Part One: Exploring Journalism in CUNY

5 mins read

If you’re passionate about storytelling, uncovering the truth, and shaping public discussion a journey into journalism at the City University of New York (CUNY) might be your perfect pathway. CUNY’s diverse campuses across New York City makes a great place for a bigger range of perspectives, backgrounds, and experience because of their great diversity and inclusivity. 

Journalists are one of the bigger reasons we know what is going on around our world and society. No matter which CUNY college an aspiring journalist is at, one has multiple opportunities to help them achieve their ultimate goal. Every school has different programs to offer, but with the same objective. To train the journalists of tomorrow the ethics and skills of the industry. 

Through their newsletter named “The G Building News” it was announced that Queens College’s Media Studies department will be offering a journalism minor for the first time in years. Aside from The Knight News, this will be the only form of traditional journalism for students on campus. This begs the question: what do other CUNY schools offer as Queens College aims to build up their journalism program?

Starting with Baruch College, they have a major program with two different areas of focus, with a rich course catalog of at least 20 courses each semester. The first specialization centers on Journalism and Creative Writing, and it includes topics such as journalism, fiction writing, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction. The second specialization is Business Journalism, which includes courses that explore subjects like “Covering Wealth and Poverty” and “Covering the Financial Markets.” Students engage in publishing on Dollars & Sense, an online magazine that frequently wins national awards.The next one is Brooklyn College, and the journalism and media studies programs emphasize storytelling skills across many media platforms. It provides a strong foundation in writing, understandable reporting, and critical thinking abilities. The program offers access to advanced and new resources, including radio, television, and newsroom labs, plus it provides opportunities to participate in the three new outlets: Brooklyn College Radio, The Vanguard, and Brooklyn News Service

Moving next to Hunter College, their journalism program includes a curriculum focused on multimedia reporting and writing. Recently added courses cover radio reporting, podcasting, data journalism, social justice, environmental/health reporting, and news literacy, which is a core requirement. At Hunter, students have access to a studio where they produce a biweekly newscast called Hunter News Now and are also managing the school newspaper, The Athenian, as well as the magazine, The Bridge

Furthermore, York College provides a Bachelor of Arts program in journalism, that gives their students the necessary knowledge and abilities for careers in digital, broadcast, and print media.  The program covers interactive skills, reporting on social media, and a focus on localized news reporting. All journalism majors gain experience by working at a professional news organization under careful guidance. Students take roles as reporters or photographers for York’s online newspaper and create high-quality audio content in YCRadio studio. 

Additionally, it should be noted that senior colleges are not the only ones that offer journalism courses, as community colleges also provide the same opportunities. For example, the English Department at Queensborough Community College offers students access to three established journalism courses: Introductory in Journalism, feature writing or long-form writing, and Documentary. Students also have publication opportunities through Communiqué, the student newspaper, and the Queens Free Press, a project connected to community reporting held at Queens Library. 

With the great help of Judith Watson, an associate professor at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, she informed The Knight News that all of these schools make up the CUNY Journalist Council and they discuss the issues in journalism and what new courses they are going to be offering to make new students interested in journalism courses and extend to new audiences.

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