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Programs / Journalism

Program Summary

Our Journalism program will prepare you for the exciting challenges that await you as a journalist, storyteller or communication professional skilled in all of the media formats, from digital to audio and video. At Carleton, we believe that the best preparation for someone seeking a career in the media is a solid, broad-based education.

Our professional apprenticeships during the academic year allow you to put your skills to practical use in news organizations, public relations and communications firms or non-governmental organizations across Canada.

Since it began, our Bachelor of Journalism program has attracted elite students from across the country and overseas.

As a Carleton Journalism student, you will be taught by some of the finest journalists in the country—men and women whose teaching careers are backed by years of first-hand experience in Canadian and international news organizations as radio, television and print reporters and editors, foreign correspondents, columnists and newsroom managers. In addition to teaching, they are active in academic research and journalism, appearing regularly in the media as writers and/or commentators on numerous issues including the state of the Canadian media.

You will gain additional insight into the profession from the many journalists working for major news organizations who serve as adjunct faculty, contract instructors and guest lecturers.

In addition, since the School’s move in 2012 to our fully equipped home in Carleton’s Richcraft Hall, our students have all the latest tools needed for print-based, television, radio and online reporting.

The School is also the home of the Reader’s Digest Resource Centre, a study space and reading room specifically designed for students in the School of Journalism and Communication. It carries a range of current periodicals, academic journals, newspapers from across the country, valuable archival material and the work of past graduates.

Special lectures and conferences

The School regularly offers lectures and conferences focused on the role and conduct of the media in Canadian society.

For example, the annual Kesterton Lecture is a public event at which an accomplished journalist, writer, broadcaster or academic addresses a subject of interest to the School of Journalism and Communication. Past speakers include Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post; Michael Adams, president, Environics research group; Anna Maria Tremonti, host of The Current on CBC Radio; author Margaret Atwood; pollster and broadcaster Allan Gregg; Greg Ip of The Economist’s Washington bureau and Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News correspondent in London, England.

As well, there are regular extracurricular sessions on career planning and job interviewing, and special film screenings and social events—many organized by the Journalism Society, a student-run organization.

Carleton is located in the nation’s capital—the centre of political and public policy journalism for the country. The city is also home to vibrant business, high tech and arts and culture sectors and a large number of federal departments, international organizations, research institutes and national museums. Our location provides you with a living laboratory in which to hone your reporting skills—in politics, business, social affairs, international relations, the arts, information technology and science and research.

Bachelor of Journalism (Honours)

At Carleton, there are three elements to our Journalism program. First, there is an emphasis on professional skills—everything from grammatical fluency to the production of digital story packages. Second, there is a focus on the study of journalism and its role in a free society. Third, there is an insistence on a broad-based university education. With this last element in mind, you will choose more than half of your courses from fields outside journalism, including at least 4.0 credits in one particular discipline of your choosing—everything from Business to Film Studies, Political Science to Law—giving you a strong grounding in another academic field.

To graduate, you must also complete at least one credit in Canadian history.

Combined Honours

If you want to pursue more intensive studies in a particular subject area, you can complete a Combined Honours degree in Journalism and another area of interest. With a combined degree, you must fulfill the mandatory course requirements for both the Bachelor of Journalism and the Combined Honours option of the other discipline. Students may choose from Combined Honours programs offered in a range of Bachelor of Arts disciplines, including Art History, Biology, Canadian Studies, Communication and Media Studies, English, European and Russian Studies, Film Studies, French, Geography, Greek and Roman Studies, History, Human Rights, Law, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Anthropology, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Work experience

The Journalism program provides many opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. Fourth-year workshops allow you to develop your skills in newspaper and broadcast production, magazine writing and data journalism.

Centretown News, distributed to households throughout downtown Ottawa and available online, focuses on community issues and local politics. You will gain experience in reporting, editing, digital photography, layout, design and daily online news reporting.

