The University will begin offering a certificate program in journalism in the fall, following approval at the April 23 faculty meeting.
“We have a clear and growing demand for journalism courses, and this gives us a rigorous framework to guide serious journalism students,” said Joe Stephens, the Ferris Professor of Journalism in residence and a veteran investigative journalist for The Washington Post.
“In an era of relentless attempts to undermine public trust in the press, our new program in journalism will shape the skills and ethics of the next generation of leading journalists, writers, and policy-makers,” said Professor Esther Schor, acting chair of the Humanities Council. The new program will continue to be housed in the Humanities Council.
Princeton’s journalism courses began in 1957 and have been taught by a long list of accomplished writers and editors, including John McPhee ’53, who has taught since 1974.
Staffing the interdisciplinary program will be two five-year professors in residence, three three-year professors (teaching one course a year), and several visiting faculty. Stephens said the program is expected to graduate eight to 10 certificate students each year, and students will apply to be admitted. Enrollment in seminars will be limited to 16, and substantial fieldwork will be required.
Some certificate students will likely be thinking about journalism careers, Stephens said, while others will find that critical-thinking skills they develop are an asset in other fields.
Courses will stress “telling the truth without fear, favor, or partisanship,” the program said in a statement, and students will learn the importance of the public’s right to know in a democracy, of an individual’s right to privacy, and of “free speech, verified facts, and the power of truth-seeking research in a participatory democracy.”