Journalism & Mass Communication

Majors: Advertising, Journalism

Emphases: Broadcast Journalism, Creative Strategies, Interactive Media, News-Editorial Journalism, Public Relations

The department of Journalism & Mass Communication at SDSU has the right mix of faculty, philosophy, and technology to prepare you for a career in media and related fields. Choose a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts in either Advertising or Journalism with your choice of emphases in broadcast journalism, creative strategies (advertising), interactive media (advertising), news-editorial journalism or public relations (advertising).

South Dakota State honors three journalism alums 

The South Dakota State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication recognizes three new distinguished alumni.

Each year since 1985, by a vote of the department faculty, one or more individuals have been selected for this honor. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism and mass communication.







This year the department recognizes:

  • Wanda Romkema Goodman '04, deputy secretary, South Dakota Department of Tourism, Pierre; 
  • Marc Johnson '75, partner at Gallatin Public Affairs, Boise, Idaho;and  
  • Harvey Levenson '68, director of Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California.


MMC Pulitzer Student Fellow published

jamiewalshSDSU graduate student Jamie Walsh, who received a prestigious Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Fellowship, traveled to London earlier this semester to report on "Health and Obesity in the United Kingdom." Her first article has been published at Originally from Boston, Walsh now lives in Redondo Beach, CA, and is earning a Masters in Mass Communication online. The first SDSU Pulitzer Center Student Fellow, Melisa Goss from Sioux Falls, reported on human trafficking in Cambodia in 2013. Professor Lyle Olson coordinates the student fellow program.

MMC Program honored by SDSU Distance Education


Dr. Lyle Olson and our online Master of Mass Communication program both received awards for outstanding achievement in online education from SDSU Continuing and Distance Education (CDE). After a university-wide search, the online program Master of Mass Communication was selected to receive the 2014 Outstanding Online Program Award. This award recognizes the program's proven record of excellence in providing innovative programming. Lyle Olson was also selected to receive the 2014 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. This award recognizes his creativity in utilizing appropriate Internet-based technologies to teach online courses through SDSU.  The awards were presented at the CDE Open House at the Student Union on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

Online Professional MMC receives Regional UPCEA Award 

10371400_10152287630276353_8225992979443780362_nThe South Dakota State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication received the 2014 University Professional &Continuing Education Association Central Region Innovative Program Award for its online Masters in Mass Communication. 

According to the award committee, the award is "of the highest distinction and honor in our profession," rewarding programs that provide "a model to which your colleagues can aspire."  

SDSU Continuing and Distance Education nominated the program, which Mary Arnold, department head, and Lyle Olson, graduate program coordinator, spearheaded the creation of the degree program in 2009. The program currently has 30 graduates who Jennifer Tiernan and now Rocky Dailey advised. This past May, it became the first fully online MMC program to be accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. 

The UPCEA Central Region includes 14 states –Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio and South Dakota and corresponding Canadian Territories.

'Klock Work' displays talents of Frank Klock's students

klockworknewThe 12 photographers and photojournalists in this book were selected to represent all of Frank Klock's many students during his 24 years as an instructor in the South Dakota State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. We asked each of them to select one of their favorite photos for the gallery show held to recognize Frank's influence as a teacher and mentor as he retires in May of 2014. We also asked them to tell us a little about themselves, their SDSU memories and what inspires them. The photographers are presented in alphabetical order. You can click on the image to download a copy or click here.

Final Farewell to Three Great Professors

Fellow faculty, staff and students wished three professors well at one final gathering before finals ended this week.

Professors Jim Paulsen, Doris Giago and Frank Klock enjoyed conversation and cake at the retirement reception in the Student Union on campus.

We wish them well as they begin their retirement after more than 20 years of service to the department of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Explore Journalism and Mass Communication

Meet some of the special students and faculty in the department of Journalism and Mass Communication in this video created by the Yeager Media Center. You'll also hear from graduates now working in their chosen professions.

Advertising Students Win NSAC District 8

IMG_1326 students 2

This group of advertising majors prepared a winning campaign at the District 8 NSAC competition this past weekend. The team effort researched key details to present a new strategy for Mark Kay products to judges. 

The competition included teams from the University of Minnesota and NDSU among others. Prof. Didem Koroglu advised the students throughout the semester. Now the SDSU team advances to compete for a spot in the national finals scheduled to take place in Florida.

Friends Gather to Celebrate Klock Retirement

Family, friends, former students and faculty gathered April 15 in the news lab to wish Frank Klock well. He is retiring in May after more than 20 years of teaching.

Many former students made a special trip to wish him well and to take in a gallery of extraordinary images put up to honor his many years of dedication to helping a new generation of photographers learn how to craft still images at South Dakota State University.

Klock Retirement Students Gather

Prof. Giago remembered at Honor Song ceremony

Professor Doris Giago was honored at a reception and honor song ceremony in the Lakota/Dakota room in Yeager Hall on March 28th.  Prof. Giago has been a part of the department for 22 years and is retiring after this semester.  Many family, friends, and colleagues came out to share stories of Doris's contributions to the field of journalism and journalism education.  We wish nothing but the best for Doris as she enters this new adventure.


Paulson remembered for dedication to students

Associate Professor Jim Pauslon was honored for his years of teaching and receiving the 2014 Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Excellence in Teaching at a reception on March 20th.  Many of Prof. Paulson's former students were in attendance to share stories of his teaching and advising, which in most cases continued well after graduation.  We thank Prof. Paulson for his 27 years working with broadcast journalism students and wish him all the best in the years to come.

