News and Calendar of Events

Mentorship Program for Ad and PR Students: The department will match PR/Ad students with professional mentors. Make some connections and get an inside look into the professions. For more information, go to:


Career Development Workshops: The department will present five workshops in the fall 2020 semester and then again in the spring 2021 semester that are designed to help students, alumni and friends become successful professionals. For more information, go to:


taste logo

Taste Time:  TASTE (Take a Student to Eat) is a virtual event that pairs Fresno State's MCJ and Art/Design students with industry professionals for a mentoring and networking ZOOM event. Student participants will receive a candid look at the media, journalism and communication industries through the eyes of MCJ alumni. This bi-annual event is a student favorite as many of the connections made that day culminate in internships and jobs. The event will be Wednesday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on ZOOM. There is a $5 for students. To register, click here


MCJ Newsletter: Get the latest on what is going on in the department. Sign up here to receive MCJ's monthly email, The Scoop. 


2020 Commencement: Cheers to our MCJ grads! Congratulations to the class of 2020. Here is a video of your graduation messages. Watch click here for a special video message of congratulations from the deans of the College of Arts & Humanities and from MCJ faculty.

Read the latest MCJ news on the Arts and Humanities blog here.

Department Annual Events and Celebrations


CineCulture logo

CineCulture is a film series offered as a three-unit academic course in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture provides a service to the Fresno State campus students, faculty and staff, and community. Everyone is welcome to attend.

CineCulture is also a campus club. The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.


Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building).

All films screened on campus are free and open to the public.

Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Jan. 24: The Etruscan Smile (2019)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEL (Director)

The Etruscan Smile features Scottish actor Brian Cox renowned for his role as Logan Roy in HBO’s series Succession and as Lyndon Johnson in the recent Broadway show The Great Society. In this film, Cox plays the role of Rory MacNeil, a rugged old Scotsman who reluctantly leaves his beloved and isolated island in the Hebrides, an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. He travels to San Francisco to seek medical treatment and moves in with his estranged son. His life will be transformed, just when he expects it the least, through a newly found love for his baby grandson. In English and Scottish Gaelic with English subtitles. 107 minutes. Film trailer:

Jan. 31: The Cave (2019)

Discussant: Dr. Ahmad Tarakji (president of Syrian American Medical Society)

Feras Fayyad, the first Syrian director nominated for an Oscar for his documentary Last Men in Aleppo (2017), delivers an unflinching story of the Syrian war with his powerful new documentary The Cave. For besieged civilians, hope and safety lie underground inside the subterranean hospital known as the “Cave”, where pediatrician and managing physician Dr. Amani Ballour and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa have claimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists above. Following the women as they contend with daily bombardments, chronic shortages of supplies and the ever-present threat of chemical attacks, The Cave paints a stirring portrait of courage, resilience and female solidarity. The hospital featured in the film is sponsored by the Syrian American Medical Society. In Arabic and English with English subtitles.  107 minutes. Film Trailer:

Sponsor: Syrian American Medical Society

Sept. 13: A Duel Tale/Hatashiai (2015)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

A Duel Tale by Japanese director Sugita Shigemichi stars Nakadai Tatsuya, one of Japan's greatest living actor, who gives the performance of a lifetime as Shoji Sanosuke, an elderly samurai forced to pick up his sword to protect those he loves in this adaptation of a popular novel by Fujisawa Shuhei. As a "Heya-zumi" (essentially a freeloader living off his family) Sanosuke has one last chance to help his grandniece escape an arranged marriage with a cruel samurai. Nakadai proves that he "still has it," when fate forces him into a deadly duel. This award winning samurai drama from the pen of noted author Fujisawa Shuhei is a tribute to one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen! In Japanese with English subtitles. 94 minutes.

Feb. 7: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEL

Chinese-French author, screenwriter and filmmaker Dai Sijie directed this feature film based on his own semi-autobiographical novel set in the early 1970s during the later stages of China's Cultural Revolution. It tells the story of two young men, university students, who are sent to a remote mountain village in southwest China for three years of Communist re-education to purge them of their decadent Western education. Amid the back-breaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, they fall in love with a local beauty, the daughter of the most renowned tailor in the region. When they discover a hidden suitcase filled with banned books by western writers, they read these works to the little seamstress for hours on end in a secret meeting place. Thirsting for knowledge of the world beyond, she is mesmerized by the novels of nineteenth-century French writer Honoré de Balzac and eventually falls in love with the two young men who read this author’s stories to her. On her mystical journey, the Little Seamstress finds the courage to leave her village for broader horizons. In Chinese with English subtitles. 111 minutes.   

Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

Feb. 14:A Girl from Mogadishu (2019)

Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn

Written and directed by Northern Irish filmmaker Mary McGuckian, A Girl from Mogadishu is a feature film based on the true story and testimony of Ifrah Ahmed, a young Somali-Irish activist who emerged as one of the world’s foremost international activists against gender-based violence. Born into a refugee camp in Somalia, Ahmed (Aja Noami King) escapes her war-torn native country and is trafficked to Ireland as a teenager. Recounting her traumatic childhood experiences of female genital mutilation when applying for refugee status, she vows to devote her life to the eradication of this horrendous practice. Taking her campaign all the way to the president of Ireland and finally to the European Parliament and United Nations, A Girl from Mogadishu celebrates the power of testimony, for when women find the courage to stand up, speak out and tell their truth, the impact can be so inspiring and empowering that act as a meaningful catalyst for change.  Filmed in Belgium, Ireland and Morocco.  112 minutes.

Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

Feb. 21: Singing Our Way to Freedom (2019)

Discussant: Paul Esponosa (screenwriter and director)

How did a young Mexican-American kid from a small rural town in the middle of nowhere become a leading musician of the Chicano civil rights movement? How did he learn about the power of music and imagination to take us on a journey towards freedom? Singing Our Way to Freedom chronicles the life of Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez from his humble beginnings as a farmworker in Blythe, California, to the dramatic moment when he received one of his nation’s highest musical honors at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. As a young man in the 1960s, Chunky joined the picket lines in the California fields with Cesar Chavez, eventually becoming Chavez’s favorite musician. His gradual transformation from a marginalized farm kid to a charismatic social activist shows how one person can mobilize people to change the world.  In his songs and his life, Chunky offers an inspiring narrative, reminding us that the battle for freedom has to be fought anew by every generation. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 86 minutes. Film Trailer:

Sponsors: Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Humanities and Center for Creativity and the Arts

Feb. 28: To be confirmed

March 6: To be confirmed

March 13: Left on Pearl (2017)

Discussant: Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild (executive producer)

Left on Pearl is a documentary about a highly significant but little-known event in the history of the women's liberation movement, namely the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University-owned building by hundreds of Boston area women. The 10-day occupation of 888 Memorial Drive by local women demanding a women’s center and low income housing for the community in which the building stood, embodied within it many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts and tensions of Second Wave feminism. One of the few such takeovers by women for women, this action was transformative for the participants and led directly to the establishment of the longest continuously operating women's center in the U.S. 55 minutes. Film website: Film trailer:

Sponsors: College of Social Sciences, Center for Creativity and the Arts

March 20: The Condor and the Eagle (2019) (in honor of World Water Day on March 22)

Discussant: To be announced

Four Indigenous environmental leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of “Climate Justice.” The Condor and the Eagle offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the film’s four protagonists learn from each other’s long legacies of resistance to colonialism and its exploitive economy. Their path through the jungle takes them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another. 82 minutes. Film Trailer on Film’s Facebook website:

Sponsor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

March 27: Anbessa (2019)

Discussant: Mo Scarpelli (director)

Through a coming-of-age story, Anbessa tells the story of one boy taking on modernization on his own terms, revealing a unique and magical perspective on the myth of “progress” that entraps us all. Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have been displaced from their farmland on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the construction of a condominium. As they watch the buildings take shape, they are reminded in big and small ways that their country’s dream of “progress” is not for them. To fight back against those casting him out and those threatening his mother’s safety, Asalif taps into a fantasy of becoming “Anbessa” i.e. a “lion” in the Ethiopian language of Amharic. Asalif uses his imagination to battle forces beyond his control. His newfound power and fantasy take him to places he never imagined inside and out of the condo until he  must find the strength that resides in him as a boy, and shed the lion persona, in order to deal with the tides of change and violence that are usurping a community, a country, and his own identity. In Amharic with English subtitles. 85 minutes. Film Trailer:

Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

April 3: Grab and Run (2017)

Discussant: Roser Corella (director)

Since Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia, gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of “Ala-Kachuu,” which translates roughly as “grab and run.” More than half Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escaped after violent ordeals but most are persuaded to stay by tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, the tradition remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan. “Ala-Kachuu” was outlawed during the Soviet era and remains illegal under the current Kyrgyz criminal code, but the law has rarely been enforced to protect women from this violent practice. In Kazakh with English subtitles. 85 minutes. Film Trailer:

April 17: What Will Become of Us (2019)

Discussant: Stephanie Ayanian (director)

100 years ago, Armenians were nearly annihilated by the Genocide orchestrated by the Ottoman Turks. Today, often unrecognized, it remains defining – but the long shadow of the Genocide creates a burden for young Armenian Americans that discourages them from embracing their culture. What Will Become of Us follows six Armenian Americans, – some famous, some not – as they navigate the 100th anniversary of the Genocide, forging identities for the next 100 years. How can Armenian Americans honor their past, while unshackling themselves from this haunting trauma that seem compromise their future and their Armenian values, customs and traditions? 60 minutes.

