Our Mission

We believe journalism serves many vital functions in a democratic society. As the eyes and ears of society, journalism seeks to discover what is going on in the world beyond people's doors and tells them about it. In doing so, journalism strives to reflect and transmit society’s values. The best journalism promotes public accountability of the powerful and encourages a well-informed citizenry.

We believe our mission at the School of Journalism and Media is grounded in the First Amendment to the Constitution, which gives us a unique responsibility in the university to serve the needs of a diverse society.

We strive to educate ethical, socially responsible, well-rounded and fair-minded reporters and producers of visual and verbal messages. We prepare students for lifelong learning beyond their first job by teaching them to be active participants in society who can critically consume as well as produce media content.

We invite challenges to established beliefs, practices and institutions throughout the curriculum and the environment while providing appropriate professional skills for gathering, analyzing, processing and disseminating information useful to society.

We must be future-oriented and keep abreast of new technologies pertinent to the production and consumption of news, anticipating and evaluating their uses and social impacts. In particular, the digitization of news and information has posed both opportunities and challenges for news organizations and audiences. We help our students master these technologies through hands-on practices and encourage them to make sense of the digital revolution through critical thinking.

We cultivate constructive relationships with media professions and industries, while maintaining a critical autonomy based on our special vantage point in the academy. We believe we can help improve the practice of journalism amid digital disruption through relevant research, teaching, and service.

We serve students, the journalism and mass media professions, the academic field, the university community, the state of Texas, the wider society, and the global community. Our location in the Moody College of Communication and at a major research institution means we are part of the larger intellectual currents of communication, and the university at large.

As participants in a graduate as well as undergraduate program, we train aspiring scholars to teach and add to the knowledge in our field. While our interdisciplinary nature is a key strength, we also affirm the intellectual importance of the study of journalism.

We wish to lead, not just react, which means we must strive to be innovative and creative. We are a community of scholars who work to keep current with new knowledge, as well as develop and apply our own ideas.

We strive to attract and nurture a diverse and accomplished faculty who are given opportunities to remain fresh and grow in their teaching, scholarship and service. Our faculty strives for excellence in their respective fields as judged primarily by their peers.

We value and affirm diverse individual, cultural and intellectual perspectives in the search for a more complete understanding of the truth. We wish to treat people in our professional community with sensitivity, honesty and respect. We believe in inclusive governance, where people have a stake and a say in the intellectual community. The faculty, their designated leadership and the staff work together as a team to advance the teaching and scholarly goals of the department.

Originally adopted in 1997 by the School of Journalism and Media faculty, with periodic revisions through 2014 with an additional minor revision in 2021.