A look at the state of journalism

A look at the state of journalism education conducted
annually by the University of Georgia reported back in 2014 that enrollment was
down almost 10 percent from 2011 to 2013 at the University of Missouri’s
journalism school, down 33 percent over five years at Columbia College Chicago,
and down 20 percent over five years at Indiana University-Bloomington. Due in
part because to this downturn, several colleges and universities, including
Indiana University, have even had to combine their communications,
telecommunications, film studies and journalism departments into one school.

According to 2016 statistics, enrollment in the journalism department at
Indiana University-Bloomington had dropped 9 percent from the Fall of 2015 to
the Fall of 2016.

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These three universities aren’t the only
well-respected journalism schools that have experienced decreasing enrollment
numbers in recent years. According to the University of Missouri’s Enrollment
Summary Report, the number of freshman enrolled in a journalism track dropped
21 percent from the Fall of 2015 to the Fall of 2016—down nearly 1,600 from the
previous year. Total undergraduate enrollment in the journalism department at
the University of Missouri was also down, which helped to contribute to a total
loss of about 30 percent in just one year.

However, there hasn’t bad news for journalism
departments everywhere. Several journalism programs have been growing, and a
few schools have even added journalism courses that had never offered them
before or have not offered them for decades. For example, mostly due to the
high level of student interest, the University of California-Berkeley recently
began holding undergraduate journalism courses again—an offering which hasn’t
existed for almost 30 years. Journalism instruction was first introduced at UC
Berkeley in fall 1936 and became an academic major in 1940. A decade later a
Master of Journalism degree was added. In 1978 the undergraduate major was
discontinued for good, and resources were shifted to the highly successful
graduate program. Since then a small number of undergraduate journalism courses
have been offered but no degree program. Berkeley’s is the only graduate-level
professional journalism degree program in the UC system. According to the
director of undergraduate programs at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism over
150 students have enrolled in the minor and certificate program, which is
called “Journalism in the Digital Age”. The program is broken down into four
main areas of study: “Reporting & Writing”, “Social Media &
Journalism”, “Multimedia” and “Investigative Reporting”.