Degrees and Programs
Among the department’s alumni are many graduates who have attained statewide and national recognition in the department’s areas of specialization:
- Broadcast Journalism
- Print Journalism
- Public Relations
The advertising option offers students background, exploration, and skills for an entry-level job in advertising. Students study advertising procedures, advertising sales, advertising copywriting, advertising media, and advertising campaigns.
Each course has both theoretical instruction and practical application related to contemporary advertising practices. Students gain an understanding of the advertising business from the advertising agency to the client side; study account service and sales while working for a real advertising vehicle; learn computerized media buying programs while executing local and national media buys; and using real clients, gain experience in research, strategic development, and creative execution while preparing local and national advertising campaigns.
The broadcast journalism option is designed to prepare students for careers in radio and television news. In addition to basic courses in Media Writing and Reporting, students take classes in Broadcast News Writing, Media Performance, and in the writing and producing of television newscasts. To round out the preparation for these careers, students also take classes in Media Law and Media Ethics. Many of the graduates of this option at Fresno State are currently working in the broadcast news industry, including reporters, anchors, and producers at stations in Fresno and Sacramento, as well as CNN in Atlanta.
Award-winning Student Journalism
Broadcast journalism student Audrianna Ferri received the Rosebud Award for First Place Television News at the 2016 CSU Media Arts Festival for her segment on “Brian Cade, Local Artist.” Fabiola Ramirez’ Bulldog Blimp piece won second place in the television news category. Ferri is now a news producer at KGPE-TV in Fresno. Ramirez is a multi-media journalist/reporter at KSBY in Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo.
Fresno State Focus: Big Hat Days - Reporter/Editor Angelica Lei Lani placed 2nd in
the 2015 CSU Media Arts Festival News Category. Angelica is now a multimedia journalist
Fresno State Focus: Global News Relay: Poverty - A collaborative production among nine universities in five countries. The Fresno State Focus segment placed third in the 2015 CSU Media Arts Festival News Category.
Fresno State Focus won the APTRA Best Student Newscast Award for the April 2, 2014
broadcast featuring anchors Megan Rupe and Tamara Hill.
Megan Rupe won the APTRA Best General News Award for her Fresno State Focus report "Tabletop Exercise: University prepares for active shooter situation" that aired February 26, 2014. Megan is now the weekend anchor, weekday reporter at CBS47.
Martin Vargas won the APTRA Best Feature Award for his Fresno State Focus report "California Drought Impact" that aired December 3, 2014.
The Multimedia Option at Fresno State prepares students to communicate through a number of different mediums including writing, photography, video, audio, and the web. Multimedia Majors are creative storytellers, excellent communicators, and well-rounded students who are passionate about their community and excited to share that passion through visual and audio storytelling. Multimedia graduates, by learning to communicate through different mediums, are prepared to enter a workforce that demands flexibility and adaptability.
Service Learning in Multimedia
The Multimedia Production option offers two service learning courses, MCJ 118S Corporate and Nonprofit Media Projects, and MCJ 131S Online Media Design. In both courses students work with Community Based Organizations applying what they are learning to real world client situations.
MCJ 118S pairs student teams with a nonprofit organization to produce promotional videos that benefit the organization. In MCJ 131S student teams evaluate and make recommendations to improve the Web presence of a local community organization.
Melanie Daniel, Andrea Guyton, Belen Gomez and Elsa Mejia's project, Bully: The Story of the Rock Dog project, received an award of merit at the Accolade Global Film Competition in March 2015 and the Hermes Creative Award in May 2015.
Heather Movie Opening produced in the Spring 2015 MCJ 115 Field Video Production Class for the Movie Opening assignment demonstrating a "suspenseful story of Heather's power" story framework.
Tremble Movie Opening produced in the Spring 2015 MCJ 115 Field Video Production Class for the Movie Opening assignment demonstrating the Journey and Personal Growth story action devices.
The Book produced in the Fall 2014 MCJ 115 Field Video Production Class for the Final Project assignment demonstrating the burden of a continuous curse story action device.
A Good Kind of Pet Peeve produced in the Spring 2015 MCJ 115 Field Video Production
Class for the Short Documentary assignment demonstrating the Overcoming Adversity
story action device.
Matt Mealer’s and Tyler Groom’s project has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Media Arts Festival. Watch their project, “Fear and Faith”
FIRST PLACE WINNER of the “I Am Fresno State” video contest by Phillip Bergman and Jeff McCobb.
Active Fresno: Wildflower Triathlon Festival by Jeff Phillips
Active Fresno: Blossom Trail Bike Ride
Active Fresno: White Water Rafting Kings River, CA by Jeff Phillips
MCJ Ambassadors’ Video: by Alysia Ambriz and Cesar Perez.
