Journalism & Public Relations

About the News Option

Dare to Support Democratic Ideals

Journalists Female student sitting staring at a computerplay an important role in a free and democratic society as they serve a public need for information about its leaders, political institutions and culture. A journalist is part watchdog and part entertainer. The job requires guts, instincts and talent. At its highest form, journalism educates and provides information that people need in their everyday lives.

Chico State students in the News Option are trained to:

  • Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  • Think critically, creatively and independently.
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.

Student Journalists Telling Today’s Stories

Students who graduate with a degree in the News Option spend at least one semester working for the department's news organization, The Orion(opens in new window), which may be the most honored college news organization in the country. By practicing journalism, our students learn to tell the stories about our communities that need to be told.

J&PR students can:

  • Build a robust portfolio of traditional news storytelling formats in news, entertainment, sports and opinion.
  • Explore broadcast journalism through live interview and reporting segments.
  • Develop audio storytelling skills through podcast production.
  • Capture and package photographic essays.
  • Build website coding skills and basic design skills.
  • Attend and compete at student journalism conferences across the nation.
The Orion Logo

Career Paths for Journalists

The multiplatform3 females hugging and smiling in graduation storytelling skills we teach our students are needed by news outlets, magazines, websites and blogs, and nearly every major organization. Check out our J&PR Careers(opens in new window) page to see where some of our news alumni are working. 

While many traditional newspaper reporting jobs are being replaced by opportunities online, students graduating from the News Option find employment in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • News research, reporting and writing.
  • Editing and publishing.
  • Media organizations, including broadcast and websites.
  • Entertainment and sports organizations.
  • Education
  • Community newspapers.
  • Business communications.