Why Mercer's CCJ

At the Center, students are part of a laboratory of critical thinking, writing, software engineering, entrepreneurship and community engagement. Hone your craft at the Center for Collaborative Journalism and enjoy these benefits:

  • A unique, nationally recognized program focused on real-world experience

CCJ is quickly gaining national recognition for its innovative program to train journalists for the digital age in a "teaching hospital" model. Just as medical students train in teaching hospitals with live patients in real situations, you will learn in a real-life multimedia newsroom working with professional journalists. Employers know that our students have experience meeting the daily demands of both for-profit and non-profit multiplatform news organizations, and you will have the portfolio to prove it.

The Center also houses the nation's only newsroom hosting a daily newspaper (The Telegraph), a public broadcaster (Georgia Public Broadcasting) and a university (Mercer). Following the lead of WLRN and The Miami Herald (but adding the educational component), we aim to demonstrate the benefits of these diverse organizations working together to meet the news and information needs of the community.

  • A focus on Innovative solutions for the digital age

CCJ is staffed with digital innovators—journalists in residence, freshly out of the field— alongside seasoned educators. While many core journalistic skills and values remain the same—writing, research and verification are just as valuable today, if not more so—the modern day journalist needs new skills and new ways of thinking. As a CCJ student, you will not only know how to write, shoot and edit, you will also learn HTML and JavaScript, along with languages like Ruby or Python. You will use the latest social and mobile tools to connect with audiences and involve them in your work. Supplement your core courses with courses and projects in data journalism and media entrepreneurship.

  • Small class sizes with numerous opportunities

The Center has a cap of approximately 100 students to allow you to have maximum interaction with faculty, staff and professional journalists. "Individual attention" is not just a nice attribute of the program, it's a requirement for the "teaching hospital" model to work. This also means we have more opportunities for real-world work than we have students. You won't have to fight with hundreds or thousands of other students to get a chance to see your name in print or hear it on the air. Those chances will be numerous.

  • A mission to transform communities

Local journalism is the most embattled, but it is crucial to community attachment and a functioning democracy. Our mission is to not only transform journalism education but also to transform our own community and empower you to transform whatever community you come to call home. Working with our partners, you will work on stories that actually matter to local residents. You will study what makes communities thrive and what promotes blight. Local leaders, experts and citizens will teach you about the history and dynamics of Macon and Central Georgia. And you will get outside of the typical "university bubble" to connect directly with your audience.

  • An integrated liberal arts foundation

Mercer is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top universities for quality and value, and you will benefit from the diverse options available. At the Center, we go beyond merely requiring you to have a second major or a minor in another field. We offer you the opportunity to practice journalism in your interest areas, and then require a senior course where you apply what you've learned about journalism to your other field. You will study the best published works in your specialty and then produce a portfolio focused on those topics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to wait until I'm a junior to enroll?

Absolutely not. Currently, the Center does not require a separate application, and we encourage students to take advantage of the program as early as possible. If you're a freshman and want to try your hand at journalism, enroll in Journalism and Media Bootcamp and Journalistic Insight into the Community in your fall semester. 

Do I have to be a journalism major to take advantage of the Center?

No. Regardless of your major, we want talented and creative individuals with a passion for making a difference in the community. The "Game Changers" series, as one example, began as a project for Women and Gender Studies students that became a monthly feature.

Will I get experience at other media companies?

While the bulk of your experience will be with The Telegraph and GPB, we want students to get exposure to a variety of newsrooms and organizations. The Center has built relationships with media organizations around the U.S. and beyond and will help you plan a series of internships to best build on your skills and further your career.

Do you have a graduate program?

The Journalism and Media Studies Department only offers undergraduate degrees. Graduate students elsewhere at Mercer that want to work with the Center are encouraged to contact us for opportunities.