The School of Journalism and Mass Communications Joins H&A

By Anthony Ngo

We are proud to announce that the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) has joined the College of Humanities & the Arts (H&A). Founded on the principles of professionalism, inclusion, responsible practices, and personal development, the school provides degrees in advertising, journalism, and public relations. For graduate students, an M.A. in Mass Communications is also offered. The school focuses on preparing its students for media work after graduation. 

Before joining H&A, JMC was a part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. The university requested this change to better align the curriculum and the activities of the school. The faculty of JMCshowed overwhelming support in making the move. While there won’t be any major changes to the school, being a part of H&A will allow for more collaborative projects between different programs. The JMC Director Phylis Johnson says, “There are always minor adjustments, but nothing major that will unduly impact our programs, events, or funding. If anything, I foresee opportunities to collaborate on various projects, resources, or curriculum.”

Dr. Johnson believes that JMC will fit well within the college. The goals that H&A and JMC share include tackling community issues, educating audiences, and promoting freedom of expression. Dr. Johnson says, “Journalism & Mass Communications is a program of which the humanities and arts are core, but our school functions best when viewed as interdisciplinary, allowing for greater university involvement and community impact.” 

The school pushes the boundaries in advertising, convergence journalism, public relations, and mass communications. It also works closely with industry partners like Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, Apple, and Google to help students find internships and careers outside of the classroom. Graduates have won six Pulitzer Prizes and many alumni excel in careers as online content producers, publishers, editors, news directors, and communication executives. H&A Dean Shannon Miller says, “Their commitment to artistic excellence, intellectual rigor, and effective communication makes a wonderful addition to the College of Humanities and the Arts.” We are excited to see what JMC has in store for the future!

Notable Projects

Refugee Crisis in Greece

Study-abroad programs are important for JMC students to learn about the world. An example of this is the work that Professor Diane Guerrazzi accomplished with her students during a program in Greece. Journalism fieldwork has given students a first-hand opportunity to learn about the refugees and the larger impact this crisis has on the country. Students interacted with migrants from the Middle East and learned about why people are fleeing their home countries. Students not only spoke to refugees, but also to political leaders, clergy members, aid workers, and educators, to build a context for this story.

Spartan Daily

Since 1934, the Spartan Daily has been keeping the campus and community informed with their publication. The newspaper covers campus events, sports, and opinion pieces. Prints of the Spartan Daily can be found in various locations on campus; stories are also published on their website. Through the efforts of both faculty and students, the Spartan Daily has won multiple awards through the Associated Collegiate Press and the California College Media Association. 

ADDY Awards

Creating quality content is one of the main cornerstones of JMC’s programs. This dedication to the craft of advertising was recently rewarded during the 2019 Silicon Valley American Advertising Awards (ADDY). The Silicon Valley ADDY award show highlights the creative works of advertising students in the area. SJSU’s Advertising program won 11 Silvers, 16 Golds, 4 ADDYs, 3 Best of Shows, and 2 Judges Awards. This is a huge win for the program, and of course, they’re looking to improve next year. 

JMC School Hearst Award Ceremony

For the first time, SJSU Journalism School faculty presents the prestigious 2019 William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award for outstanding professional media service to Alexander Shebanow and Dan Rather for their work on FailState, an expansive documentary exposé on the predatory for-profit colleges and worsening inequality in American higher education.                        

Honorees Director Alexander Shebanow and Executive Producer Dan Rather premiered Failstate to packed houses at the Austin Film Festival and in New York, garnering major press attention, film festival awards, and rave reviews in The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal.

A JMC School faculty reception for the honorees is planned for SJSU’s Dwight Bentel Hall on November 14th, from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM in room 117. Campus community and Bay Area media leaders are invited to attend. Afterward, the award will be presented by two SJSU Journalism School professors, Hearst Award Coordinator Bob Rucker, a former national news correspondent for CNN in San Francisco, and Dona Nichols, a veteran Bay Area television news producer and assignment editor for NBC Bay Area, and mass communications instructor at San José State University.

Learn More

Please visit htttps:// to learn more about the School

To learn about the Spartan Daily, please visit:

For more about the ADDY Awards, visit:

To watch the trailer for FailState, visit: