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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure offering fully online master’s program in sports journalism

Mar 11, 2021 | Sports Journalist

St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication will offer this fall a master’s degree in sports journalism, a program developed with input from alumni who are among the nation’s most prominent members of the sports media.

The fully online program, which can be completed in a year and a half, is now accepting applications. The 30-credit master’s program consists of nine three-credit courses and a three-credit master’s project sequence.

Among the Jandoli School alumni who helped design the program are Adrian Wojnarowski, Chris LaPlaca, Rayna Banks and Tim Bontemps at ESPN, Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, and Rachel Axon at USA Today.

“We were fortunate to be able to tap into the best in sports journalism, and who are among our many successful St. Bonaventure graduates, to develop this program,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School. “Sports journalism has undergone a radical transformation with social and digital media and the way news is reported and consumed.

“But the foundation of the Jandoli School has always been about balancing ethics and excellence in pursuit of the truth, and the contributions of our alumni will keep this program grounded in those principles,” Chimbel said.

Students will learn the foundational tenants of journalism and apply those best ideals to become leaders in producing ethical journalism for diverse audiences in the digital world, Chimbel said.

Building on more than 70 years of educating journalists and communicators in the Jandoli School, the program will seek to refine students’ writing skills, enhance their reporting chops, broaden their understanding of the critical issues in sports media, and prepare them with a digital skillset to reimagine how stories can be told.

“It’s a rapidly changing business, but with the advancements in technology and evolution of digital media, there are more job opportunities than ever,” said Banks, ’03, senior managing producer at ESPN. “Some of the nation’s best sports journalists have come through the Jandoli School, so I’m proud to see SBU’s commitment to advancing its learning opportunities."

Through the sports journalism master’s program, students will learn how to:

  • explain the nuances of sports, race/ethnicity, gender, and the role of the journalist in a diverse sports media landscape;

  • follow the best practices of journalistic excellence and ethics to vigorously apply these standards to new forms of media in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness, and diversity;

  • demonstrate entrepreneurial approaches and envision future business models for sports media;

  • exhibit culturally competent interviewing skills;

  • produce podcasts and digital interviews;

  • develop, research, and execute a major sports journalism project.

“This program is grounded firmly in the real world and has a close eye on continued evolution for the program and the students in it. Talented Bonaventure alumni at the top of their fields contributed to an equally talented and dedicated faculty to ensure the right mix of academia and real-world applications,” said LaPlaca, ’79, senior vice president of corporate communications at ESPN.

To learn more about the program, contact Chimbel at achimbel@sbu.edu or visit the website.

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About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.