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Online Broadcast Journalism Colleges and Schools: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online broadcast journalism school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, internship and thesis requirements, and common topics offered for the field of study.

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Anyone seeking to study broadcast journalism should research their options before committing to an online program as it's usually embedded within wider studies of mass communications, journalism or media studies, so the topics covered can differ greatly. Read on to find out how online programs may differ in terms of admission requirements, specializations and work experience opportunities.

How to Select an Online Broadcast Journalism School

Students considering online broadcast journalism schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Online programs in broadcast journalism are rare. The programs that do exist are typically offered along with another related discipline, such as mass communication, or as a concentration area within a journalism and mass communication program. Some online programs require students to have completed a lower-level degree in broadcast journalism, such as an associate degree, prior to enrolling. Students must then weigh degree level and program admission requirements with course options and internship opportunities.

Specialized Courses

Prospective students may also wish to look for programs emphasizing coursework in one particular area, such as radio, television or online news. Students interested in managerial positions can check the programs curriculum for courses in broadcast management. Those interested in working in several or all broadcast journalism platforms may want to consider programs offering courses in multi-platform journalism.

Hands-On Work

Because employers are reluctant to hire broadcast journalism workers who do not have hands-on experience, students may want to consider schools that help online students connect with job opportunities or internships. Students who are unsure of what area they want to work in should consider programs with internship opportunities in multiple areas in order to gain experience in multiple fields.

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Broadcast Journalism Program Overviews

Online Bachelor's Degree in Broadcasting and Mass Communication

These programs are often available as Bachelor of Arts degrees and students are generally required to complete an internship prior to graduating. General course topics include communication, public speaking, new media and media law. Other topics include:

  • Introduction to mass media
  • Broadcasting
  • Programming
  • Radio and video production
  • Critical thinking and public speaking

Online Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications

These programs typically provide training in general journalism and communications, but offer a concentration in broadcast journalism. Students are generally required to complete a professional project prior to graduation. Some programs may require students to complete a thesis as well. General coursework includes advanced courses in broadcast writing, videography and television production, with additional courses in:

  • Legal aspects of media
  • International broadcasting
  • Personal development and leadership
  • Programming
  • Management

Schools with Online Programs in Broadcast Journalism

Most academic institutions prioritize campus-based studies of broadcast journalism that maximize opportunities for hands-on experience. However, it is possible to complete an online degree in related subjects such as journalism or mass communications without the necessity of campus visits. Costs can vary significantly depending on the length of the course and the institution offering the program, so it's worth taking this into account when making your choice.

National University offers a 36-month online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism that focuses on journalism fundamentals, practices and platforms in the digital age and allows students to dedicate upper-level elective modules to broadcast journalism. Students must produce a capstone project or engage in a one-month internship.

Full Sail University's 32-month Bachelor of Science program in Media Communications is also available online with specific concentrations in written and visual communications, digital audio and video production, new media tools and transmedia storytelling.

Full Sail also offers a Master of Arts program in new media journalism that combines traditional broadcast journalism skills with new methods of storytelling. After studying topics such as how to manage a digital newsroom and multimedia journalism, students complete the 12-month program with a final project and a thesis paper.

There are many factors which need to be taken into consideration when choosing an online program, including admission requirements, course scheduling, tuition fees and overarching focus. Many schools offer elective modules in broadcast news and journalism and specialize in multimedia tools and techniques.

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