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Journalism

Journalism | Courses | Faculty


108 Bartlett Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Karen List
Office: 108 Bartlett
Phone: (413) 545-1376

Director of Major: Professor Karen List. Professors Blais, Sims, Whitehead; Associate Professor McBride; Lecturers Fox, McDermott, Perkins, Roche; Adjunct Lecturers Abel, Allen, Berman, Brodeur, Carey, Cohen, Forcier, Griffin, Katzenbach, Madsen, Muller, Neal, Newton, Parnass, Vandal.

The Field

The field of journalism is changing rapidly. The emphasis on traditional, ethical journalism remains, but the ways in which journalism is gathered and transmitted have been transformed. Reporters who once wrote for a newspaper are likely now to find themselves also writing for the paper’s website, taking digital photos to accompany articles, and recording podcasts (audio) and vodcasts (video). Multimedia reporting is the reality not only for newspapers, but also in television, radio, photography, public relations, and online jobs. As equipment becomes cheaper and more portable, freelancing work for a variety of media has also become easier. “Backpack reporting” allows one person to report, write, take pictures and record audio and video on assignments, both domestically and abroad, and transmit them to media outlets instantaneously. Journalism also continues to be a solid foundation for many going into teaching, the law, government and other fields where communication and critical thinking skills are paramount.

The Major

The Journalism major has a distinguished, award-winning faculty including winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Freedom Forum Journalism Teacher of the Year Award. It draws a diverse group of students who graduate to jobs in newspapers, magazines, television, on-line journalism, and other fields requiring skills in reporting and writing. The major emphasizes both the theory and practice of journalism. Students receive a thorough grounding in the ethics and traditions of journalism as well as the nuts and bolts of reporting and writing. Although graduates of the program end up in a variety of fields including law, government, public relations, and teaching, the major is geared for students who want to work in journalism: daily or weekly newspapers, magazines, online publications, and broadcast media. Alumni work at the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Dateline NBC, The Associated Press, and dozens of top media outlets around the world.

Requirements

1. JOURNAL 300 Newswriting and Reporting (4 cr), plus at least one advanced writing course offered by the program.
2. Any two of the following five courses: JOURNAL 312 Journalism and Law; JOURNAL 320 History of American Journalism; JOURNAL 345 Media Criticism; JOURNAL 360 Ethics; and JOURNAL 450 Freedom of the Press.
3. At least four additional elective courses from the department, numbered 200 and above, for a total of at least 26 credits in Journalism courses, but no more than 36. Neither Pass/Fail credits nor internship credits may be counted toward these requirements. No more than three credits of independent study may be applied to the major.
4. A formal minor from outside the Department of Communication, or, when no formal minor exists, 15 credits in courses numbered 200 or above in an individual concentration, with the writtten approval of the director.
Students are encouraged to consider studying at a university outside the United States whenever possible, or completing an internship. International study and mastery of a language other than English enrich the academic experience, and internships enhance career opportunties in journalism and related fields.

Admission to the Major

Admission to the Journalism major is restricted. Students may be admitted directly into the major as first-year students when they apply for admission to the university. Transfer students may be admitted directly to the major during orientation or may be asked to complete more coursework at the university before admission. For students already on campus, the major is restricted, and they must apply. Students from any major are welcome to apply during the first or second semester of their sophomore year. Applicants must be a 3.000 GPA and provide a written statement of purpose. There are no prerequisite courses. Applications are available from the Journalism office or online at www.umass.edu/journal/UMAJournalism/major/requirements/index.html.

Career Opportunities

Journalism majors acquire qualifications for positions in which reporting, research, writing, and editing are central. These may include work for newspapers and other news organizations, book publishing, public relations, and government agencies. The major is also recognized as strong liberal arts preparation for graduate study in such fields as journalism, mass communication, history, advertising and public relations, or law.

Journalism | Courses | Faculty