Why a university launched a masters in bilingual journalism

Courses will cover podcasting, live-streaming and portrayal of Latinx communities in the media,

The growing number of Hispanic Americans seeking news in Spanish and English has motivated faculty at the University of Arizona to launch a master’s degree in bilingual journalism.

Since being designated a Hispanic-serving institution in 2018, the university has sought to expand programs for Latinx students, says associate professor Jessica Retis, director of the Master’s in Bilingual Journalism program.

“We are preparing bilingual and bicultural journalists for the post-digital era,” Retis says. “We are no longer in the transition to the digital era.”

The program is designed for students who need to improve reporting skills in English or in Spanish.

More from UB: College expands bilingual programs to meet demand

Courses in the two-year program will cover the history of Latinx communities in the U.S., how they’ve been portrayed by the media, and the flow of Latinx populations around the world.

Students will also develop audio and video production skills, including podcasting, live-streaming and broadcasting.

The School of Journalism is collaborating in the program with the university’s Center for Latin American Students, the English and Portuguese departments, and other units.

“We cannot talk about mass media anymore because a family does not all watch the same newscast,” Retis says. “We need to evolve our perspectives to understand the specificities of the Latino audience in this era of news media fragmentation.”

More from UB: 5 strategies for boosting Latinx student success at Miami Dade College

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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