Hey Georgetown, It’s Time for a Journalism Program

In an op-ed published late last month in The Hoya that I just stumbled upon, a Georgetown University student calls out the private D.C. school’s brain trust for failing to so far launch a full-blown journalism program.

As rising senior Dan Healy writes at the start of the piece, headlined “Journalism Program a Major Shortcoming” (catch the wordplay?), “Georgetown offers an impressive array of majors across its four undergraduate schools, including such disparate areas as medieval studies and international political economy.  Yet among all these possibilities, one standard area of study remains conspicuously absent– journalism.”

Given Georgetown’s size, diverse program base, a student body with a reputation for “civic engagement,” a robust campus media, and its location in a political and news epicenter, the lack of a JOU department, college or even major is surprising.  Dear Lord, the internship and all-star adjunct and guest speaker opportunities alone make it a common sense proposition– not to mention the countless nearby orgs and power-players who might be keen to fund a journalism innovation center or political media 2.0 institute with their name on it.

GU leaders are apparently somewhat seeing the light.  The school is rolling out its first journalism minor in the fall– an encouraging step but according to Hayes not enough to entice the type of committed, high-achieving j-students the school could be bathed in.

As he contends, “Establishing a journalism major would also allow Georgetown students to take full advantage of a city that is one of the nation’s preeminent hubs for media activity. The District of Columbia is home to some of the titans of both old and new media, from The Washington Post and the Gallup polling organization to the assortment of new media covering Capitol Hill, yet Georgetown still lacks a journalism major that could have the potential to tap into the wealth of experience and inspiration available in D.C. . . . Georgetown students need and deserve a full journalism major.”

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