Cal State LA alumnus Richard Tzul’s grandmother was recently profiled on NBC news in a piece about the struggles of street vendors during the coronavirus pandemic. A few weeks later, The Guardian interviewed Tzul’s uncle about his experience as a garment worker who was hospitalized after possibly being infected with the virus.
Tzul said he was thankful their voices, as undocumented immigrants, were heard because their stories represent the disparities that marginalized communities face.
Still, Tzul wants more: He wants to be telling the stories, producing news in the public interest.
While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Television, Film & Media Studies – with an option in Journalism – Tzul was awarded a grant from the California Press Foundation and an internship at the Lake County Record-Bee in Northern California.
His classmates have had similar wins. Two journalism students interned last summer at Latin Heat Media; six interned at EdSource; several interned at or contributed freelance content to the Eastsider LA; one participated in the prestigious NPR Next Generation Radio program; and others are starting graduate school at NYU and USC.
Cal State LA’s journalism program is poised for growth with the hiring of two new tenure-track faculty members and a student media business manager in recent years and, more importantly, a new degree offering.
Journalism has long been an “option,” or track, within the Television, Film & Media Studies major. With the support of College of Arts & Letters Dean Linda Essig, TVFM Chair Kristiina Hackel and longtime journalism professor Tony Cox, journalism will be a full major at the University starting fall 2020.
Students in the program will focus on building foundational skills in news discernment, reporting, writing and editing and take advanced courses that allow them to provide community news coverage to neighborhoods such as Central Alameda and East Los Angeles, produce podcasts and news videos, cover sporting events, obtain public records and create infographics. Students will have time in their course of study for professional internships and other activities.
Equipped with a full journalism major, we are confident that students will hone their skills and bring much-needed diversity to newsrooms in Southern California and beyond.
Read and experience student work by visiting University Times.
For more information about the BA in Journalism program click here.
Photos: Top, headshot of Richard Tzul. Second photo, Digital Journalism field trip to the L.A. Times last year. Pictured L-R Daniel Lindley, Amanda Lanza, JusTina Johnson, Professor Julie Liss, Christopher Lazaro.