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Department of Journalism & Mass Communication


News Engagement

News Engagement
Makenzie Huber of the Collegian helps fifth-graders from Volga design a newspaper on News Engagement Day.

By Maria Weber

The Journalism Club recently celebrated News Engagement Day by inviting fifth-graders from the Sioux Valley Elementary School to the SDSU campus to learn about journalism.

News Engagement Day is a national effort to raise awareness of the importance of news. People across the country participate in the effort by holding various events to encourage people to access and get involved with news.

Before the event, Professor Teri Finneman and members of the Journalism Club – Kayla Justen, Bre Hagen and Nicole Hamilton – visited the students in late September at their school in Volga to teach them about interviewing, taking pictures, and to give them directions to start working on their own news stories. (more)

Jessica Freeman

Jessica Freeman Mug
Professor Jessica Freeman

By Kylee Whitehill

With a Miranda Lambert song playing in the background hinting at her Texas roots, Professor Jessica Freeman launches into the details about her background in mass communications and her travels up through the Midwest to her current stop at South Dakota State University.

Freeman began working this fall in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and is responsible for teaching courses in public relations and advertising.

She grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where she says she discovered her love for mass communications at a young age. In middle school, she wrote for a weekly section in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called Class Acts. From then on, Freeman was hooked. (more)

SDSU launches social media minor

South Dakota State University is one of the first institutions in the state to offer a social media minor. Students will gain expertise in designing content, implementing communication practices and campaigns, and assessing outcomes for social media use.

The new minor has been added due to reflect a growing trend across journalism programs in the nation. Before this minor, students could gain some skills related to social media in other classes, but now those skills will be bundled into one package for students. Pre-requisites are not required, so it will be easier for students to add the minor if they wish.

Students will learn how to analyze social media sites and better understand what brings users to certain sites, how long they stay there, and what they click on. The minor will have classes teaching how to write for different types of social media sites as well as designing the sites. One course will also have students design their own app and launch it to have a real world experience. It will also help students effectively learn how to manage multi-way interactions with users.

SDSU is excited to add this minor to assist students in becoming better equipped to use social media beneficially and gain a comprehensive skill set.

Finneman Finalist for Mott Book Award

Teri Finneman, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication was one of four finalists for the best research-based book about journalism or mass communication published each year.

Finneman PhotoThe Frank Luther Mott - Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism & Mass Communication Research Award is named in honor of Frank Luther Mott, Pulitzer Prize winner, educator and long-time leader of Kappa Tau Alpha.

Finneman’s book, Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s-2000s: From 'Lunatic' Woodhull to 'Polarizing Palin was published by Lexington Books. It examines the media experiences of women political pioneers between the 1870s and 2000s.  The women featured are Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president; Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress; Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to receive a presidential nomination at a major party’s convention; and Sarah Palin, the first Republican woman vice presidential candidate.

Explore Journalism & Mass Communication

Meet some of the special students and faculty who make this department special in this video from the Yeager Media Center.

South Dakota State honors three journalism alums 

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication selected three graduates for its distinguished alumni status in 2016.

This year's honorees are:

  • Wayne S. Anderson ’66, retired marketing manager, Loretto, Minnesota;
  • David M. Martin ’85, member of the custom engineering products team, WalzCraft Custom Engineered Products, La Crosse, Wisconsin;
  • Lindsey A. Meyers ’02, vice president of public relations, Avera Health, Sioux Falls.

Journalism Alum


Dr. Mary Arnold

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the department of Journalism & Mass Communication, I want to welcome you to our online portal. Here you will find information about our people, our programs, student activities, and more. I encourage you to take a look around and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you.

Mary Arnold, Ph.D.
Head, Department of Journalism & Mass Communication

Online Master's Degree

We offer a completely online master's degree program in Journalism & Mass Communication.


1137 Campanile Avenue
Yeager Hall Box 2235
Brookings, S.D. 57007