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Graduate Calendar Archives: 2007 / 2008

Journalism and Communication


St. Patrick's Building 346
Telephone: 613-520-7404
Fax: 613-520-6690
Web site:

The School

Director of the School: Karim H. Karim
Supervisor of Graduate Studies (Journalism): Allan Thompson

The School of Journalism and Communication offers courses leading to the degree of Master of Journalism. (For a description of the degrees of Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Communication, see the Mass Communication section of this Calendar.) The emphasis in the M.J. program is on advanced professional education for those who are or intend to become practising journalists in the news media. In practical terms, this entails both the polishing of professional journalistic skills to a high level of proficiency and advanced education in a related field of study. Provision is made also for students who wish to undertake research in journalism and mass media.

Following a common first year of professional coursework, students in the master's program will choose one of three areas of concentration in their second year of study:

Specialized Print Reporting

At present, specializations are offered in the fields of politics/public administration, international affairs, and economics/business. Others may be added as resources become available.

Broadcast Journalism

The focus of this specialty will be the study of advanced techniques in reporting, writing and producing programs for the broadcast media.

Journalism Studies

This program is designed for applicants who have mastered the skills of reporting and writing for the news media but who wish to spend a year studying their craft and/or the news industry. This specialty encompasses a number of topics, which include the role of the media in society as it is conceived by selected social and political theorists, communications law, politics and the media, the economics of the media, and journalism history.

Carleton's School of Journalism and Communication is uniquely situated for advanced journalism study. It offers ready access to many of the people and institutions that most directly influence Canadian affairs: Parliament, federal government departments and agencies, embassies, business and labour organizations, and major economic and cultural institutions.

Master of Journalism

Admission Requirements

The Master of Journalism program comprises 10.0 credits. Most applicants will be admitted to the First year of a two-year course of study, but some may qualify for admission directly to the Second year (see below). An admissions committee, including the supervisor of graduate studies, will determine the admissions qualifications of each applicant.

Admission will be selective. Admission will not be guaranteed to all who meet the published minimum requirements, as there are many more qualified applicants each year than there are available spaces.

A student who holds a bachelor's or master's degree from a recognized university in a field other than journalism may be admitted to the first year of study if he or she achieved at least high honours standing. International students whose first language is not English need TOEFL scores of at least 250 CBT or 600, IELTS scores of at least 7 in all components, or CAEL Assessment<0x2122> scores of at least 70. Such students who complete the core first year, outlined below, and meet the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Section 11 of the General Regulations section of this Calendar, may proceed to second year.

Applicants who have a three-year journalism degree with high honours standing may be admitted to a First year made up largely of approved courses from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Public Affairs and Management. Such students may proceed to the second year of study if they have achieved high honours standing.

A limited number of spaces will be made available for direct admission to the Second year of the M.J. program. Students must normally possess one of the following qualifications to be considered for this advanced admission: a B.J. (Honours) or the equivalent with high second-class standing, or a degree in another discipline from a recognized university plus at least five years of professional experience in journalism, or long and distinguished professional experience in journalism. Students with suitable professional qualifications but no degree may occasionally be admitted to a program in which they take a required number of undergraduate courses in addition to the M.J. program.

Application is made on forms available from the School of Journalism and Communication. Students applying for the first year of the program are advised to apply by March 1 as enrolment in the School is limited. All applications received after March 1 will normally be considered only for entry into the program in the year following.

As a condition for graduation, all students are required to have a minimum of four months of practical experience in the media, and a working knowledge of a second language, preferably French.

Program Requirements

First Year

Candidates admitted to the first year of the Master of Journalism program must complete the following courses before proceeding to the second year of study:

  • JOUR 5000
  • JOUR 5200
  • JOUR 5202
  • JOUR 5206
  • JOUR 5208
  • JOUR 5401
  • 1.0 credit of approved electives

First year M.J. candidates may be considered for advanced standing in certain of the above-required courses, but in such cases will be required to replace waived courses with approved options.

Second Year

Credits will be determined according to the stream pursued:

Specialized Print Reporting
  • JOUR 5508
  • JOUR 5700
  • JOUR 5701
  • JOUR 5706
  • JOUR 5908
  • 1.0 credit of approved electives in the student's area of specialization

Note: under special circumstances, and with the School's approval, a student could replace JOUR 5706, 5908 and 0.5 credit of approved electives above with a 2.0 credit M.J. Thesis, JOUR 5909.

Broadcast Journalism
  • JOUR 5508
  • JOUR 5702
  • JOUR 5703
  • JOUR 5706
  • JOUR 5908
  • 1.0 credit of approved electives in the student's area of specialization.

Note: Under special circumstances, and with the School's approval, a student could replace JOUR 5706, 5908 and 0.5 credit approved electives above with a 2.0-credit thesis, JOUR 5909.

