Oberlin Applies Core Liberal Arts Excellence to Launch Concentration in Journalism

Rare approach builds upon the College’s long history of preparing some of the world’s leading journalists

OBERLIN, Ohio--()--Oberlin will apply its core liberal arts curriculum to an integrative concentration in journalism designed to enhance its long history of preparing journalists for successful careers at some of the world’s leading media outlets. When it is launched in fall 2020, Oberlin’s integrative concentration in journalism will differ from the programs found at traditional journalism schools. The concentration’s design will allow students to combine it with any of Oberlin's more than 50 majors -- whether in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, arts, or music -- and merge coursework with co-curricular and extracurricular work, including internships and other forms of applied learning.

"Oberlin's educational goals read like a checklist for journalists -- critical thinking, communication skills, creativity. Our ethos also helps, as Obies like to engage with the world and to question authority," says Sebastiaan Faber, international journalist, professor and chair of Hispanic Studies, and one of the new concentration's primary architects. "The creation of a journalism concentration simply establishes signposts to signal the path that many students have been finding on their own for generations, while helping to ensure that we offer consistently -- and with purpose -- relevant courses, invited speakers, internships, and the like."

The journalism concentration comes on the heels of Oberlin’s announcement on December 11 of groundbreaking collaborative programs integrating music and the liberal arts.

"I am pleased we moved so quickly towards the academic integration that the One Oberlin report recommended," says Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar. "The integrative concentration in journalism is an important part of this comprehensive effort."

Oberlin has long produced outstanding journalists. Journalism has undergone rapid and disruptive change in recent years, creating a need for an innovative approach to prepare students for a career that remains extremely popular.

"I see the new journalism concentration as an exciting opportunity to formally recognize the high level of interest that many Oberlin students have in learning the skills of the trade," says Nathan Carpenter, a current senior and Editor-in-Chief of the Oberlin Review. "Student journalists are on the front lines of a quickly changing field. My hope for this concentration is that it will help [students] gain the skills and experiences necessary to continue shaping journalism well into the future, as many Oberlin alumni have already done."

The new concentration will serve the career goals of students interested in a variety of forms of journalism, such as news and political reporting; investigative, music, and science journalism; literary criticism; and related communications careers.

The concentration's developers also hope the new approach will attract more people from underrepresented minority communities who choose to enter the journalism field. "It's clear that the future of journalism will depend on expanding the points of view in newsrooms and editor offices--including the voices of more people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTIAQ folks,” says Jan Cooper, associate professor of rhetoric and composition and English and another architect of the new program. “I'm especially hoping that our integrative concentration in journalism will help make that happen."

"At a moment when the very notion of objective facts seems in doubt--a skepticism that threatens democracy--there could be no better time for Oberlin to create a concentration in journalism,” says Tom Rosenstiel ’78, director of the American Press Institute. ”While the fundamental principles endure, we need new methodologies about how to practice this profession, which is so vital to self governing. The world needs a new, better journalism that draws on the lessons of neuroscience, ethnography, anthropology, computer science, statistics, and new forms of visual story telling--all disciplines at which Oberlin excels. Oberlin's distinctly rich way of teaching will help invent a new and better way of educating the next generation of journalists."

For more information, please visit the Integrative Concentration in Journalism website.

About Oberlin College and Conservatory

Ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts schools, Oberlin College and Conservatory is committed to academic rigor, artistic and musical excellence, and civil engagement in support of a just and equitable world. Founded in 1833, Oberlin was the first college in America to adopt a policy to admit students of color and to award degrees to women in a coed program. Oberlin’s history of academic achievement has led its forward-leaning graduates to challenge conventions and to create meaningful positive change in the world.

Contacts

Scott Wargo, Director of Media Relations
Scott.Wargo@oberlin.edu
440-775-5197

Contacts

Scott Wargo, Director of Media Relations
Scott.Wargo@oberlin.edu
440-775-5197