Journalists provide a vital service to democracy by keeping citizens informed and holding elected leaders accountable.
Journalists tell stories that educate and entertain, helping expand the perspective of their readers and viewers. When you study journalism and digital media at St. Edward’s, you’ll learn to interview, organize information, write, edit, and use digital tools, ensuring that you can update your skillset as newsroom technology evolves.
Journalism & Digital Media at St. Edward‘s encompasses news literacy, journalistic practice and digital skills through the lens of civic understanding and engagement. Our program trains students to conceptualize and produce stories using data and digital tools in a liberal arts context that holds humanism as a core value. Issues around privacy, data ownership, and automation are actively considered and discussed as students learn to write chatbots, create data visualizations, shoot and edit video, and tell compelling audio stories. We also teach our students to write with accuracy, rigor, and clarity.
You’ll learn how to write for digital outlets, use social media as a reporting tool, shoot and edit video, and use computer science and coding to enhance your work. You’ll graduate prepared to work in any type of media environment.
Outside the classroom, hone your craft as a reporter or editor at the student news outlet, Hilltop Views, and at internships in Austin. As a state capital and the home of multiple media organizations, Austin is an ideal place to work in the field of journalism. Your training will also help you succeed in public relations, business, research — and any field that prioritizes people skills and clear communication.
What do our graduates do?
Journalism and Digital Media minors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Reporters and editors at the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News, the Juneau Empire, OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, D.C. and other publications
- Chief of Policy & Communications for the City of Dallas, Texas
- Social Media Marketing and Communications professionals
- Future newsroom leaders earning graduate degrees at elite programs, including the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University
For more information about Journalism & Digital Media at St. Edward’s University, please contact and Associate Professor Jena Heath, who coordinates the program. The Journalism and Digital Media minor is part of the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric.
About the Minor
There are two ways to study Journalism and Digital Media.
- Major in Writing and Rhetoric and choose the Journalism and Digital Media specialization.
- Major in the topic you want to cover and minor in Journalism and Digital Media. Any major works with this minor.
There are 21 hours required, including 9 upper-division hours.
For course descriptions, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Outside the Classroom
Students may practice their skills working at the Hilltop Views, the campus newspaper, which is both online and in print. There are opportunities for writing, shooting pictures or videos, designing, copy editing, and advertising sales. These positions can be for course credit and/or pay.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships to get on-the-job experience and to get a better idea of whether or not you can see yourself in this career. Examples of internships our students have completed are: The Austin American-Statesman, The Texas Observer, The Texas Tribune, Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, The Houston Chronicle, 2018 Knight CUNYJ Summer Internship Program (NYC), Institute on Political Journalism D.C. Journalism/Communications internship.
Interaction with Professionals in the Field
The Journalism program strives to give students opportunities to interact in person with practicing journalists as often as possible.
Michele Kay Outstanding Journalist Award
Each year, an outstanding graduating senior in the Journalism program is selected for the Michele Kay Outstanding Student Journalist Award. They receive $300 underwritten by Hilltop Views in honor of Kay, a St. Edward’s University graduate, professional journalist for 40 years, and St. Edward’s University faculty member. She inspired students to participate in campus journalism and created the Journalism minor. She died in 2011.
Meet the Faculty
The Journalism faculty boasts years of experience working in newsrooms. They’re passionate about keeping students on top of the latest forms of journalism and preparing them for careers in an evolving industry. Our faculty thrive off of their students’ successes and continued interest in journalism. They are dedicated to providing students a solid foundation in journalism and continuously adding new tools to their toolboxes.
“I teach the same way I practiced journalism for nearly 20 years — with heart,” says Jena Heath, associate professor of Journalism, faculty adviser to Hilltop Views, and coordinator of the Journalism program. “My particular areas of interest are writing with voice, precision and depth and helping young people become avid, thoughtful news consumers as we all navigate this socially networked world.”