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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Visual Journalism

Majors Overview July 18, 2013

Both images and words are used by visual journalists in telling stories and communicating information; often, more creative elements such as photos are used by these professionals rather than text. Graduates of an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program dedicated to visual journalism are armed with an understanding of the latest technological advances in the industry and can seek entry level jobs in the field.

A.A. in Visual Journalism Degree Program

Visual journalism is not a commonly offered associate’s degree program, but some schools may offer it as a major area within a degree program in general journalism. Students get a firm introduction to general journalistic methods and given an overview of broad outlets of modern media used to distribute messages in an engaging and relevant way. The initial emphasis of the program may be on traditional investigative modes, in addition to attractive and practical ways of new presentation.

After they address the basic methods used in journalism along with its general history, students learn about a variety of modern technology resources they can use and aim at developing efficiency in using all equipment. Through the use of various media including web content, photographs, graphic design software and video cameras, students become adept at sharing stories through different means even as they learn to discern the most efficacious ways of connecting with their audiences. The program is devised to highlight critical thinking skills that can be displayed by students through the selection of the appropriate story details and the delivery mode aimed at ensuring that the audience receives the report well. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to their appearance in an interview.

Program Coursework

The associate degree program aims to provide ample hands-on opportunities with cameras for photo reports and web development software to integrate stories with social media and other internet resources. The program course topics may include the following:

•Public relations
•Mass media outlets
•Structuring a newsworthy story
•Broadcast production
•Photojournalism
•Multimedia fundamentals
•Typography
•Gathering news

Career Options

Associate degree program graduates can immediately seek out entry-level employment or pursue further studies. Individuals may obtain the following job titles:

•Web news producer
•Photographer
•Editor
•Investigative reporter

Continuing Education Information

On-the-job training is used in the associate degree programs to give graduates an opportunity to improve their skills in the visual presentation of newsworthy stories. However, students may acquire only basic skills through an associate’s degree program and may benefit by completing a bachelor’s degree program and use the additional experience and credentials to enhance their career opportunities.

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