Capital News Online is another award-winning publication produced by Carleton journalism students. With a focus on subject areas around federal government jurisdiction, students use text, photography, video and data visualization to examine important subjects and create their own news websites. As part of their core digital journalism work, students develop skills in social media interactions, HTML, data journalism, data visualization and managing and publishing online content.

Midweek, a weekly ninety-minute current affairs program that covers everything that happens in Ottawa, and which airs on Carleton’s community radio station CKCU-FM 93.1, will introduce you to all aspects of radio production—from recording an interview to split-second editing, script writing and live-to-air reporting.

The 25th Hour, a television current affairs program broadcast online, will teach you the fundamentals of short documentary production and in-studio interviews, while providing hands-on experience both in front of and behind the camera.

You will also do more specialized work in one field of journalism, choosing from politics, business, the arts, international affairs, social issues or science. You can see the work of our science journalism students in their showcase publication Catalyst, a collection of features published each year in the winter term.

Our business journalism students produce Ottawa Insight—again, publishing each year in the winter term.

Apprenticeship program

Our apprenticeship program, placing third- and fourth-year students with media organizations, NGOs and communications firms from coast to coast, provides you with additional opportunities to develop professional experience, add to your portfolio and build relationships that for many Carleton Journalism students lead to employment after graduation.

The one- to two-week placements let you experience the day-to-day life of a working journalist in a newsroom or a communications specialist in a government department, NGO or private sector organization. Apprenticeships involve placements with organizations as diverse as CTV News, CBC radio and television, the Ottawa Citizen, CPAC, arts organizations, federal government departments and agencies, Canadian Geographic magazine, and other news organizations, publications, and radio and television stations scattered across the country.

If you are hungry for more hands-on learning opportunities, Carleton’s student newspaper The Charlatan and the campus-based community radio station
CKCU-FM are always looking for volunteer staff. Many of our students also volunteer at the Ottawa Rogers Community Access channel or launch their
own web-based publications and podcasts.

The workplace

Carleton Journalism graduates have distinguished themselves in virtually every aspect of journalism and in a wide range of related fields including public relations, marketing, communications and government service.

Every year, news organizations from across the country visit the school to recruit our graduates. We alert you to employment opportunities—full-time, part-time and during the summer—and we organize career seminars to help you land that all-important first job.

Alumni

Some of our noteworthy alumni include:

  • Nahlah Ayed, foreign correspondent, CBC
  • Rosemary Barton, host of The National, CBC
  • Jennifer Copestake, BBC, London
  • Michel Cormier, Director-General of Information Programming, Radio Canada, Montreal
  • James Duthie, sportscaster, TSN
  • Geoff York, Africa correspondent, Globe and Mail
  • Mark MacKinnon, Beijing correspondent, Globe and Mail
  • Susan Ormiston, correspondent, CBC Television
  • Joel Eastwood, Wall Street Journal
  • Emma Loop, Capitol Hill Reporter, BuzzFeed News in Washington DC

Graduate studies

Graduates of our program are well qualified to go on to graduate studies in a variety of fields including political science, communication, history, film studies and English.

If you want to pursue an advanced degree after you complete your Bachelor of Journalism program, you should investigate graduate programs early to ensure that your course selection at Carleton, outside your required Journalism courses, meets the relevant graduate admission requirements.

Professional programs

Many professional programs including law, public relations and education encourage well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Journalism provides a strong foundation for such programs and you are encouraged to pursue interests you may have in these fields after completing an undergraduate degree in Journalism.

What students are saying about Journalism


The resources at Carleton’s School of Journalism are incredible. From the rows of soundproof video editing suites, to the faculty that teaches powerful techniques to write poignantly, this school provides every tool and technique necessary to become a world-class journalist. Professors impart the science and art of good writing, the theory and practice of journalism, and the rush of piecing together a perfect story under a strict deadline. The future of media will be redefined by the upcoming generation of journalists; Carleton graduates will most certainly be at the forefront of this new era of news.
Brett Ruskin, Journalism student