Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse

Many departments, including English, history, sociology, and politics, offer hands-on and theory-based courses in journalism and public media. Students learn to examine the world with an educated, critical eye; to collect material from a wide range of sources; and to analyze and communicate information clearly and concisely. MHC’s approach reflects the reality of the job market: employers in journalism and media want students who are knowledgeable and articulate across a wide array of subjects in the liberal arts, who are creative, flexible thinkers with superior writing and analytical capabilities. The Nexus in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse encourages students to explore journalism and media through many venues. In the classroom, students can master the nuts and bolts of reporting and fact-checking a news story, examine the history of the New York Times, or analyze the role of media in contemporary society.

Track Chairs

Professor Eleanor Townsley

Professor Ken Tucker


Courses may be chosen from the list of faculty-approved courses for your Nexus track, in consultation with your academic advisor and the Nexus track chair. You are not limited to the courses on these lists, however. If you identify another Mount Holyoke or Five College course relevant to the Nexus track, you can ask permission of the Nexus track chair to allow you to count the course toward your Nexus.

Example Programs

Lucy wants to be the media relations director for a museum with ties to African American art and culture such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture currently under development. She begins her Nexus track with English 202, Introduction to Journalism and Sociology 216, Intellectuals, Media, and the Public Sphere. She takes the pre-experience course, COLL 210, Ready for the World, in the spring. In the summer she might conduct research for the Media Education Foundation, following which she enrolls in COLL 211, Tying It All Together, in the fall. To synthesize all that she has learned, she might then enroll in English 301, Journalism, History, and Ethics.

Ariella wants to report and write for an online media site such as Talking Points Memo, MSNBC, Pro Publica, or any metropolitan news organization with a flourishing website. She begins her Nexus track with English 202, Introduction to Journalism, History 283, American Media History, and COLL 210, Ready for the World. In the summer, she gets an internship with a media organization in her hometown or with the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton. To synthesize all she has learned, she might enroll in English 301, Digital and Multimedia Journalism and COLL 211.