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Meet the Program Director: Journalism

Bruce Evensen
Prof. Bruce Evensen

"I try to make what I teach as interesting as I can for me and the students. The most important thing students have is their time. And I do everything I can not to waste it."

On the MA in Journalism Program
The graduate Journalism program prepares students to be professional story-tellers and content creators in the new digital landscape of news gathering and dissemination. We even offers students the opportunity to concentrate in Sports Reporting and Reporting Metro Chicago, as well as course work in niche journalism and backpack reporting, arts reporting, advanced television news gathering and visual communication. DePaul graduates have a firm sense of the social responsibility of journalists to serve citizens with news worth knowing.

On the Type of Student Journalism Seeks
Our students are intellectually engaged and take the role of journalism in a democratic society seriously. They love interviewing and investigating and sharing what they've learned with readers and viewers. This communication takes place across media platforms. Many of our students work at The DePaulia, Radio DePaul, and Good Day DePaul.

Why our Program is a Unique Place to Study Journalism
DePaul's emphasis on socially responsible reporting and an experiential learning model makes our program unique. We take DePaul out into the community, and bring Chicago into our classrooms. Our students work in major media while in the program as part of their preparation for careers in digital journalism.

Our program is not only about courses. It's about students gaining experiences and skills that makes them more marketable; projects are linked to making student e-portfolios more muscular. In the final analysis, your employers want to know not what courses you took, but what you know how to do that furthers the interest of that company.

Students will learn the skills and build the experiences they'll need to be successful as socially responsible digital journalists with training across media platforms and multiple contacts with members of the Chicago area media community.

Every member of our faculty is either now working or has recently worked in multiple media platforms, including positions at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, ESPN, WGN, WTTW, NBC5, CBS2, Huffington Post, WBBM, Fox News Chicago, the Cubs, White Sox, Black Hawks, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the United Nations, Leo Burnett, Edelman Digital, Poynter Institute, McCormick Foundation, UNICEF, and many other sites.

What Drew You to the Discipline?
I spent 11 years as a broadcast journalist with much of that time as a managing news editor, based in Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem, covering national and international crises and conflicts. I'm a native Chicagoan and returned to the city to coordinate DePaul's undergraduate journalism program and launch its graduate program in digital journalism.

I'm a journalism historian and have written eight books focusing on the difference journalism has made in American history and in the American experience. We are a different country because we've had a free press and for much of its history people in the news business have been buffeted by trying to do the right thing while making money. Sometimes those values coincide. Sometimes they don't. Our graduate students need to know the difference and what that means for their own careers in journalism.

Why Do You Teach at DePaul?
What I appreciate most about DePaul is its commitment to Vincentian values, which in journalism means serving communities and citizens with news that makes democracy and self-actualization possible, as well as watching out for the neediest and least powerful members of our society. That's a proud tradition within journalism and matches core aims of the Vincentian mission in creating a more civil society.

What Makes Chicago a Special City to You?
Chicago is the closest approximation we have in the country to a single city representing the country's diversity, variety, energy, and pride. I'm a huge fan of the Bears and Cubs and Black Hawks. My goal is to live long enough to see the Cubs a World Series winner. [Editor's Note: He did!] But I don't know if I'll make it to the 22nd Century.