Fear & Faith Music Video: Produced by: Tyler Groom, Matt Mealer, Garrett Horn
“John Esquivel” Mini Documentary: Produced by Esteban Cortez & Mike Quinonez
“A Buck Short”: produced by Jeff McCobb
The print journalism sequence is designed to give students a foundation of journalistic excellence in an ever-evolving field. Students learn the fundamentals of reporting, writing, editing, law, and ethics in an environment that prepares them for the demands of the industry and the call to serve the public.
At the heart of the print journalism program is the opportunity for students to get hands-on experience at Fresno State's award-winning campus newspaper, The Collegian, which was recognized by the California College Media Association in 2010 as one of the top large-circulation student newspapers in the entire state.
Print journalism students also have the opportunity to take an independent study course in "Community Journalism" that enables them to contribute stories to various local newspapers and establish connections with professionals in the field.
Since the Community Journalism program started in 2003, students have published professionally more than 1,600 stories in area newspapers and magazines including the Fresno Bee, Visalia Times-Delta, Madera Tribune, Vida en el Valle, Fresno Magazine, Coalinga Recorder, Sanger Herald, Reedley Exponent, Fowler Ensign, Selma Enterprise, Kingsburg Recorder, Hanford Sentinel and others.
Students in the Community Journalism program work directly with Dr. Gary Rice, who has more than 20 years professional journalism experience and was the recipient of the 1999 distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, the highest national teaching award given by the Society of Professional Journalists.
MCJ print journalism graduates are now working for many nationally recognized newspapers, including:
- The New York Times
- USA Today
- The Los Angeles Times
- The Fresno Bee
For advising information, click here.
Click here for a fun PDF re: "The ABC's of PR" form the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
The public relations sequence is one of the largest in the Mass Communication and Journalism Department, and serves as a launching pad for the region’s most savvy PR practitioners. Led by veteran public relations practitioner Prof. Betsy A. Hays, APR, the sequence also includes the leadership and instruction of long-time public relations and advertising guru Jan Edwards.
The following courses are included in the public relations sequence:
- Mass Communication and Society
- Media Writing
- Editing of Publications
- Media Law or Media Ethics
- Introduction to Public Relations
- Public Relations Writing
- Applied Media Research
- Public Relations Cases & Campaigns
- MCJ Elective
In addition to taking a series of hands-on, information-packed courses, public relations students are also able to obtain additional leadership and practice skills through the Fresno State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. More PRSSA information can be found at www.fresnostateprssa.wordpress.com.
The MCJ Department also has a student-run PR firm, TALK, that is open to all majors. www.wetalkpr.wordpress.com.
Service-learning is a key component of the PR option, with three core classes including this proven pedagogy. Read more about service-learning in PR at Fresno State here.
The public relations sequence is strongly supported by Fresno State alumni, local and regional PR practitioners and the Central California Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (www.prsacentralcal.org).
PUBLIC RELATIONS ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Recently the Fresno State public relations option coordinator, Prof. Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, coordinated with a team of faculty throughout the country as part of the Coleman Foundation's "Cup of Espresso" Project to assist entrepreneurship faculty with information regarding public relations entrepreneurship. Prof. Hays is a Coleman Fellow through the Fresno State Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. See the results of the project here.
Service-Learning in PR
A proven pedagogy, service-learning integrates community service with curriculum, providing a professional, personal and academic experience that enriches student learning.
The public relations sequence of the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism
at California State University, Fresno provides service-learning opportunities for
students in MCJ 152S (Public Relations), MCJ 158S (Public Relations Writing) and MCJ
159S (PR Cases & Campaigns). The "S" after each class indicates that this course has
been officially designated as a service-learning course by the University.
MCJ 152S-Public Relations
Students taking MCJ 152S are partnered with one of more than 25 Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) for 15 hours. During this period, students put classroom concepts into practice in a real world environment, providing the students with "hands-on" experience and the CBO with much-needed assistance.
MCJ 158S-Public Relations Writing
Students enrolled in MCJ 158S produce a myriad of public relations pieces - including newsletters, news releases, website analysis, social media strategy, social media posts and media pitch letters - for a nonprofit client. The class partners with one main client and one additional client during the semester. With this program, not only do students gain valuable writing experience, but also the chance for their writing to be used by the client - an amazing experience for all!
MCJ 159S-Public Relations Cases & Campaigns
Students in MCJ 159S use their combined knowledge and experiences in the public relations field in order to plan, build and execute a public relations campaign for a CBO. Students are responsible for all aspects of the campaign, including managing a real budget and all client contact. At the end of this course, students analyze the results of their campaign based on the goals they set in the beginning. This real campaign provides students will an unbelievable real-world experience that is the ultimate in experiential learning.
For our Service-Learning Partners: Here are some tips for the best possible experience with our students.
Student organizations include chapters of Alpha Epsilon Rho, the national broadcasting society; the American Advertising Federation; the Public Relations Student Society of America; the Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA); Kappa Tau Alpha, a national journalism honor society; and TALK Strategic Promotion Solutions, the student-operated PR firm. Click here to learn more.