Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher H. Sterling
Some 400 American colleges and universities offer programs of journalism education, mostly at the undergraduate level. Many others provide courses or programs in electronic media, film, or media studies. Fewer provide graduate—usually master's—degree opportunities as well. Journalism and media studies are thriving academic fields of study in the early twenty-first century, but it took some time to attain that status. For decades, the idea of formal education for journalism struck many publishers and editors as both unnecessary and perhaps even harmful. The best place to learn journalism, they argued, was in a newsroom. Broad knowledge, an ability to write, and a willingness to work long hours was required—not hours in a classroom studying theory. On the other side of the desk, many faculty argued just as strongly that “trade school” training was not what higher education should provide. It took some time and effort to overcome these feelings—and neither has ...