Political and Public Affairs Reporting

Why Political and Public Affairs Reporting?

The certificate program in Political and Public Affairs Reporting provides undergraduate students with a specialty interest in these coverage areas fundamental knowledge and skills for entry into the profession as a political reporter (including as an MMJ) and/or news producer.

Completing an Undergraduate Certificate in Political and Public Affairs Reporting provides students the conceptual knowledge and professional skills for entry into the news industry as a reporter (including MMJ) or producer. Through coursework and practical experience(s), students will be able to do the following:

  • Utilize political and historical knowledge to make judgments about news worthiness on political and related topics.
  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the history and function of news media in American society.
  • Understand U.S. media law and its impact on the broadcast industry and journalistic practice, including freedom of expression, defamation, privacy, and intellectual property.
  • Demonstrate fundamental skills in news writing, reporting and production. This will include video recording and editing several news packages and features using digital video cameras, and digital nonlinear editing equipment for distribution through digital outlets for a specified audience.
  • Understand and perform each of production and talent roles required to produce a television newscast, focusing on the role of teamwork

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Required: ALL of the following (12 hours)

JOUR 2010: Reporting & Writing (3) 

POL 2023 (JOUR 3035): Political Reporting/Media and Politics in the United States (3) OR JOUR   

                   4010: Public Affairs Reporting (3)

JOUR 3010: Advanced Reporting Topic—Race and Reporting (3)

JOUR 4020: Multimedia Fundamentals (3)


Plus TWO from the following (6 hours):

POL 2010:  Public Opinion and American Politics (3) 

POL 2011:  Elections in America (3)

POL 2012:  Political Parties in America (3) 

POL 2013:  Democratic Citizenship (3)

POL 2016:  State and Local Government (3)

POL 2019:  The American Presidency (3)  

POL 2020:  The American Congress (3)

POL 2021:  American Courts (3)

POL 2022:  American Courts and Judicial Process (3)

POL 2037:  Conflict in Cyberspace (3)

POL 2045:  American Political Thought (3)

POL 2063:  Politics of China (3)

POL 2065:  Politics of Latin America (3)

POL 2071:  Politics of the Middle East (3)

POL 2074:  Politics of Russia (3)

POL 2077:  Politics of Europe (3)

POL 2088:  America and the World (3) 

POL 2082:  US Foreign Policy (3) 

POL 2088:  International Law and Organization (3)

POL 2082:  US Foreign Policy (3) 

POL 2089:  International Human Rights (3) 

POL 3016:  Polls, Elections, and American Politics (3)

POL 3022:  Constitutional Law: Rights and Liberties (3) 

POL 4044:  Feminist Methods and Methodologies (3)   


Plus ONE from the following (3 hours):

JOUR 1030: Principles of American Journalism (3) 

JOUR 2020: Media Law and Ethics (3)

JOUR 2040: Editing (3)

JOUR 3010: Advanced Reporting: Topic (3)

JOUR 3040: Environmental Reporting (3)

JOUR 3060: Business and Economic Reporting (3) 

JOUR 3070: Photojournalism (3)

JOUR 4080: Practicum (1-3)

JOUR 5050: Internship (1-3)

JOUR 5010: Independent Study (3-4) 

JOUR 5060: International Field Study in Journalism (3) 

Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that they are aware that you are pursuing the certificate and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your certificate.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

Contact Information

Headshot of Brian Robert Calfano

Brian Robert Calfano

Interim Head, Department of Journalism , A&S School of Public and International A



Brian Calfano (Ph.D., N. Texas) is Professor of Political Science and Journalism, and the Interim Head of Journalism. He coordinates UC's Political and Public Affairs Reporting Certificate

Books: God Talk: Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion (Temple U. Press), Assessing MENA Political Reform, Post Arab Spring (Lexington), A Matter of Discretion: The Political Behavior of Catholic Priests in the U.S. and Ireland (Rowman and Littlefield), Muslims, Identity, and American Politics (Routledge), Understanding Muslim Political Life in America (Temple U. Press) Human Relations Commissions (Columbia U. Press), Exploring the Public Effects of Religious Communication on Politics (U. of Michigan Press), and The American Professor Pundit (Palgrave). Dr. Calfano has 55 peer-reviewed articles in journals across political science, urban politics, journalism, sociology, and criminology. 

His academic work has appeared in The Washington Post/Monkey Cage, Nieman Lab (Harvard), Newsweek, and the London School of Economics Blog (among others). Research grantors include the National Science Foundation, American Political Science Association, Scripps Howard Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Dr. Calfano is co-coordinator of the APSA Religion and Politics Section mentoring program and is an affiliate of The Cincinnati Project.

A working TV reporter, Calfano is repped by CBK Media Management. His stories have appeared on Spectrum News 1 Ohio, WKRC Cincinnati (Local12), Fox 2 St. Louis, Fox 4 Kansas City, Ozarks Fox, KOLR, KNWA, and KLBK, among others. His work received awards from the Broadcast Educator Asso., Missouri Broadcasters Asso., Ohio AP Managers and Editors, and Society of Professional Journalists.
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