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Today's word on journalism

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dueling masters on words:

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

--William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962), on Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

--Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961), on William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

USU agricultural journalism program nearing vote on final approval

By Marie Christensen

March 30, 2006 | Agriculture and journalism are on their way to becoming partners at Utah State University.

After two years of research and preparation, leaders in the departments of journalism & communication and agricultural systems technology and education (ASTE) hope to see agricultural journalism offered as a new major beginning in fall 2006.

"Basically it's a merging of a communications and journalism degree with an agriculture degree," ASTE Associate Professor Rudy Tarpley said. "So students will be able to compete in the journalism market and work in agriculture. It truly is a partnership."

The new major would require only one new class in the ASTE Department: Introduction to Agricultural Communication. Students would take all the same classes required for a journalism and communication degree with the addition of agriculture classes. In a nutshell, it's like having two degrees in one, Tarpley said.

"We believe we are putting agriculturally literate people in society," he said.

"I think it's absolutely going to explode."

Journalism department Head Mike Sweeney said this kind of degree makes a USU student much more marketable in journalism and agriculture professions because of the background it provides in agricultural communication.

"I'd say it's the combination of skills," he said. "You can't have one without the other to market yourselves toward these kinds of jobs."

Currently there are about a dozen students interested in participating in the agriculture communications program and the two departments expect there will be about 50 students enrolled in this major within five years, Tarpley said.

Sweeney hopes that eventually, if enough students become interested in this major, the university will be able to hire a new faculty member in the journalism department.

The proposal for the new major has been approved by the administration and the Board of Trustees and is being submitted to the Utah Board of Regents. A final decision will be made this summer during the regents' regular session.

"We've got our fingers crossed for this next fall," Tarpley said.

The two departments don't anticipate any additional costs due to the new major. Currently there are only a few colleges and universities throughout the nation that offer this degree including Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University and University of Florida, Tarpley said.

"There's no other ag/journalism program in the Intermountain West," Sweeney said.


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