This is one of the most uninformed and frankly, ridiculous, Hatchet editorials I've read.
Political Communication is a strong, nationally recognized program with a hybrid curriculum emphasizing politics, political behavior, writing, media studies and research. The SMPA faculty and resources provide Political Communication students with the practical skills to enter various areas of media, politics, and yes, even journalism. It's a major that is heavily based in practice, not theory. Theory is Political Science's territory. Just because the two majors have the word "political" in them, doesn't mean they teach the same topics. They certainly don't belong in the same department.
And if the JMC program isn't currently "leading the pack" in churning out the finest reporters, as the Hatchet claims, it certainly isn't the fault of the Political Communication department. In fact, the two programs benefit from each other. The School of Media and Public Affairs -- an accurate name for a school that was founded to educate on the intersection of media and politics, not journalism -- houses both majors for a reason. As a Political Communication senior stated in a letter to Hatchet:
What would journalism in Washington be without politics? That's right, nothing. Washington is first and foremost a political Mecca giving journalists a breadth and depth of content on which to write.
If SMPA is indeed simply "divided into two camps: former and current journalists teaching straight journalism and others who are more supportive of the school's political communications program" as the editorial suggests, it has been unbeknown to us for the past four years. Rather, we see SMPA as a power house educating students via a hands-on approach about political communication and journalistic practices in synergy.
Both Political Communication and JMC are in SMPA for these obvious reasons -- not just because of the "impressive building." The Hatchet should consider its editorial topics more thoroughly in the future.