Journalism | FAQ

Q: What is distinctive about the PHC Journalism Major?

A: The core task of a journalist is to see the world clearly and help other people see it clearly too. The three most important skills of a journalist, then, are the abilities to see the world clearly, think clearly, and write clearly.

We help students to do that. Our journalism courses teach the core skills of reporting and writing and show students how to apply a biblical worldview to journalism; and PHC’s Core Curriculum gives students the Christian liberal arts background necessary to understand our society from a biblical perspective. We know of no other school that takes this calling quite as seriously as we do.

And, because we’re close to Washington, our students have access to internships and job opportunities that no other Christian college journalism program can offer (see below).

In particular, we have very close ties to WORLD Magazine. Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, is a member of our faculty and supervises PHC students as interns every semester and summer. Dr. Les Sillars, the on-campus teaching professor, has been an editor and writer for WORLD since 1999.

Q: What does the J-major program look like?

What does the J-major program look like?A: First year students take, in addition to their Core classes, Journalism I and II in their fall and spring semesters. These introductory courses teach you how to write a basic news story, how to conduct an interview, and so on. We also introduce key concepts about applying a biblical worldview to journalism.

In their second year, students are staff reporters and editors on the Patrick Henry Herald, the student newspaper, where they learn what it’s like to write on deadline and work with a team. In their third and fourth years they take those skills to their off-campus internships, while studying Media Law and Journalism History and finishing up their other classes.

Q: I like to write and I’m interested in stories (especially fiction), but I’m not sure I want to work in a newsroom—should I still study journalism?

A: Yes. First, the skills you’ll develop in the program—see the world clearly, think clearly, write clearly—prepare you to perform well in many other fields. As you’ll see below, our journalism graduates have found work not just in the fields associated with a journalism degree, such as public relations and communication, but also as teachers, businessmen, law enforcement officers, and analysts.

Second, we emphasize that to be a journalist is to be a story-teller. As a well-known philosopher once put it, we can’t know what we’re supposed to do until we know what story we’re a part of. We all live our lives as stories, and to understand truly what is happening we need to place individual events in context. That includes the stories of our communities, our culture, our nation, and the over-arching Story of Humanity as explained the Bible: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. To help people see the world clearly, you have to tell stories.

Q: I hear a lot about how the journalism business is in a lot of trouble and that it’s hard to find jobs—if I study journalism can I get a job when I graduate?

Commencement-3-640560-edited.jpgA: Absolutely. This is clearly a financially challenging time for traditional mainstream media outlets, but with disruption comes opportunity. Instead of the usual career path working up from local and regional to national-level media, young journalists are finding that there are many different kinds of publications, some with very large audiences, looking for sharp, energetic young journalists with integrity who can write well and tell good stories.

What’s more, the industry is changing in ways that favor the kinds of journalists PHC produces. As the old advertising-based business models break down, more and more publications are charging for their content, and they need high-quality journalists who can produce news worth paying for.

And, of course, the journalistic, story-telling, and communication skills you learn at PHC are in demand in many contexts, as you can see below.

Q: Where have your students interned?

News Organizations

  • WORLD Magazine
  • WJLA (ABC affiliate in Washington)
  • Fox News
  • WTTG (Fox5 in Washington)
  • Washington Times
  • The American Conservative
  • KLA Radio (L.A. talk radio station)
  • TheFederalist.com
  • Dozens of smaller publications

Public Relations/Communications

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Advent Film Group
  • NBC Entertainment
  • Clapham Group
  • Smyrna Ministries

Q: Where have your graduates found jobs?

News Organizations

  • WORLD Magazine,
  • The American Conservative
  • News Channel 8 (Washington), producer
  • Morning in America (Bill Bennett’s radio program) producer
  • Washington Times
  • Fox News
  • Inside Washington Publishers
  • National Geographic TV
  • Radio America
  • Intercessor Magazine
  • Weatherford (Texas) Democrat
  • Faquier Times-Democrat
  • North Attleboro Free Press
  • The Federalist.com

Other kinds of positions

  • Researcher/writer, The Discovery Institute
  • Founder/co-owner, Tonic Site Shop (designs websites and graphics)
  • Video producer, HSLDA
  • Social media manager, Patrick Henry College
  • Staff, National Federation of Retailers
  • Development Officer, Patrick Henry College
  • Youth Leadership Program manager, Heritage Foundation
  • Technical writer, P3 Solutions
  • Communications staff, Colson Center
  • Staff, Media Research Center
  • Agent, National Security Agency
  • Communications Director, Dulles Chamber of Commerce