Journalism is not for the meek or the faint of heart.
It takes passion and stamina to face down politicians ducking tough questions, to dig out the corruption in corporate records, to chase down rumors and cultivate sources. And it demands skill to boil reality down to 20 inches of newspaper type, to two televised minutes or a single photographic image.
At UAF Journalism, we can't teach you that passion or grit. But we will teach you the skills you need to step into a newsroom and start covering the cop beat, to file your first photo assignment without missing your deadline, or to deliver your first stand-up without shaking and stuttering.
As working journalists, we know you can't learn most of this by sitting in a lecture hall taking notes or by memorizing theories. We'll teach you the tricks of the trade by sending you out to cover local elections or to investigate a questionable murder conviction. You'll produce your own newscast in a professional television studio, work on a student newspaper so intent on doing its job that it has been known to file suit against its own university, and producing our award-winning online publication, Extreme Alaska.
By the time you are ready for your professional internship in print, photojournalism, television or new media, you won't have to ask if the government can hide records from you; you'll understand precisely your legal right to information. You won't drown in your first ethical quandary; you'll have worked through a dozen of them and formed your personal approach. And you'll have become addicted to the peculiar adrenaline of American journalists, a delicious sense that what you do every day really counts.
Snedden Chair for Academic Year 2014-2015: Julia Duin
She earned her BA in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., in 1978, the same year her father became the Coast Guard admiral over all of Alaska.
Duin spent more than 14 years with the Times and published several books, including Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do About It and Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community.
Duin has won numerous awards for her work, which spans everything from a five-part series on America’s clergy to "female feticide" (gender-selective abortions) in India.
Other notable assignments include reporting on Kurds in northern Iraq and the 2005 election of Pope Benedict.
as well as the Economist, CNN.com and the Wall Street Journal. Her latest book project involves 20-something Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia who use Facebook to spread their beliefs. In December, she expects to receive a second MA (in journalism) with the University of Memphis.
The 2014-15 Snedden Chair relocated to Alaska from Tennessee with her 9-year-old daughter, Olivia Veronika.
The Chair and associated Snedden Lecture series brings distinguished journalists to campus for visits as short as three days on up to Duin’s year-long faculty appointment within UAF’s College of Liberal Arts.
The program was funded through a generous $2.6 million endowment established by the late Helen Snedden. That gift, honoring the legacy of her husband, longtime News-Miner Publisher C.W. Snedden, has enlivened classrooms and community forums with perspectives of more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, photographers and editors since 2005.
UAF Journalism Mission Statement
Our mission is to prepare versatile journalists who are ably suited to enhance the profession in Alaska and elsewhere. The Department is committed to the development of professional skills, critical thinking and journalistic ethics.