Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism
SAIC's interdisciplinary ethos creates an ideal environment for the New Arts Journalism student to engage directly with artists, designers, and writers in order to develop an instinct for seeing the broader issues that underpin events in the world of contemporary art.
The Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism (MANAJ) at SAIC is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and experiences to write about the arts for diverse audiences. Located in a vibrant school of contemporary art and design, the MANAJ program provides full engagement with the theory and practice of journalism as well as the opportunity to work closely with artists, art historians, cultural theorists, and art critics connected to a major American museum.
Unlike other graduate programs that add an arts emphasis to a journalism degree, SAIC is a thriving site for students to combine in-depth knowledge of the arts along with the study of the rubrics of journalism. The program helps aspiring journalists to refine their writing of reviews, essays, interviews, and feature stories, and examine the contexts of investigative reporting, the opinion piece, the documentary, and the critical essay in the context of art. Every student participates in at least one internship, which offers a valuable, hands-on experience working at a Chicago media venue. The concluding thesis may comprise a publication or zine, investigative journalism, an extended narrative, or original research.
The MANAJ reinterprets and transforms the largely textual skills of a traditional journalist into the multitasking demands of contemporary arts journalism, where text and image are intertwined and where journalists are often the initial designers and editors of their features. Courses teach students how to design and maintain a website and blog, the theory behind how the web interfaces with communication, and how print, photography, and video design principles impact journalism today.
Students engage multiple structures of critical essays, reviews, interviews, think pieces, editorials, documentaries, and beat reporting, and their writing is repeatedly assessed in peer-group analyses.
In the second and third semesters, students begin to take electives that address their areas of interest and may include criticism and theory, studio work, liberal arts seminars, or study trips. The final semester is dedicated to thesis work.
Professional Opportunities After Graduation
MANAJ graduates have applied their education in a variety of ways. There are alumni working at VH1 in New York; in public relations in Chicago; running the social media program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; managing internal publications at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; editing their own zine in Los Angeles; working at Contratiempo Publications and Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago; stringing for newspapers in Ohio and Kentucky; and working in marketing at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Others are freelancing for a wide range of publications and media outlets such as Gapers Block and ArtSlant.