If you’re interested in studying journalism, broadcast news or digital media production, there are numerous options right here in Alberta. Whether you look north or south, or to Alberta’s central region, there are excellent program opportunities that range from two year diplomas at colleges and technical institutes to four year degrees at universities, including the new four year Bachelor of Communication Studies Degree with a major in Broadcast Media Studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, the only one available in western Canada.
JOURNALISM SCHOOLS IN EDMONTON
MacEwan University offers a four-year Bachelor of Communication Studies degree with two tracks: Journalism or Professional Communications. Years one and two include common coursework for both professional communication and journalism, building a foundation in rhetoric, language and composition, visual communication, communication theory and research methods. Years three and four provide specialization in editing and strategic or technical communication (in the professional communication major) or in news gathering and digital media production (in the journalism major).
A Journalism Major provides students with a cross section of writing, research and reporting skills that will make them an asset in any newsroom. MacEwan’s Journalism major provides access to the same kind of multimedia equipment and experience you’ll find in any modern newsroom which means that when students graduate, they can hit the ground running.
Core courses focus on:
• Communications theory
• Research skills
• News reporting
Option courses allows students to specialize based on their interests:
• Online digital storytelling
• Arts and culture reporting
• Feature writing
• Current affairs reporting
• Investigative reporting
The Bachelor of Communication Studies program provides students with the core skills of effective communication through its two majors: Professional Communication and Journalism. Our program is interdisciplinary, forward-looking, rigorous, and prepares students for the workplace and graduate studies.
— Lucille Mazo, Chair, Bachelor of Communication Studies Program
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
NAIT’s two-year diploma specializes in Radio and TV Broadcasting. Students learn to write, produce and broadcast news items, commercials, and anchor content. Many graduates of this program are well-known personalities, working as announcers, news/sports reporters, copywriters, producers and promotions coordinators at television and radio stations in Alberta and throughout Canada. NAIT offers a 16 week field placement. This placement gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the industry and more often than not gain employment with their host organization immediately following the end of their placement.
Radio students train in conducting station promotion campaigns, audio production, announcing, copywriting, radio sales and online media. In addition, radio students train in news and sports reporting and anchoring. The content is used for NR92.com, the campus radio station.
The television students learn how to shoot, write and edit their own news, sports, and entertainment stories. The content is used for NAIT NewsWatch, a news broadcast featuring students in anchoring, reporting, and camera crew and production positions. The newscast can be seen across Canada on CTV two.
Both the radio and television students create content for station websites, as well as use the latest social media tools to engage their audiences and matches students with industry representatives through several partnerships with industry leaders.
NAIT’s Radio and Television program is most proud of the hands-on, real life learning experience our student receive from instructors who still work in broadcasting and online media. It’s a unique learning experience. Small class sizes allow our students to develop personal working relationships with our instructors. The one-on-one interaction increases learning opportunities. Our commitment is to student success and providing the broadcast and digital media industry with graduates who are multi-skilled in online media, radio and television broadcasting, as well as news and sports reporting.
— Patrick Galenza, Program Head
JOURNALISM SCHOOLS IN CALGARY
Mount Royal University
Mount Royal University has been educating journalists for more than 40 years. It has offered a four year Bachelor of Communication – Journalism Degree since 2008 and, as of the fall intake in 2016, now also offers a four year Bachelor of Communication Studies Degree with a major in Broadcast Media Studies, the only one available in western Canada. The expanded program replaces the current two-year diploma program, taught since 1961. The deadline for student applications in the first offering of this new degree program is February 1, 2016.
Bachelor of Communication – Broadcast Media
Students develop the technical skills and theoretical understanding to produce professional, engaging audio and video content for a variety of audiences. The program features state-of-the art video production facilities and an online radio station for which students learn to write and produce commercials, news, documentaries, podcasts, advertising, corporate video and reality television.
Learning about the broadcast media business from the inside will provide students with a wide range of skills and insight. Theory and practice come together in a program that covers writing, story-telling, advertising, newsgathering, communication theory, video and audio recording, editing, and production as well as the legal and ethical responsibilities faced by today’s media professionals.
Transforming the broadcasting program will better position future graduates to compete in an industry that expects new employees to possess a four year degree for most entry level jobs. It will also be a crucial long-term advantage for students who become successful professionals and seek career advancement and executive level promotions. In addition to traditional broadcast and media organizations, more and more industries are recruiting media professionals for their strong communication abilities and expertise in digital story-telling. With the growing prominence of communication strategy in all sectors, Broadcast Media Studies (BMS) graduates will enter the workforce with marketable knowledge and skills.