Journalism Studies
  • JOUR 5000 (if admitted directly to second year). Students admitted to the two-year program will complete JOUR 5000 in the first year of studies and an approved replacement option in the second year.
  • JOUR 5500
  • JOUR 5909
  • 2.0 credits related to the study of the media, chosen in consultation with the Supervisor of Graduate Studies.

Academic Standing

All candidates are required to obtain a grade of B- or better in each credit in the program. A candidate may, with the recommendation of the School and the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research be allowed a grade of C+ in 1.0 credit.

Full-time students in a 10.0 credit M.J. program are advised that their thesis or research essay proposal must be formally approved within eighteen months of initial registration. Students in a 5.0 credit program must have the proposal formally approved by the middle of their second term of full-time registration. Due dates for part-time students will be adjusted accordingly. Students failing to file a proposal may not be permitted to register in subsequent terms until this requirement has been met. Approval of proposals shall be the responsibility of a thesis committee appointed by the Director of the School.

Students are advised to consult the General Regulations section of this Calendar for other regulations relating to academic standing.

Graduate Courses

Not all of the following courses are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings and to determine the term of offering, consult the class schedule at

First Year

JOUR 5000 [0.5 credit]
Journalism and Society I
An introduction to analysis of the news media in Western society, considering classical arguments and contemporary trends in the scholarly assessment of journalism practice.
JOUR 5200 [1.0 credit]
Print Journalism Laboratory
A laboratory course in basic reporting and editing techniques, followed by application in the print media.
JOUR 5202 [1.0 credit]
Broadcast Journalism Laboratory
A laboratory course in reporting and editing in the broadcast media.
JOUR 5206 [0.5 credit]
Reporting Methods
Topics covered will range from interviewing and observation skills to conducting a title search, lodging an access to information request and interpreting data.
JOUR 5208 [0.5 credit]
Public Affairs Reporting
A course devoted to understanding selected political, economic and social issues, and to analytical reporting on timely issues under professional conditions.
JOUR 5305 [0.5 credit]
Perspectives on Modern Society
A seminar course examining texts from the social sciences, philosophy, literature, and journalism for the contribution they make to an understanding of issues facing modern industrial society.
JOUR 5401 [0.5 credit]
Journalism Law
This course prepares journalists to function comfortably within the legal and ethical guidelines governing their occupation. Topics include: contempt of court; free press, fair trial; revealing of sources; civil defamation; obscenity; privacy; government secrecy.

Second Year

JOUR 5500 [0.5 credit]
Journalism and Society II
A critical examination of the conduct of the news media, exploring the social, political and economic contexts in which the media work and assessing the consequences of journalism practice for contemporary society.
Prerequisite: JOUR 5000 or permission of the School.
JOUR 5508 [0.5 credit]
Professional Practices: Specialized Media
A workshop course designed to give students instruction in specialized areas such as radio documentary, video documentary, film documentary, editing, magazine writing, photojournalism. Not all specialties will be offered each year. Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as JOUR 4208 for which additional credit is precluded.
JOUR 5700 [1.0 credit]
Print Journalism
Students will explore and apply advanced journalistic principles and practices through a combination of readings, discussion and reporting in specific areas.
JOUR 5701 [1.0 credit]
Advanced Reporting (Print and Online)
Designed to enhance reporting and editing skills through the production of a community newspaper, Centretown News, and online publishing of electronic newspapers and/or newsmagazines such as Capital News Online.
JOUR 5702 [1.0 credit]
Broadcast Journalism
A seminar combining critical analysis of television journalism and practical skill development in television reporting, writing and production.
JOUR 5703 [1.0 credit]
Advanced Reporting (Broadcast)
Enhances television and radio reporting and production skills to include news features and mini-documentaries, preparation and presentation of public affairs programs, and multimedia delivery.
JOUR 5706 [0.5 credit]
Professional Practices
Students examine current journalism practices in a critical and analytical way, and explore ways of producing thorough and investigative journalism. Guest speakers share their expertise and skills.
JOUR 5800 [0.5 credit]
Survey Methods for Journalists
An examination of basic research design and data collection with emphasis on problems of interpretation.
JOUR 5808 [0.5 credit]
Directed Readings
Students, working under faculty direction, will undertake an intensive reading schedule in order to pursue a subject area of particular interest.
JOUR 5809 [0.5 credit]
Directed Research
Students, working under faculty direction, will develop and undertake a research project in order to pursue a subject area of particular interest.
JOUR 5900 [1.0 credit]
Directed Studies
Reading and research tutorials.
JOUR 5901 [0.5 credit]
Directed Studies
Reading and research tutorials.
JOUR 5908 [1.0 credit]
M.J. Research Project
The student will complete a substantial piece of public affairs journalism; or a research project on the media; or a document that makes a major contribution to journalism education. The format of the MRP will be determined by the stream of study.
JOUR 5909 [2.0 credits]
M.J. Thesis
To fulfil the requirements of this 2.0-credit thesis course, students must produce a major piece of journalistic research or complete an academic thesis in the area of journalism studies.
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