JOURNALISM + COMMUNICATION

Hands-on experience, mentoring from seasoned professionals, and top-notch facilities prepare our students for fast-changing fields that require excellent communication skills. The department offers a journalism and communication major and a communication studies major with concentrations in digital cinema, multimedia journalism, organizations/public relations, and sports media. Our graduates work as writers, editors, reporters, production specialists, and public relations professionals. They’re involved in web development, the entertainment industry, and a variety of related fields.

Communication Studies
Communication studies is a study of how we communicate differently to various audiences/users and communities. It understands that communication is social, political, and media-based, and occurs in different contexts. Students in this major typically pursue additional graduate study or teach speech or mass media.

Journalism & Communication
The Department of Journalism & Communication upholds a long tradition of preparing students for careers in multimedia and public relations. Its multifaceted approach, combining liberal arts with a major program emphasizing hands-on experience, is distinctive among Upper Midwest colleges and universities. Concentrations are available in digital cinema, multimedia journalism, organizational/public relations, and sports media.

Major Requirements

Digital Cinema
This is a concentration for digital storytellers who dream of becoming the next YouTube sensation, Nextflix producer, short film director or documentary filmmaker.

Multimedia Journalism
Today’s journalists must be well-rounded individuals who are practiced in the art of storytelling regardless of the medium. Writing, research, organization, ethics, and accuracy continue to be essential for journalists of the 21st century. The multimedia journalism program at Wartburg provides an active laboratory for students to apply cornerstone skills in a real-world setting. Students can enhance their educational experience with a variety of student-operated media outlets and organizations.

Organizational and Public Relations
Organizational and Public Relations professionals are responsible for developing and managing comprehensive integrated marketing communication strategies and campaigns. They manage all components of communications messaging, from creating and managing brands, to implementation, to measurement. Successful practitioners must be able to make sure that all communications efforts – from PR, to marketing, to multimedia, to social media – are all working together to produce the desired results. Students learn how to utilize public relations, advertising, brand management, and design together, to form cohesive communication strategies for others.

Sports Media
Sports media graduate are prepared for work in a variety of sport-related areas, including: sports reporting, sports information, broadcasting, online media, advertising, video production, public relations, communications, digital media, and management. Numerous internship opportunities are available at local, regional, and national sports organizations including Burlington Bees Baseball, Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball, Chicago Athlete Magazine, Des Moines I-Cubs Baseball, Des Moines Register, ESPN, Kansas City Chiefs, Kroenke Sports – Denver, KWWL, NCAA, North Iowa Outlaws Hockey, University of Denver Athletics, Warburg College Athletics, and Waterloo Black Hawks Hockey.

Concentration Requirements

HIGHLIGHTS

Emmy Awards

Critique by professional organizations is an integral component to the educational experience in the Department of Journalism & Communication. Without fail our students continue to impress those in the industry as well as their peers from other institutions during annual competitions.

Wartburg has made an impression with the Associated Collegiate Press and received several accolades including an Online Pacemaker Award, Best in Show for weekly tabloid and Best in Show for multimedia package. The Iowa Broadcast Association has also given a nod to Wartburg including Overall Excellence for Wartburg Television as well as numerous awards in other categories such as first place honors for KWAR sports coverage, best newscast, spot news coverage, features and political coverage. The Iowa College Media Association has recognized the impeccable storytelling that our students do in news, sports casting, long form documentary and public service promotions. The Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association (formally known as NBNA) is no stranger to student work from Wartburg. The list of awards and accomplishments is overwhelming and ranges from awards for general reporting to sports play-by-play and documentary work.

The Department of Journalism & Communication belongs to the Society for Collegiate Journalists, one of the oldest organizations for student journalists, and is no stranger to success at their annual competition often sweeping categories altogether. Wartburg is a relative newcomer to the National Academy for Television Arts & Sciences annual competition but has already become a major player with more nominations than any other institution in the last few years and bringing home several crystal pillars.

Student Awards
Emmys

Student Organizations

Students from any major can work with campus media and department organizations. These organizations provide a hands-on learning environment to complement what students learn in the classroom.

KWAR-FM Radio Station
KWAR radio station broadcasts online around the world and locally at 89.9 FM. The station has won numerous awards for news and sports coverage.

Knight Vision
Knight Vision is Wartburg’s live and on-demand video-streaming network, covering sports, music, worship, news, and special events. This co-curricular program also is open to non-majors.

Knight Vision Films
Knight Vision Films is the production label under which documentaries, short films, and experimental work is produced. Students work on projects associated with classes they are taking as well as partnering with professors on special projects. 

Knight Vision News
Knight Vision News is a student-run news station covering campus, local, and national news. The staff have dominated many regional competitions, including five Upper Midwest Regional Student Production awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 

Public Relations Student Society of America
PRSSA provides students opportunities for professional development, networking, scholarships, public relations competitions, and career assistance.

Tower Agency
The Tower Agency is a student-run public relations firm that provides hands-on experience with clients.

Wartburg Players Theatre Group
The Wartburg Players theatre troupe has performed at the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival twice.

Wartburg Trumpet
The Trumpet is the student-run campus newspaper and covers campus and local news. The Trumpet has won numerous regional awards.

Knight Vision News Executive Producer
Adviser: Ronald Johnson

Job Description:

The Knight Vision News (KVN) Department seeks an enthusiastic student leader who has an interest working in multimedia journalism or broadcast television. The Executive Producer is responsible for the KVN Department and serves as the Executive Producer for KVN. The Executive Producer is expected to attend and supervise KVN episodes during the school year. This is a 20-hour/week paid student work study position.