NOTE: Join Producer/Director Stephanie Ayanian for a special screening featuring a live musical performance by two of the stars of the documentary, Richard and Andrew Hagopian. 

Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program, Center for Creativity and the Arts

 CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State campus students, faculty, and staff, and community. CineCulture is also offered as a 3 unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture fulfills General Education Integration Area Multicultural International (MI). For students entering Fresno State Fall 2018, the course satisfies a university graduation requirement.

CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.
Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us in advance to your participation.

For further information about CineCulture:
CineCulture Club invites invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and check the club website for film updates.
Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at

CAH Convocation

Media, Communications and Journalism faculty annually celebrates with MCJ graduates at the College of Arts and Humanities Convocation.

Gruner Journalism Awards Banquet

GrunerAwardPhotoThe George F. Gruner Awards for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism annually recognize outstanding community service in newspaper journalism in the central San Joaquin Valley. The awards, which honor Mr. Gruner, a former executive editor of The Fresno Bee, rank among the top journalism honors in the state.

The McClatchy Company established the Gruner awards in 1989. The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism administers the competition and co-hosts the awards banquet with The Fresno Bee, which provides a grant to make the awards possible. 

The MCJ department coordinates the awards, including the call for submissions and the judging.

About Mr. Gruner

George F. Gruner retired in April 1988 after a career in journalism covering 46 years, including 33 years on the news staff of The Fresno Bee. Before joining The Bee, he worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and two years as a copy editor on the civilian staff of the European Edition of The Stars and Stripes, the armed services newspaper published in Germany.

After a year on the copy desk at The Fresno Bee, Gruner was named assistant city editor in 1956 and city editor in 1961. He served as assistant managing editor in 1970, became managing editor in 1971 and executive editor in 1981.

Gruner was a figure in a Freedom of the Press issue in 1976 when, as a member of the “Fresno Four,” he was jailed for contempt of court for refusing a judge's order to reveal a confidential source of information used in The Fresno Bee's news stories concerning a city official. He and three other members of The Bee's staff refused to reveal the source and spent 15 days in custody before being released. The “Fresno Four” received wide support from journalists and many other individuals and organizations throughout the United States for upholding the right to maintain confidential sources.

Since his retirement, Gruner has written two books, a history of the battleship USS California and another on the coastal passenger liners Yale and Harvard.

Hall of Fame Induction

The 2019 MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame took place Nov. 14, 2019.

Visit the Alumni Link to view our MCJ Hall of Fame Inductees and look at photos from the ceremony.  


The department hosted its MCJ Day on Oct. 4, 2019.

MCJ Day is designed to make high school students more aware of the department's five options. Guest speakers and panelists discussed the options and professional development.   

Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposium

Periodically the MCJ Department will host Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposia. These events bring in top-notch national and international journalists to share with the campus and broader community about important issues of the day. The Roger Tatarian Journalism Chair coordinates the symposia. 

War Veterans Oral History Project

Former MCJ professor Dr. Gary Rice started the War Veterans’ Oral History Project in 2009-2010. The project gave veterans an opportunity to preserve their stories in their own words while students learn history from the people who made it.

In the fall 2010 semester, students conducted more than 80 interviews. This was the second semester for the project. The new interviews were added to the first group, already cataloged and available to scholars, researchers and the public in the library's Special Collections Research Center.

Interviews with more than 50 veterans of conflicts from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan were presented on Dec. 9, 2010, to the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno as part of the Central California War Veterans’ Oral History Project.

The veterans and the 28 mass communication and journalism students of Dr. Gary Rice's class who interviewed them were honored at a reception in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room of the library.

At the ceremony, Charlie Waters, state judge advocate of the American Legion, praised the project for bringing together veterans and students.


The oral histories — transcripts and audio recordings that meet accepted historical standards and guidelines — will be kept permanently in a special collection at the library.

Veterans include survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Battle of the Bulge and a bomber crew member, who was one of the first Americans to fly against a German-built jet during World War II. Other interviews are with former prisoners of war; participants in Korean War events like the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge and the POW riots at Koje-do; a Vietnam War bugler and soldiers involved in fierce fighting during the Tet Offensive; and several recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Scholarship Reception

The 2019 scholarship recipients were honored during the MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame event on Nov. 14, 2019.

For more information about the reception or scholarships, contact Prof. Faith Sidlow, MCJ Scholarship Chair, at