Purpose or Scope of Collection
A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic needs
The journalism collection supports instruction, research and information needs relating to news-gathering and production and its impact on society by undergraduates, graduates and faculty in the School of Journalism. The School offers a B.A. and M.A. in Journalism, and a PhD. in Media and Information Studies in conjunction with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Undergraduates may select a specialization in Public Relations, or select a Journalism major or minor for teacher certification. Special programs within the School of Journalism include the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism which conducts research and training in the area of environmental and science journalism, and the Victims and the Media Program, which focuses on media portrayal and treatment of victims of violence. The collection aims to support these programs.
The School of Journalism is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
(ACEJMC)and undertakes a self-study followed by a site visit every six
years. In the last two cycles, self-studies have included a section on
library resources supporting the program. This section has
traditionally been prepared by the Journalism selector.
Since news about our world is of great interest and importance to nearly every field of study in the University, the journalism collection is used by students and researchers from many other programs. This is especially true of programs in the social sciences – specifically Economics, Sociology and Political Science. International media and press issues are of particular interest to International Studies faculty and students. Studies of the press’ influence on our society are becoming more commonplace. Programs in communication, telecommunication and advertising rely on the journalism collection in the areas of overlap with those programs. Material relating to photo-journalism is of interest to photography generally, which is treated as a fine art and kept in the Art Library. Graphic design and typography are also of interest to others outside of journalism most notably Art. Material is selected by the art librarian and others and is kept in both the Art Library and the ‘Z’ classification of the Main Library. MSU houses a Journalism/Law Institute and the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association that involve the law and education collections respectively. Issues of censorship overlap into many areas including library science, psychology and political science. The journalism collection selects materials on censorship as it relates to the press and the mass media.
Finally, basic writing courses, such as those offered through the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, often encompass journalistic topics and material.
B. History of the Collection/Existing strengths and weaknesses
The journalism collection has grown steadily but the bulk of the collection has been added since 1960. There was an early attempt to create a strong collection of British press history during the 1960’s and 1970’s, which was somewhat successful. Since the History of Journalism courses at MSU focus primarily on the U.S. press, historical strengths reside within that region. However the history of journalism is currently not a major area of teaching or research emphasis within the School of Journalism. As journalists are writers by profession, the collection contains many autobiographical works, memoirs, and personal accounts that can be considered primary sources for historical accounts of news organizations and history in general. The emphasis has been on print journalism, but broadcast and online journalism are of equal or greater importance since 2005.
Materials are selected that cover journalism around the world. Almost
all English-language studies of other countries’ press operations were
purchased in the past, but post-2005 budget constraints limit
acquisitions in this area. Histories of individual news organizations
are rarely collected except for the most renowned newspapers, networks
and news agencies. Works in vernacular languages are generally the
purview of the Area Studies librarians, though some are purchased by
the Journalism selector. The Libraries’ collection of Latin American
stronger than other geographic regions due principally to an emeritus faculty member who was among the top scholars in this area. A current faculty member still works in this area.
The collections of photojournalism and publication layout and design are not nearly as strong as the reporting, news writing, and broadcast journalism collections. Magazine or periodical publishing is an area of growing strength. Histories, criticisms, and biographies related to major U.S. periodicals are purchased. Histories and criticisms of literary journals are purchased after consultation with the literature bibliographer. Likewise works focusing on the mass media generally, the communications process, and the use of language in communication, while very relevant to journalism are purchased with consultation from the literature and communication bibliographers. Public relations is often considered part of journalism programs. At MSU, the program is housed within the department of advertising, with a separate bibliographer and fund. Photojournalism is purchased by the journalism bibliographer, but is housed in the Art Library with other parts of the photography collection. This requires consultation with the Art librarian.