Why Journalism?

What is journalism and why should I study it?


Journalism means much more than what you’ll find in the dictionary. It’s speaking truth to power, bringing light to the darkness, and investigating the unknown. It’s telling compelling stories that capture the public’s attention and imagination.  
If you’re curious, always asking questions and driven to get to the bottom of every story, journalism is the career path for you.



Shalane Frost, a research assistant with UAF's Institute of Arctic Biology, uses an iPad to track locations while on a data gathering boat trip into the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research area about 25 miles southwest of Fairbanks along the Tanana River. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris




UAF Journalism is a hands-on program that equips students with the broad skill set and real-world experiences valued in today’s newsrooms. Students graduate prepared for a variety of careers in the growing field of science and environmental journalism.


What can you do with a degree in journalism?

Joel Bailey, a research professional with UAF's Institute of Northern Engineering, works on a data collecting station above the surface of the Jarvis Glacier in the eastern Alaska Range. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris
A degree in science and environmental journalism trains you for a career in a variety of media: websites, newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations. But there are other options too! Some graduates go on to work in public relations and public information offices, graphic design, education, filmmaking, and more. Still others continue their education with master’s degrees in a variety of fields. Being able to write clearly and succinctly and understand visual storytelling readies you for dozens of professions.

Some careers science and environmental journalism majors go on to pursue are...


... and more!


  Universal Skills
Science and Environmental Journalism degree-seeking students hone skills that translate across any career path, including communication, writing, critical thinking, analysis, logic, fact finding and attention to detail.



Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks



Biology majors Chris Kasanke, left, and Carl Richmond take advantage of research opportunities available to undergraduates at UAF. They're working with Associate Professor Mary Beth Leigh to measure the effectiveness of various plant species in bioremediation on a site off Farmers' Loop Road that was contaminated 15  years ago with both crude oil and diesel fuel. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris

At UAF, our classrooms are newsrooms. We have several state-of-the-art facilities to help you develop your skills, including a multimedia lab, a digital photography lab, a digital audio production lab, two darkroom photography labs and a photography studio. Our cameras and editing facilities are better than those of many local news outlets.





The department runs several laboratory facilities, including a digital newsroom and photography lab, dedicated audio and video bays, an advanced video editing/digital printing lab and a photography studio.




How can I get involved?

Because the Journalism community at UAF is vibrant and diverse, you’ll find opportunities for mentorship and professional development outside the classroom as well. 


Snedden Chair Richard Murphy

Our professors have years of experience in professional reporting, writing, photography, video and audio. Collaborate with faculty members who have worked for The New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, public radio and local Fairbanks television stations.