Broadcasting Majors

Through a broadcasting or broadcast journalism bachelor's degree program, you can learn how to report the news or work behind the scenes to prepare, edit and produce broadcasts. Check out different types of programs and their typical curricula, which include courses in reporting, announcing, editing and ethics. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are My Degree Options as a Broadcasting Major?

The field of broadcasting has two major components, journalism and production. This is reflected in the educational options for broadcasting majors; you can earn a bachelor's degree in either broadcast journalism or television and radio production. The two areas of study are closely related and offer many of the same courses. However, journalism-based programs focus largely on the gathering and reporting of news stories, while production-based programs place greater emphasis on the technical aspects of producing news and other types of radio and television broadcasts.

The exact structure of broadcasting bachelor's degree programs can vary widely from one school to the next. Some schools grant bachelor's degrees specifically in broadcasting, while others offer it as an area of concentration within journalism or mass communications degree programs. Some schools even offer media production concentrations for journalism majors.

Areas of Emphasis Broadcast journalism, television and radio production
Common Courses: Broadcast Journalism Reporting, news writing, journalistic ethics
Common Courses: Media Production Lighting techniques, sound production, writing for broadcast
Online Program Options Some degree-completion programs available online
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $43,490 (for Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts)
$58,990 (for Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators)
$31,990 (for Announcers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 9% decline (for Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts)
13% growth (for Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators)
9% decline (for Announcers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn in a Broadcast Journalism Bachelor's Degree Program?

As a student in a bachelor's degree program in broadcast journalism, you become educated in the differences and similarities between major types of broadcast media. This traditionally entails television and radio broadcasting, although a few schools also incorporate Web-based broadcasting into their curricula. You also learn about the process of preparing broadcasts, including news gathering, editing and reporting techniques. This is an opportunity to learn about the ways in which culture and demographics shape audiences, and how to find and deliver broadcast content that will appeal to your viewers or listeners. Topics commonly covered in broadcast journalism bachelor's degree programs may include the following:

  • Foundations of mass communications
  • News gathering and research
  • Basic reporting
  • News writing
  • TV and radio announcing
  • Online broadcasting
  • Journalistic ethics
  • Broadcast media production
  • Communications research

Broadcasting and broadcast journalism bachelor's degree programs place great emphasis on applied education. Some schools require the completion of broadcasting internships at local TV or radio stations. Others allow you to earn some credits towards your degree by working in a broadcasting position in their on-campus radio or television studios. Most schools offering broadcasting degrees have TV or radio stations, and even those without specific internship requirements encourage students to gain hands-on experience by working at these facilities.

What Will I Learn in a Broadcast Media Production Bachelor's Degree Program?

If you're interested in exploring the technical side of broadcasting more closely, you can major in audio, television or general media production. Media production degree programs educate you in all elements of preparing broadcasts for radio or television, from the newsgathering and research process to the lighting, image and sound production. You learn how to apply this knowledge to live or pre-recorded broadcasts, as well as gaining some skills in radio and TV announcing or commentary.

As with the broadcast journalism programs described above, most schools require or encourage you to work in a production position for the campus radio or television station. Many programs also require off-site internships. Topics covered in television, radio or media production bachelor's degree programs may include the following:

  • Foundations of media production
  • Writing for broadcasts
  • Video editing
  • Lighting techniques
  • TV and radio announcing

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online programs in broadcasting aren't common, though some bachelor's degree-completion programs are available online. For admission to a degree-completion program, you may need to have either an associate's degree, equivalent transfer credits, or the ability to report to campus and complete foundational coursework for leveling purposes.

'In an online degree-completion program, you attend all your classes virtually, with course materials generally being transmitted through online teaching and learning platforms, like Blackboard Vista or WebCT. These systems allow you to access and submit lectures, quizzes, assignments and exams. Rather than signing in to access your courses at an appointed time, online programs allow you to do your work at your convenience.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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