New program will prepare students to work in Spanish-speaking media
June 4, 2007
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
Hispanics comprise the largest ethnic minority in the United States. The more than 40 million Hispanics who live in the United States constitute almost 14 percent of the nation’s total population. By the year 2050, that number is expected to reach 24 percent.
In the United States, there are more than 10 television networks already broadcasting in Spanish (such as Galavisión, Univisión, Telemundo, Telefutura, CNN en español and MTV en español); 130 television stations; 800 commercial radio stations in Spanish; 550 Hispanic newspapers and 352 magazines. And these numbers are growing.
Yet with the exception of a master’s degree in Spanish Journalism at the University of Miami, there are no programs to prepare future bilingual journalists. Benedictine University aims to fill that gap.
Beginning this fall, Benedictine University will offer a Bachelor of Arts in Bilingual Journalism. The program will prepare graduates for careers in advertising, electronic and print media, journalism, public relations, publishing, writing or other careers requiring sophisticated communication skills in the Spanish-language market.
An interdisciplinary program, the Bilingual Journalism major will incorporate courses in news writing and reporting, television production and the literature of journalism with elements of Spanish and Latin American culture, advanced written and oral communication in Spanish and an internship.
“The program will train students to work in Spanish-language as well as English-language media,” said Joaquin Montero, Ph.D., assistant professor in Language and Literature at Benedictine University.
“The courses in communication arts will help students develop an understanding of the media and develop professional skills,” he added. “The Spanish courses will focus on the practice of language skills. Finally, the interdisciplinary courses will offer a bilingual approach to the integration of the theory and practice.”
Benedictine University has been serving the needs of minority students since its founding. University officials believe the Bilingual Journalism program will continue that tradition by reaching out to students of Hispanic descent who wish to pursue media as a career as well as non-Hispanic students interested in learning Spanish and working in Spanish-speaking media.
“The mission statement of Benedictine University says that the school is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds,” Montero said. “The University was originally founded to serve the sons of immigrants from Eastern Europe who settled in the Chicago area.
“Our program is aimed at serving the Hispanic population in the greater Chicago area, a group that is often misrepresented and traditionally underrepresented in the media,” he added.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.