2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Dec 05, 2023  
2020-2021 University Catalog archived

Journalism and Mass Communications (JOUR)

Journalism and Mass Communications: The Lee Memorial Journalism Foundation was established at Washington and Lee in 1925 through an endowment inaugurated by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. The foundation honored General Lee because of his interest in promoting college-level instruction in journalism. Its successor, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Under the direction of journalism faculty members, students operate Comcast Cable Channel 18, a fully equipped television studio and control room, as a laboratory for television news and production courses. News and public affairs programming are presented to the community through the local cable access system. The Rockbridge Report, rockbridgereport.wlu.edu, is a multimedia website for local news produced by several journalism classes.

The department offers two majors: Strategic Communication for students interested in public relations or other persuasive communication careers, and Journalism, for students interested in careers in news. Journalism majors may also choose to specialize in business journalism. The department’s courses are highly interconnected, reflecting the professional world’s use of video, audio, web, and, of course, words. The faculty includes holders of two endowed chairs, the Knight Chair in Media Ethics and the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Business Journalism.

A student may not complete more than one of the curriculum options (major or minor) in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Journalism and business journalism are appropriate for students who plan a career in news. Students considering one of these options and planning a study abroad term are strongly urged to consult a department faculty member during the first year.

Strategic communication is appropriate for students considering a career in public relations or in other communication fields associated with nonprofit organizations, governmental institutions and corporations.

No more than six credits toward the degree, regardless of course designation or major sequence, may be earned through internships or other experiential courses.

Honors: An Honors Program in journalism is offered for qualified students; see the catalog statement under Major requirements in Requirements for the Degree , the Journalism Department website, journalism.wlu.edu, and the department head for details.

Department Head: Adedayo (Dayo) Abah
           Alecia Swasy, Winter 2021, interim


First date is the year in which the faculty member began service as regular faculty at the University. Second date is the year of appointment to the present rank.

Adedayo O.L. Abah, Ph.D.—(2002)-2017
Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Columbia

Claudette G. Artwick, Ph.D.—(1997)-2001
Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
Ph.D., University of Washington

Nandini Bhalla, Ph.D.—(2019)-2019
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Columbia

Mark Coddington, Ph.D.—(2015)-2015
Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
Ph.D., University of Texas

Aly A. Colón, M.A.—(2014)-2014
Knight Professor of Ethics in Journalism
M.A., Stanford University

Douglas O. Cumming, Ph.D.—(2003)-2009
Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
Ph.D., University of North Carolina

Kevin D. Finch, M.A.—(2014)-2020
Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
M.A., University of Illinois, Springfield

Toni Locy, M.S.L.—(2008)-2015
Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
M.S.L., University of Pittsburgh, School of Law

Alecia Swasy, Ph.D.—(2016)-2016
Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism
Ph.D., University of Missouri