Knox College has a long and close relationship with American journalism, particularly that strand of fearless investigation and public advocacy that we know as the "muckraking" tradition. The line of distinguished alumni journalists starts with Ellen Browning Scripps, Class of 1860, syndicated columnist and co-founder of several important American newspapers. It includes Samuel S. McClure, Class of 1882, founder with several other Knox alumni of McClure's Magazine and publisher of all the famous Muckrakers; and John Huston Finley, Class of 1887, longtime editor-in-chief of The New York Times. A fourth important Knox-related figure, Carl Sandburg, won two Pulitzer Prizes, for his biographical work on Abraham Lincoln and for his poetry.
The study of journalism at Knox draws inspiration and purpose from this tradition. Combining the strengths of a challenging liberal arts education with specialized courses, journalism at Knox involves students in investigating and reporting real-life issues of local and national importance. It provides a strong preparation for entry into the profession and for graduate study.
The minor in journalism allows students to engage the issues, skills and particular knowledge of the field of journalism, within the twin contexts of the College's liberal-arts curriculum and the problems and dynamics of the surrounding world. The program combines skills courses, where the emphasis is on different types of journalistic writing, graphic design and photography, and reflective courses examining the social and political role of the media. All courses build upon the foundation of liberal-arts knowledge that students bring from their other coursework and their major field.
Knox has special strengths that help prepare students interested in media careers. An emphasis on writing throughout the curriculum hones students' abilities in this crucial area. Similarly, there are many opportunities across the college to develop research skills.
Knox offers a number of campus resources for students interested in journalism, including co-curricular participation in a student newspaper, magazines and radio station.