New Online Program Trains Future Digital Journalists

Share Article

National University's WASC-Accredited Program Offers Adult Students Path to Success

"This program is revolutionary, truly it's a next step and a way to formalized your journalistic skills."

With its all-online digital journalism program, National University's unique MA degree transforms students into digital journalists who learn both traditional and virtual skills needed to gain a foothold in the fast-moving digital media world.

In the next 10 years, the U.S, Department of Labor estimates that 34 percent of all new jobs will be in digital media, said David Arond, president and CEO of eVideo Creations in Tuczon, AZ. "This program is exactly what students need to succeed."

Sara-Ellen Amster agreed,explaining: "We know we are preparing the next generation of mobile news reporters and video journalists and we are doing it virtually while they work by day in their home communities.

"Most journalism schools still ask students to take time off and relocate, which is impossible for most people in this field, especially for working adults with families."

Bloggers, social media mavens, web and other online journalists as well as all those who want to make their living as writers and content producers should enroll in this totally unique 14-month degree program, agreed Arond.

Amster was a longtime print journalist for Gannett Company and a journalism teacher and advisor to student publications in Delaware, Hawaii and New York. “This program is revolutionary, truly it’s a next step and a way to formalize your journalistic skills. This will surely advance your chosen career, whether in the newsroom, PR or classroom setting and everywhere journalistic skills matter.”

The next cohort of the MA program will begin in February 2016, BA and MA degrees focusing on screenwriting, digital cinema and electronic media also are available in the School of Professional Studies' Department of Journalism, Film and Entertainment Arts. The program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Enrolled students may be eligible for federal financial aid.

The programs are structured in a one class per month format with flexible nighttime or weekend classes for working adults. Classes include “The New News,” “ Backpack Audio and Video,” “International Reporting” and “Producing Online Publications” among others. The faculty are typically working journalists including Pulitzer Prize winners and multimedia experts from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. As one example of the program’s novelty, the teacher for International Reporting directs his class from Jerusalem, Israel.

“The program has both launched careers and provided a next step for lifelong broadcast, text and radio reporters as well as those entering the journalism profession for the first time,” Amster said. The MA also has led to students taking jobs in the teaching and PR fields, she said.

There’s no need to uproot your life and attend classes on site. Instead, National University comes to you online bringing together the best and most skilled professional reporters and editors.who wish to gain academic credit for their hard work and expertise. Tuition for the program is $25,578 or $1,827 per course. National University is the second-largest private, non-profit institution of higher learning in California and the 12th largest in the United States.

Founded in 1971, National University provides more master's degrees in education to minority students than any other college or university in California. Every year over the past decade, National has prepared more credentialed teachers than any other single institution of higher learning in the state.

One graduate of the MA in digital journalism, Tracie Savage, is a former broadcaster for KTLA-TV, now teaches community college in Los Angeles where she trains young people to teach digital journalism.

In March 2015, student Savage was out using the mini iPad to cover the Los Angeles Marathon. Her set up with a caddy-buddy connecting the iPad Mini device to a tripod allowed her to shoot broadcast-HD video as a one-woman band. The setup was unfamiliar enough to passersby, accustomed to seeing lines of news vans and bulky camera equipment, that the journalism student fielded questions of onlookers about what she was doing exactly. However, Savage, a broadcaster for some 30 years, knew exactly.

“I shot the spectators and the runners and I did interviews and I shot B-roll and I got audio and I was able to produce a very professional, air-quality story all by myself ,” explained Savage, who added, “.it was an absolute blast. It was so much fun to be able to get in there and shoot the story, to put together a piece that looks like something I did when I worked for NBC news for many years.” She sees the device as an all-in-one tool to report and construct her news assignments on the go. Because the academic program is situated in virtual space, the lead faculty member has been able to hire highly qualified instructors regardless of their geographical limitations. Currently the adjunct faculty pool includes Alan Abbey of Jerusalem, Israel, Abbey teaches JRN 615: International Reporting. Two other faculty also teach at the Poynter Institute. Vidisha Priyanka, a videographer and multimedia expert runs JRN 610, Backpack Audio and Video and Theresa Collington, who is in charge of digital strategies for the 10 News network of websites in Tampa, Fla. She teaches is JRN 620: Online Publishing.

Jonathan Horn, was a business reporter for The Union-Tribune in San Diego, but now is a broadcaster for Channel 10 News in San Diego.

Call or text Amster at 1-949-300-6952 for more information on this innovative program. Or email

Students should already possess their BA degrees, have a sold command of English and be ready to take on live assignments for use in news writing or video production.

The degree program is based in San Diego, CA. but students can live anywhere globally.

For more information, please view these student-made videos:

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sara-Ellen Amster
Lead faculty for digital journalism
+1 949-300-6952
Email >