • Find, read, and explain research reports and write about them in a way that is accessible to the layman
  • Find and evaluate sources of data to support or refute claims made by sources in reporting
  • Analyze data using software tools
  • Understand quantitative and qualitative research methods, the fundamentals of social science, and their value in journalism
  • Present data through both words and images
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethics in the framing of research in reporting

Journalism through Women's Perspectives (ENGL 435)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Discuss the topics women journalists wrote most frequently about and why
  • Identify female journalists, describe their worlds, and evaluate their work
  • Analyze the role of women in developing journalistic writing
  • Identify, critically analyze, and resolve complex problems through oral and written assignments related to issues relevant to women in journalism