About the Department

The Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism is home to 23 professors and instructors, in addition to adjunct instructors who teach some specialty courses.

All journalism instructors teach from their substantial experience in the profession. One news/editorial faculty member spent years on major national newspapers and was a White House correspondent.  Another worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press, covering the U.S. Supreme Court.

Three broadcast faculty members have won Emmys for their documentary films.

Another broadcast faculty member manages the National Public Radio station for Northwest Arkansas.

An advertising/public relations faculty member conducts research on international advertising issues in Ghana, and another investigates how advertisers market fast food to children. The media law instructor is a lawyer who organizes annual media law workshops.

Department Statistics

Journalism BA Student Retention Rates

        1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year
  Student Count ACT HS GPA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA
Fall cohort year* N Avg. Avg. % % % % % %
2008 58 25.0 3.56 65.5 82.8 55.2 74.1 53.4 72.4
2009 69 24.3 3.43 58.0 81.2 52.2 76.8 43.5 73.9
2010 87 25.0 3.51 62.1 87.4 48.3 79.3 47.1 74.7
2011 106 25.5 3.53 62.3 83.0 45.3 76.4 42.5 71.7
2012 105 25.1 3.59 59.0 86.7 42.9 80.8 38.1 75.2
2013 82 25.1 3.56  63.4 84.1 57.3 78.0  54.9  74.4
2014 88 25.3 3.57 65.9 87.5 55.7 77.3    
2015 108 25.6 3.61 60.7 82.2        
2016 104 25.1 3.63            
*Fall cohorts are composed of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in journalism enrolled on the 11th class day of the fall semester.

Journalism BA Student Graduation Rates

        4th Year 5th Year 6th Year
  Student Count ACT HS GPA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA
Fall cohort year* N Avg. Avg. % % % % % %
2004 65 25.1 3.60 30.8 40.0 38.5 52.3 40.0 55.4
2005 84 25.1 3.64 26.2 47.6 29.8 64.3 33.3 69.0
2006 65 25.6 3.63 38.5 52.3 44.6 64.6 44.6 66.2
2007 76 24.5 3.50 25.0 39.5 35.5 53.9 36.8 61.8
2008 58 25.0 3.56 37.9 48.3  46.6 67.2 48.3 69.0
2009 69 24.3 3.43 27.5 39.1  34.8  55.1 37.7 60.9
2010 87 25.0 3.51 33.3 51.7 43.7  66.7  44.8 69.0
2011 106 25.5 3.53 34.9 53.8  38.7 66.0     
2012 105 25.1 3.59 35.2 57.1        
*Fall cohorts are composed of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in journalism enrolled on the 11th class day of the fall semester.

Student Enrollments

Fall Enrollment Year Journalism, BA Journalism, MA
2002 399 15
2003 450 17
2004 505 22
2005 544 28
2006 526 27
2007 535 23
2008 487 20
2009 529 17
2010 574 16
2011 648 19
2012 692 15
2013 722 18
2014 682 19
2015 629 17
2016 594 18

Journalism Department Scholarships

2011 $70,000
2012 $75,000
2013 $63,000
*Awarded to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors based on academics and need.

Facilities:

  • 3 multimedia computer labs for teaching skills classes
  •  Three-camera television studio and control room
  • Ten video editing suites
  • 30 high-definition video camcorder packages

Scholarships

The Walter J. Lemke Journalism Department has the most outstanding scholarship support of all departments and programs in Fulbright College. About $60,000 to $70,000 a year is awarded to journalism majors who meet requirements of the various departmental scholarships. Students must be journalism majors to apply for these scholarships. There are no scholarships designated for entering freshmen. The application process is usually in January and February for the following semester.

Scholarships are supported from several sources. Some come from endowed accounts established decades ago by admirers of Dr. Walter J. Lemke, for whom the department is named. Others have been established more recently by professional groups and through funds that honor an individual by encouraging special studies in journalism. Professional groups that provide scholarship support include the following:

  • Arkansas Broadcasters Association
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Northwest Arkansas Advertising Federation
  • Memphis Gridiron

Two recently established special scholarships include:

  1. The Elizabeth Messner Scholarship, which provides about $13,000 for one year to a student who excels in writing.

  2. The Tony Dyke Scholarship in Sports Journalism, which provides about $16,000 for one year to a student who is passionate about sports reporting, whether in print or broadcast.  Applications are made available to students through the Department of Journalism office in Kimpel 116. The application deadline is generally in late February. Award decisions are made by the journalism faculty according to guidelines specified by the scholarship.

Student Media

Participation in Student Media is open to any student at the University; it is not restricted to journalism majors. Students can join at any time, from their first day on campus, to get as much experience as they want.  An important point about UA Student Media is that they are managed by students.  Student staff members make all editorial decisions and oversee production. They are free to consult with faculty members but bear all responsibility for the content and quality of their products

The Arkansas Traveler is the student-run newspaper at the University of Arkansas. It publishes three days a week and includes sections on news, opinion, sports and lifestyle. A salaried editorial staff manages the paper. Beginning staff members start out as writers and are paid by the story.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Gerald Jordan, gjorda@uark.edu)

UATV is the student-run television station of the University of Arkansas. It is on air 24 hours a day, with student-produced programming running five to six hours a day. Leadership is provided by a station manager and UATV staff. Students interested in broadcast television can begin by volunteering for production positions and practice the skills they are learning in their journalism classes.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Robyn Ledbetter, rledbet@uark.edu, or Professor Larry Foley, lfoley@uark.edu)

The Razorback Yearbook is managed by a student staff directed by the yearbook editor. The book is published once a year. The staff works to design and write the content, meeting regular deadlines with the publisher over the course of several months.

(To learn more: Contact Steve Wilkes, swilkes@uark.edu)

KXUA is 24-hour-a-day student radio at the University. The student staff plans the programming schedule, which includes more alternative music than local Top 40 radio, as well as news and live broadcasts of some student sports.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Rick Stockdell, stockde@uark.edu)

The Hill Magazine is an annual publication of literary, in-depth journalism in the model of The New Yorker and similar "smart" magazines. 

To learn more: contact Professor Bret Schulte (bjschult@uark.edu).

Programs of Study

The Lemke Department of Journalism offers three programs of study:

  1. News/Editorial: traditionally an emphasis in writing for newspapers,magazines, and websites.

  2. Broadcast: preparation for careers in radio and television, with an emphasis on news

  3. Advertising/Public Relations: focus on strategic planning and production of promotional messages using traditional and new media

Within these programs, students are trained in: 

  • identifying, reporting and writing news
  • analyzing media audiences and their interests
  • creating and planning advertising and public relations campaigns
  • producing television programs
  • taking photographs and publishing online

Special Interdisciplinary Options:

There are also two special combined major programs through which students can take a selection of courses from two areas for more specialized career paths:

  1. Journalism/English Combined Major- Students take selected courses in journalism and English. Journalism courses can be from News/Editorial or Broadcast.

  2. Journalism/Political Science Combined Major- Students emphasize either American or international areas in political science, and combine those courses with journalism studies in News/Editorial, Broadcast or Advertising/Public Relations.

Students interested in design of ads, magazines and Web sites can major in either Advertising/Public Relations or in News/Editorial and take five to six courses in the Art Department to further develop their skills.