Knight Center Research Director Bruno Takahashi and PhD student Perry Parks have published an article examining the experiences of environmental journalists and communicators during their Master’s program in journalism at Michigan State University. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Science and Environmental Communication, reports that the graduates of the program reflected positively on the networking opportunities and hands-on experiences provided during their studies. On the other hand, respondents highlighted some challenges during their graduate studies, such as the perceived gap between communication theory, statistics and research methods, and the practice of journalism.
The results of the study suggest that graduate programs face an uphill battle in delivering competencies such as content knowledge and mass communication knowledge in ways that are effective or meaningful to students representing a broad range of backgrounds and professional aspirations. The study explains that graduate journalism programs face the challenge of building enough flexibility into curricula to respond to changing conditions in the media industry, considering the need for journalists to specialize and carve a niche in an a highly competitive media and information environment.
The manuscript is published as open-acess and can be read here.