A student is interviewing the owner of a local store.
Program Overview

Journalism

Amplify stories that resonate.

Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

The Art and Craft of Journalism

Oberlin’s integrative concentration in journalism equips students to navigate a fast-changing media and news landscape. Through a combination of coursework and experiential learning, students explore the different sectors of nonfiction storytelling, from newspaper and magazine reporting to radio production, documentary filmmaking, and digital narrative. The concentration can be added to any major and facilitates opportunities with Oberlin’s publication of record, the Oberlin Review, and WOBC, the student-run radio station.

Learn from the Leading Voices in News and Media

Oberlin has long produced outstanding journalists. The curricular strengths of our liberal arts education combined with our ethos of social engagement have propelled generations of our graduates into the media and journalism industries. The journalism concentration draws on Oberlin’s active alumni network to host symposia and networking events, while facilitating summer and Winter Term reporting experiences. On graduation Oberlin’s journalism students will have built a portfolio of work and established active contacts to help them navigate the first chapter of their careers.

Oberlin’s alumni include active reporters at most major news outlets from the BBC and the New York Times to Politico and Radiolab.
Oberlin Alumni in Journalism

Arts and Creative Professions

Oberlin’s Career Communities provides structured opportunities for journalism students to pursue their postgraduate career plans, placing interested students at a range of news and media organizations from Salon.com to The Atlantic.

A student filming while four people discuss and look at a document.
Students have the opportunity to write for an ever-growing number of student-run literary and news publications
Student Publications

A Legacy of Impactful Journalism

Oberlin has an excellent track record placing graduates in the fields of media, entertainment and journalism, many of whom return to campus to mentorand work with current students.

A student giving a speech.

Featured Courses

PROF 171

Practicing Music Journalism

This course develops students’ critical listening and writing skills, enabling them to write lucid and evocative prose about music and its performance. In addition to reviews, writing assignments include essays, interviews, think pieces, program and liner notes on musical subjects and artists, both historical and current. The course explores a variety of musical styles including, but not limited to, Western classical, jazz, world music, electronic music, and musical theater.

Taught by
Mike Telin
POLT 200

Mass Politics in a Media Age

American politics has fundamentally changed over the past quarter century. Sound bites are shorter, cynicism is higher, hard news is giving way to soft news, and new media have made political information ubiquitous. In this media-driven world, do we fulfill our obligation to be “good citizens”? Do we make rational voting decisions? In this course, we develop an understanding of the relationship between citizens, the media, and politicians in a rapidly changing media age.

Taught by
Michael Parkin
RHET 207

Literary Journalism

From New Journalism to the personal essay, literary techniques are reshaping the way journalists write about sports, nature, politics, science, and the arts. This course explores the way journalists use the tools of fiction and poetry in their writing while remaining true to the standards of reporting. Students will balance the reading of literary journalism and essays with time spent crafting their own writing.

Taught by
Hal Sundt ’12
CINE 320

Documentary Video Production

This course explores both critical and creative perspectives on documentaries (in terms of structure, purpose, audience, etc.) and then gives students the opportunity to practice basic documentary production (camera, lighting, sound, non-linear editing). After engaging in various individual and small group exercises, students spend the balance of the semester working together to produce a short festival-quality documentary film.

Taught by
Geoff Pingree

Student Profiles

The Creative Side of Journalism

Justine Goode ’16 has always wanted to work at a print magazine in either a design or an editorial capacity. Today, the former editor of the Grape, Oberlin's alternative student newspaper, is fulfilling both career goals at Vanity Fair.

Justine Goode.

Producing at NPR

At Oberlin, Anna Bauman ’17 landed a reporting internship for Cleveland’s 90.3 WCPN Ideastream. After graduation, Bauman decided to continue with radio and took an internship with NPR’s On Point, where she is now an associate producer.

Anna Bauman.

Writing Science for Radio

As an environmental studies and creative writing major at Oberlin, Angus Chen ’13 edited Headwaters, a campus environmental magazine. He is now a science reporter at NPR where he has covered topics ranging from futuristic cranberries to the effects of loneliness on the immune system.

Angus Chen.

What does Journalism at Oberlin look like?

Students recording a podcast in class.

Students in Professor Jan Cooper’s podcasting Winter Term project learned the historical background of the emerging podcasting industry before producing their own audio stories.

Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
Rani Molla.

Rani Molla ’08, senior data reporter at Recode, returned to Oberlin to lead a data journalism workshop at the Oberlin College Student Journalism Symposium.

Photo credit: Dale Preston ’83
Students in WOBC's recording room.

The student-run radio station WOBC offers students the opportunity to plan and host their own radio shows.

Photo credit: Jeong Hyun Hwang
Students in a conference room.

Oberlin students share ideas in preparation for the upcoming journalism symposium.

Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
Susan Orlean.

New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean speaks to Oberlin students about The Library Book, an exploration of the history, power, and future of libraries.

Photo credit: Chris Schumucki ’22
Alex Blumberg.

Alex Blumberg ’89, a producer at This American Life and founder of Gilmet Media, leads a journalism and podcasting lecture in Oberlin’s Birenbaum space.

Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
Zeinab Abul-Magd, Sebastiaan Faber, Josh Keating and Max Strasser.

A panel on international politics consisted of professors Zeinab Abul-Magd and Sebastiaan Faber, as well as Oberlin alumni, Josh Keating, senior chair of Slate, and Max Strasser, opinion editor editor of the New York Times.

Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
Students filming a scene in a field.

Students in the field working on a documentary for StoryLens, a nonprofit run by professor Geoff Pingree that produces independent short documentaries of social relevance.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Oberlin College

Next Steps

Get in touch; we would love to chat.


People gathered in Birenbaum for a jazz performance.
Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko