Information for Employers

JOURNALISM AT MARYLAND is a liberal arts and professional education. Media professionals and alumni encourage us to continue delivering a broad liberal arts education along with strong writing skills and cutting-edge technology training for all our students. Three quarters of our undergraduate students’ education is devoted to a broad spectrum of liberal arts courses. One quarter is devoted to journalism and multi-media courses. Students are encouraged to seek out as many internships as possible during their undergraduate experience, either as volunteers, for academic credit, as part-time paid employees or a combination. Within our curriculum, students may apply a maximum of three journalism internship credits toward their degrees.

To submit a job or internship opening, send a detailed description of the job to Chris Harvey, director of internships and career development, charvey@jmail.umd.edu.

To register for Merrill's career fair on Oct. 17, 2011, please visit the registration page.

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SUPERVISED INTERNSHIPS FOR CREDIT:

 

JOUR 199 Survey Apprenticeship – (1 credit, repeatable)
This internship opportunity primarily exists for media outlets that require students to be registered for academic credit. Students can take this class at any time during their academic curriculum. There are no prerequisites. JOUR 199 does not count towards a student’s degree.

JOUR 399 Supervised Internship – (1 credit, repeatable for up to three credits.)
This is a required course for all Merrill College undergraduates. After students have successfully completed their prerequisite news writing, news editing and reporting classes, they can register for JOUR 399. Interns are expected to spend a minimum of 135 hours over a minimum of 10 weeks working in a newsroom, under the supervision of a mentor or supervisor. Freelance opportunities, while encouraged, cannot count for JOUR 399 credit. Since students have developed entry-level writing, editing and production skills, as interns they are expected to be provided tasks that help them exercise and hone those skills through supervision of a full-time media professional.

 


THE COLLEGE’S BASIC SKILLS CURRICULUM:

JOUR 100 Professional Orientation (1) Formerly JOUR 101. A survey of journalism professions, emphasizing appropriate academic and career development strategies.

JOUR 200 History, Roles and Structures (2) Pre- or corequisite: JOUR 100. Introduction to the critical study of journalism from the standpoint of media history and sociology.

JOUR 201 News Writing and Reporting I (3) Pre- or corequisite: JOUR 200. Prerequisites: 30-words-per-minute word-processing ability, and grammar competency demonstrated by a score of 52 or higher on the TSWE. Introduction to news for the print and electronic media, development of news concepts; laboratory in news-gathering tools and writing skills.

JOUR 300 Journalism Ethics (3) Examination of ethical problems in news writing and reporting.

JOUR 350 Graphics (3) formerly JOUR 373 Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in JOUR 202. Introduction to visual components of news content and design type and typography, printing processes, illustration.

JOUR 400 Law of Public Communication (3) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Legal rights and constraints of mass media; libel, privacy, copyright, monopoly, and contempt, and other aspects of the law applied to mass communication. Previous study of the law not required.

 


SELECTED PREREQUISITE AND ELECTIVE COURSES
FOR JOUR 399 INTERNSHIPS:

JOUR 202 News Editing (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in JOUR 201. Copy editing, graphic principles and processes, new media technology.

JOUR 262 News Editing for Broadcast News (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in JOUR 201. Principles and processes of broadcast news editing.

JOUR 320 News Writing and Reporting II: Print (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in JOUR 201, JOUR 203. Principles and practices of news reporting; covering news beats and other news sources, including researching a news story for accuracy, comprehensiveness and interpretation.

JOUR 352 Online Journalism (3) Prerequisite: JOUR 202 and JOUR 320 or JOUR 360. Reporting and writing online, using Web attributes of interactivity, individualization, immediacy, and multi-media applications.

JOUR 360 News Writing and Reporting II: Broadcast (3) Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in JOUR 201, JOUR 203. Writing and reporting for broadcast media; production of news stories.

JOUR 361 Television Reporting and Production (3) Prerequisite: JOUR 360. Writing and editing for the broadcast media. Interpretive and documentary news stories.

JOUR 371 Feature Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR 320 or JOUR 360. Research and writing feature articles.

 


SUGGESTIONS FROM PAST TO FUTURE INTERNSHIP SUPERVISORS

At the Beginning of the Internship:

  • Outline your expectations of the intern clearly and early and make clear the number of hours and weeks you require.
  • If you share the supervision of the intern with another, make it clear to whom the intern is responsible for which parts of the experience. Have a back-up for the days you will be out.
  • Identify projects the intern can manage independently over the course of the semester. Describe three or four options so you and the intern can match learning needs/interests to project opportunities.
  • Schedule a standing weekly appointment with the intern for the whole semester; if you must change the appointment, make sure the intern knows ahead of time.
  • Write an introductory memo to others in your office about who the intern is and what he or she will be doing; particularly let key personnel know that you will be asking the intern to make an appointment to discuss items relating to the project(s) the intern will be working on and any other issues as appropriate.
  • Keep information regularly flowing to the intern:
  • Establish an in-basket for the intern.
  • Ask a regular office worker to put a copy of any internal or external newsletters in the in-basket.
  • Invite the student to special events even if on a day other than his or her regular work time.
  • Add the intern to routing slips for general office memos/information items.
  • Treat the intern as a "new professional" in the office. If appropriate, teach him or her how to delegate and use other human resources effectively (e.g. how to work with support staff). Make sure the appropriate office workers know the intern will be giving them important tasks to do. Empower the intern to use the support staff as appropriate.

During the Internship:

  • Update the intern about events that have occurred in between his or her work dates. Highlight organizational events that have professional implications.
  • Invite the intern to staff meetings, other appointments and professional association gatherings as appropriate, so they can observe issues unfold, witness professional dynamics and network with others.
  • Ask the intern to join you for lunch when you can, particularly early in the semester; help them arrange informative lunch appointments with others.
  • Ask the intern for observations, feedback or opinions about decisions/issues (this pushes them to think and helps you assess their skills).
  • Prior to filling out the midterm evaluation, review with the intern his or her progress with respect to the tasks assigned to see if any renegotiation of responsibilities is appropriate.
  • Give frequent behavioral feedback. At a minimum, you are provided an evaluation form at the midpoint and endpoint of the semester. Go over the form with the intern prior to returning it to the College so that he or she has received constructive criticism and encouragement about their skills and abilities. You are an integral member of the internship learning team.