Paulson Remembered

2014 Distinguished Alumni Named


The SDSU Department of Journalism and Mass Communication will honor three new distinguished alumni during its annual Spring Journalism Awards Banquet Wednesday, April 9, at the Days Inn. Each year since 1985, by a vote of the department faculty, one or more individuals have been selected for this honor.

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism and mass communication. This year the department will recognize:

Frank Robertson, '95, Multimedia Editor, Chillicothe Gazette, Chillicothe, Ohio

Tina Arana Anderson, '84, Fitness and Media Specialist, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Ted Heeren, '00, Creative Director, Fresh Produce, Sioux Falls

The evening honors scholarship winners and award winners in addition to distinguished alumni. The social hour begins at 6:30 with dinner at 7 p.m. at the Days Inn. Tickets are $22. Tickets must be purchased by March 31 by contacting Betty Nelson at 605-688-4171 or

Famous SD photographer visits with journalism students



Greg Latza, a program graduate and well-established and respected photographer, talked to students in our Advanced Photography class on February 11, 2014, about photography both as an art and a business. Greg has done several books featuring his photography of local residents and landscapes. You can see more of his work at Greg Latza's Photography

Happy Holidays!

Emily Weber and students from the Advanced Photography class created this "Making Memories" holiday video as part of a service learning project featuring residents of Stonybrook Suites Assisted Living.  The video features the residents' holiday memories.

Yeager Media Center Tour

This video highlights the full complement of capabilities in our studio.


Former USA Today Correspondent visits Writing Classes

Journalist Chuck RaaschJournalist Chuck Raasch visited with students this fall in the Basic Newswriting and Magazine Writing classes about his career and the changes he has seen in the newspaper industry.  A Castlewood native, Raasch is a 1976 SDSU Journalism & Mass Communications graduate and has worked as a reporter, writer, author, and editor.  Raasch was the senior national correspondent for USA TODAY and senior correspondent and columnist for Gannett News Service.  He was also a Knight Fellow at Stanford and has published bylines from 49 states and four continents.  He has covered and analyzed six presidential elections.  Raasch is also one of five original cover story writers for USA Today. 

Online Grad Student Publishes Work on Cambodian Sex Trade

gossfinalJournalism & Mass Communications online graduate student Melisa Goss has just returned from Cambodia, where she spent two months reporting on the sex trade. Goss, a Sioux Falls native, received funds from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and the SDSU Department of Journalism and Mass Communication to report on human trafficking in the region. Goss's project 'Cambodia: Sex Trade and Tourism' examines economic and psychological issues faced by sex workers and what is being done to both help those who are caught up in it and prevent further exploitation. Goss traveled visited various non-government organizations throughout the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Phenh collecting images and interviews for a series of reports to be featured on the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting website. The first report entitled 'Cambodia: Girls on Fire' was posted to the Pulitzer site on September 10th, with more reports coming in the following weeks.

Regents Approve Online Professional Master of Mass Communication

The South Dakota Board of Regents approved an online master of mass communication degree in May. This graduate degree is designed specifically for working mid-career professionals in the fields of journalism, advertising, and public relations.

The university’s existing M.S. degree in communication studies and journalism, with a specialization in journalism, will be limited to on-campus delivery in the future. Students enrolled in the online track will automatically be transferred into the MMC.

Last fall, there were 35 online students enrolled in the existing program. With the new degree specifically designed for working media professionals, SDSU officials expect continued high enrollments.

Advertising Students Place Second in District NSAC

Advertising students were awarded second place overall at the District 8 National Student Advertising Competition.

South Dakota State University advertising students, pictured above, were awarded second place overall at the District 8 National Student Advertising Competition held in Minneapolis in April.

Nine universities from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin competed in the regional competition through the American Advertising Federation. First place went to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Glidden Paint sponsored the annual competition and asked students to create a campaign to increase awareness and consideration for their paint offered in Walmart stores. Twenty-seven senior advertising majors from SDSU participated.

11th Annual Internship and Job Fair held

Seth Tupper ‘01, Mitchell Daily Republic and Lance Nixon ‘85, Pierre Capital Journal

Sixty-seven students and 43 interviewers representing 31 employers participated in the 11th annual Internship and Job Fair. The event was held in January in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. Students were able to interview for several interviews or jobs during the three hour event. In the foreground of the photo are potential employers and alumni Seth Tupper ‘01, Mitchell Daily Republic and Lance Nixon ‘85, Pierre Capital Journal.

Students Participate in 1st Multimedia Bootcamp

An attendee of the Summer Multimedia Bootcamp produces an individual video piece

The first Summer Multimedia Bootcamp was held in May, with 11 students participating. They experienced first-hand how to research, write and produce news stories in multiple formats during the three-week course. The final products include a Web site, individual video pieces and a complete program produced at the Yeager Media Center. The students also promoted their work through social media.

Yeager Media Center serves internal and external clients.

Yeager Media Center

The YMC is a self-supporting service center for internal and external clients. Funds to construct and equip the facility came from two sources: The family of the late Anson and Ada May Yeager agreed to redirect to the project a portion of their parents╒ charitable remainder trust. The equipment was purchased from the proceeds of contracts for production of television in facility.

The YMC’s three main clients and ongoing programs are:

  • The Healing Words Foundation, On Call
  • SDSU Department of Athletics, The Jackrabbit Insider
  • SDSU Agricultural Extension Service, iGrow podcasts and other programming.

“Without the support of those partners, the Yeager Media Center would not exist,” Arnold said. “They provide the funding that pays salaries, purchases equipment, and generally operates the center.”

In addition to a new facility, the department welcomed new staff members, professional television and multimedia producers, who oversee the productions. Lowell Haag is center coordinator and Brian Stemwedel, is assistant coordinator.