The Status of Diversity Education in Journalism/Mass Communication Programs
The current issue (Winter 2010) of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator has published a study on the status of diversity education in journalism/mass communication schools in the U.S. conducted by Masudul Biswas and Ralph Izard at the Forum on Media Diversity. The survey study received responses from 105 accredited and non-accredited journalism/mass communication programs in the U.S.
- 45 accredited programs offered 81 separate courses while 33 non-accredited programs offered 55 separate courses on media diversity. Six of the 27 programs not offering a separate course on media diversity offered 12 courses that included diversity content. But majority of the respondents are in favor of infusing diversity content across the curricula (by including diversity content in different mass communication and journalism courses) instead of offering separate courses on diversity.
- The study gathered information about 148 courses offered at 84 journalism/mass communication programs. Of these courses, 99 courses are offered at undergraduate level, 15 at graduate level, and 34 at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The enrollment average in media diversity courses is 44.5 (from minimum 6 to maximum 300 at undergraduate level and the average at graduate-level class is between 10 - 30).
- Only 17 courses were offered as compulsory courses, 25 courses were required for selected majors, and 106 courses offered as optional courses. Five accredited and six non-accredited programs made diversity courses mandatory for all students.
- Race, culture, and gender are the three content dominantly present in the courses on media diversity. Class got less attention in diversity courses.
- 72% of the diversity courses have both historical and contemporary orientation, 24% have only contemporary orientation, and 4% have only historical orientation.
Student Survey on Criteria of Selecting a University (2008)