Sep 30, 2023  
Traditional Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 
Traditional Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 Archived Catalog

Department of Communication

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Smith (department head)


The mission of the Department of Communication is to produce tomorrow’s industry professionals, civic leaders, and lifelong learners who are dedicated to serving and making a difference in a domestic and global context. The department encourages ways of communicating that are rooted in an acceptance and appreciation of others.

The Department of Communication celebrates the centrality of communication in human life as well as our students’ potential to positively influence society through the effective practice of communication across many contexts and through multiple media.

Varying contexts require different communication methods and styles. Department core courses teach human and mediated communication in a variety of contexts and effectively combine theory with practice. Students are encouraged to pursue their own communication calling as they seek to impact an increasingly diverse and global society.

Communication majors are well-prepared for effective work in media industries, business, non-profit organizations and ministries that require excellent communication. Strong written, interpersonal, oral, and media production skills are crucial for successful communication professionals. Creative Christian leadership is emphasized to prepare students for careers in both faith-based and secular communication fields. Local, national, and international internship and mission trip opportunities allow participating students to further develop a global perspective.

Additionally, students in the Department of Communication are actively engaged in the John Brown University community through co-curricular activities. JBU Communication students produce the award-winning student newspaper, The Threefold Advocate, Eagle Break and The Nesher. Students work with online radio station, and at KLRC 90.9 FM, JBU’s professional radio station. Golden Eagle Television Productions offers students the opportunity to produce live video coverage of JBU home basketball games. The department also sponsors speech and debate competition through its award-winning forensics team.

Emphasis Options

Majors may shape their program with an advisor or choose to concentrate their study within one of the following areas of emphasis:

The Digital Journalism and Civic Engagement Emphasis offers students a chance to learn writing, information gathering and reporting, formatting, editing, anchoring, and producing for both traditional digital and media platforms. Among the tools that students use to report live are some of the latest technologies, such as Twitter© and Skype©. Students also study critical issues faced in today’s complex communications environment. “Hands-on” experience is emphasized in the digital journalism curriculum.

The Public Relations Emphasis provides students with instruction in the principles, processes, skills, and management of public relations programs designed to attain or maintain inter-organizational or social accord. Students learn both the basic skills of writing, graphics, and oral presentation, as well as the managerial functions of planning, research, campaign development, and evaluation. The program prepares students with a solid ethical foundation, an awareness of diversity and multiculturalism, and an understanding of the use of social media for strategic engagement with an organization’s many audiences or publics.

The Media Production Emphasis teaches students the production skills and industry knowledge necessary to impact society through the development of compelling media programming. This emphasis empowers students to become successful cultural leaders in the burgeoning business of creating and distributing media content. Essential industry courses expand beyond production to teach programming strategies, law, sales, and entrepreneurship.

The Media Communication Emphasis provides students with the opportunity to become excellent communicators who can speak, write, and use media in a highly effective manner. Outstanding communication skills prepare students to work in a wide variety of contexts such as business, media, ministry, and non-profit organizations. Generalists choose courses from the three department emphases (in consultation with an advisor) to build a program that best suits their goals in the communication field. Communication majors also choose departmental co-curricular activities according to their interests.

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