–Paul Boyd, Former Weekend Anchor, CBS Television’s Inside Edition
Bachelor of Communication – Journalism
Students in this program learn to think critically, analyze data, write clearly and creatively tell stories through text, photo, video and graphics. The program admits about 60 students each September and receive 3 to 4 applications for every student admitted. Classes are between 15 to 20 students for most journalism courses.
Their online radio station provides students with the opportunity to create their own audio programming. Music, information, news and talk formats can be explored in a real radio station. Their collection of professional High Definition cameras, lighting and audio equipment provides students with training at the highest industry standard. Students write, produce, edit and direct across a variety of genres and media lines. Mount Royal’s large professional television studio gives students a space to experience live television production in a multi-camera setting.
Mobile media projects provide experience in on-location live event production when students partner with campus sports teams, student groups and community partners.
The evolution in the journalism degree program at Mount Royal University, from a historically print-based focus to a much wider and more dynamic multimedia focus, has been an important achievement of immense value to our students. They are today using their communication and journalism skills in a range of new ways after graduation, with an increasing number of them moving into non-traditional communication roles, and/or going to graduate level studies. Our faculty group is pleased with this result and proud of the students for the effort they are making to engage with, and shape, a routinely changing communications media environment.
— Terry Field, Associate Professor in Journalism and former program chair at MRU.
Mount Royal also offers students interested in journalism the opportunity to start their journalism studies through online delivery through eCampus Aberta. http://www.ecampusalberta.ca/future-students/programs/journalism. The Certificate of Achievement – Journalism comprises four courses designed to introduce the online student to the craft and context of journalism as practiced today. Students who complete the four online courses will be awarded the Certificate of Achievement – Journalism by Mount Royal’s Faculty of Communication Studies.
SAIT’s Radio, Television and Broadcast News (RTBN) diploma program is divided into three majors: Radio, Television and Broadcast News. Students choose the option that best fits their individual skills or interests in preparation for a challenging, creative and exciting career in the media. The RTBN program involves two years of full-time study. Each of the program’s two years is divided into two semesters. There is a single intake each year, with classes commencing in September and finishing in late April. A four-week industry practicum is required in the fourth semester.
Radio students gain valuable industry experience by operating SAIT’s campus radio station (accessible worldwide at radio.sait.ca). Students progress from mastering audio basics to advanced digital multi-track production, perform duties in the sales and promotions departments, and rotate through station positions including on-air personality, creative director, and production manager. Students also receive training in music directing, traffic management, and news and sports delivery, to round out this exciting and worthwhile career path.
Television students learn the fundamentals of writing, directing, producing, and editing through live production and assembling prerecorded video and audio elements. A strong emphasis is placed on hands-on learning and innovation in both single and multi-camera environments. Students work in teams to produce information and news programs, live event programming (such as sports), variety programs, documentaries, commercials, and public service announcements. Students also become familiar with the technical aspects of television media by working with broadcast-quality equipment such as High Definition cameras, switchers, digital audio consoles, graphics work stations, servers and computer-based editing systems.
Broadcast News (BN) students learn how to research and objectively present a story. They receive extensive, hands-on training. The program provides realistic experiences behind and in front of the camera and microphone. Students are trained to work effectively in both the radio and television environment. BN students learn the importance of meeting deadlines while maintaining a respect for journalistic integrity. Students take on many roles in our newsroom, including reporter, producer, line-up editor, news and sports anchor, and weather reporter.
JOURNALISM SCHOOLS IN LETHBRIDGE
Lethbridge Community College
Lethbridge College’s Digital Communications and Media two year diploma program reflects the evolution of media and communication industries and prepares students to work for TV and radio broadcasters, newspapers, magazines and corporations, or as an entrepreneur or freelancer working in the media anywhere in the world
After completing a common first year of courses, students can choose to focus on Digital Journalism to learn how to create and deliver news content for broadcast, print and mobile while employing innovative online and social media strategies. Or, students can choose to focus on Media Production and Advertising to engage audiences by taking great ideas and creatively utilizing audio, video and graphic design to share them with the rest of the world.
The vast majority of journalists now working at newspapers, radio or television stations in Alberta are graduates from these schools.