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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Why UMass Boston needs a journalism major

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Bianca Oppedisano
A writer jots down phrases with a fountain pen. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

During a time where technology is taking over the world and people are increasingly trying to voice their opinions and life experience for the sake of putting them out into the limelight, it seems like journalism is a perfect fit for a college major that helps bring these stories and stances to life. Whether it be through articles, podcasts, videos or any other form of expression, pursuing a degree in journalism would prove to be beneficial in the sense that it would expand opportunities for people to gain a reputable image of oneself, while also learning both the basic and advanced strategies of getting their point across more fluently and with consistent fluidity. Most colleges offer Bachelor’s degrees in journalism, with subcategories involving sports and broadcasting, among other majors, but one anomaly that stands out among these colleges regarding journalism—since they do not provide a journalism program—is UMass Boston.
Like many schools in the United States, and the entire planet for that matter, UMass Boston offers a communications program, not to mention electives that revolve around professional writing and journalism, ENGL 308 and 310, respectively. But the implementation of a journalism program at the school would open an array of opportunities, especially in a city like Boston. The city on a hill provides popularized newspapers such as The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston.com and The Patriot Ledger, just to name a few. Many of the colleges and universities around Boston provide journalism programs as well, with schools like Emerson College, Boston University and Northeastern University providing some of the top programs among schools in the entire country. The startup of a journalism program at UMass Boston would not only help compete with these other schools by creating a well-renowned major at a cost-efficient school, but it would also attract students to enroll here with the resources that UMass Boston already provides through The Mass Media, alongside the potential to grow an even bigger base than the university already has.
As mentioned, the use of The Mass Media is extremely beneficial for students who want to embark on a career of journalism, broadcasting or communications. However, if the university were to create a journalism major, there would have to be more sustainable methods of readying students for their future in the field. The expansion of the newspaper, for example, would help journalism students step out of their comfort zone as creating additional media, such as the use of sportswriters, sports broadcasters and audio and visual technicians for events, would help drastically by preparing students for their upcoming endeavors in the professional field. On top of this, having more sections within the paper would, in turn, offer more jobs and experience for students, as well as creating classes dedicated to writing, broadcasting or even getting one’s feet wet in podcasting or conducting field reports. The classes would, overall, accustom students to become more comfortable with the job they would be chasing after in the future, or the platform with which they hope to establish their voice. With news stations, newspapers and sports channels offering jobs across the city of Boston, or the entire country for that matter, the experience of learning techniques and having a hands-on approach while attending four years of college would most definitely help recently-graduated students stand out amongst the crowd of people looking to become journalists or work in the field of broadcasting and sports media.
Now is the time for UMass Boston to explore this possibility. They are already putting a step in the right direction by providing a student-run newspaper—which is already on the brink of expanding in and of itself by looking to provide more content and media—while also providing journalism and professional writing classes already. The creation of a journalism major would not only benefit students already enrolled at UMass Boston who are actively looking to pursue a career in writing and reporting, but it would also appeal to incoming high school students by being competitive with neighboring schools. The university would be offering the advantage of having experience with potential payouts prior to working as a journalist, all at a lower cost of tuition.

About the Contributors
Nick Collins, Sports Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator