CUNY J-School–The Next Step

At City College journalism is a minor, not a major. Some students wonder why they can’t major in journalism. They could in the past at CCNY, and they can at other colleges.

But several years ago CCNY officials decided to make journalism a minor only. It was before my time, but I agree with the change. In the shifting, unsteady landscape of the media business, majoring in another area–political science, English, international studies, history–makes sense. I majored in journalism years ago at the University of Colorado, and minored in African-American studies and Spanish. If I could have a do-over, I’d major in history, keep the minors the same and then attend graduate school and get a master’s degree in journalism.

So that’s what I encourage my students to do. And, happily, they’ve got a great option within the CUNY system. Six years ago CUNY established the Graduate School of Journalism. In its state-of-the-art facilitiy in Midtown Manhattan next door to the New York Times, students receive a journalism education in three semesters that is both broad and deep. Run by Stephen B. Shepard, a CCNY graduate (class of ’61), the school just launched a new program in entrepreneurial journalism and is fast-becoming the place to be, a serious competitor to that other journalism school located near CCNY in Harlem. 

Last week, Steve spent time with CCNY students and spoke with pride about his years at City College and his hopes for the future of journalism and journalism school. Those students who toured the facility and attended the Q&A with Dean Shepard were awed and inspired. I am sure that several of them will continue to J-school once they’ve graduated from City.