  • Maintain an editorial calendar and assign stories to KVN reporters and videographers.
  • Organize staff development workshops.
  • Train and mentor producers and associate producers.
  • Foster a positive team environment.
  • Oversee scheduled weekly productions of KVN.
  • Ensure quality control and journalistic standards for KVN.
  • Monitor and respond to changing news as it happens on campus and in the Waverly community.
  • Organize leadership meetings and delegate important tasks and assignments to members of the leadership team.
  • Prepare Fall and Winter contest entries for the KVN Department.
  • Organize weekly staff and story meetings.
  • Meet weekly with the Knight Vision faculty advisor.
  • Ensure the distribution of news content on our live streaming and online and mobile streaming platforms. 

Application Requirements:

  – Two years of KVN Experience and good academic standing
  – Resume, cover letter, and two peer recommendations

Trumpet Editor-in-Chief
Adviser: Jessica Martin

    • Estimated hours per week: 15-20+
    • Objective: Supervise all section editors and oversee the progress of the newspaper and web content throughout the week.
    • Essential Job Duties:
      – Oversee the news budget for the week
      – Write various articles each week
      – Copy edits of all articles and edit/proof all pages
      – Send pages to the printer after each edition is finalized
      – Assist the editors and reporters with story development, writing and reporting for print and web.
      – Lead various meetings during the week
      – Chair the editorial board
      – Address reader complaints
      – Meet regularly with the newspaper advisor
    • Required Skills:
      – Adobe InDesign
      – Photoshop
      – Office
      – DSLR Camera
      – One year or more of experience as a Trumpet Section Editor or Editor-in-Chief
      – Completion of COM 305 Print Journalism

KWAR-FM Station Manager
Adviser: Pamela Ohrt

The Station Manager is the student leader of KWAR-FM 89.9, the Wartburg College radio station. In conjunction with the adviser, the station manager will oversee the day-to-day operations of the radio station and coordinate responsibilities of the various staff members.

Responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with all staff members to make sure the radio station functions daily
  • Organize and oversee weekly meetings; time and day depend on staff schedules
  • Make decisions, after consulting with the faculty adviser, on any decision regarding the welfare of  KWAR and its daily operation   
  • Keep up to date on all weekly problems, issues and decisions
  • Maintain open lines of communication
  • Handle staff issues, maintaining harmony
  • Encourage student involvement with the radio station
  • In the absence of a programming director, the station manager will work with volunteer DJs
  • Willingness to prioritize KWAR over other campus responsibilities and extracurricular activities, including representation of the station at conferences and events

Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of Adobe Audition
  • Ability to meet and interact with the public in person and on the phone
  • Complete tasks in a timely fashion and meet all deadlines
  • Attention to details
  • At least one year of experience on KWAR staff

Knight Wire Manager
Adviser: Jessica Martin

The Knight Wire Manager is a position designed for an individual who wants to pursue journalistic work in the digital field, especially in multimedia journalism.

Responsibilities:

  • Focus on content distribution through online, mobile and social media platforms
  • Create Knight Wire editorial calendar, to include content from the Wartburg Trumpet, Knight Vision News and other student-run news outlets
  • Set goals for online and social media analytics
  • Track and produce reports on online and social media analytics
  • Create multimedia content plans in collaboration with campus media leadership
  • Maintain Knight Wire website through design and regular site maintenance
  • Possess working knowledge of WordPress and the ability to train staff members on WordPress
  • Maintain user accounts for contributors
  • Coordinate breaking news efforts online through social media and Web with campus media leaders
  • Recruit, hire, and lead online producers
  • Set team expectations for the creation of digital content and marketing plans from strategy to execution
  • Link site metrics to overall brand metrics for evaluation of strategy vs. execution
  • Provide inspirational, enriching, insightful and entertaining content for consumers

Honor Organizations

Lambda Pi Eta
Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is the National Communication Association’s official honor society at four-year colleges and universities.

Society for Collegiate Journalists
More than 250 alumni continue involvement with Wartburg communications through membership in the Society for Collegiate Journalists as well as assisting students to acquire internships and professional positions.

FACILITIES

The McElroy Center is designed to encourage student interaction with faculty members and other students.

Hands-on learning with the latest technology. WORTH IT.

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Alumni Success Stories

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Journalism and Communication Department have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Development Associate, The Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines
  • Communications Manager, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell
  • Sports Reporter/Editor, Worthington Globe, Worthington, Minn.
  • Director of Student Engagement, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Advertising Associate, Sukup Manufacturing, Sheffield
  • Associate Director for Marketing, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Ill.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Singer, Songwriter, JR Baxton Entertainment, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Photojournalist, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids
  • Journalism/English Teacher, Marion
  • Film Editor, Whitehouse Post Productions, Chicago, Ill.
  • Senior Video Editor, ME&V, Cedar Falls
  • TV Anchor, WHEC, Rochester, N.Y.

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Senior Vice President/Creative Director, Leo Burnett, Chicago, Ill.
  • Feature Producer, ESPN, Bristol, Conn.
  • Press Secretary, Prime Minister of Namibia
  • President/Equity Partner/Owner, Relationship Marketing, Inc., Des Moines
  • Professor, Communication Studies, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

FACULTY+STAFF

Ronald Johnson

Executive in Residence

Jessica Martin

Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication

Pamela Ohrt

Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication

Penni Pier

Professor of Journalism and Communication

Lucas Wendland

Broadcast Engineer