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 multimedia 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.
Scroll down for more information on:
- Supervised internships at Maryland
- Interns’ basic skills curriculum
- Helpful tips from past to future internship supervisors
Supervised Internships for Credit
We at Merrill College strongly believe that internships, whether paid or unpaid, contribute to a student’s ultimate success in our industry. And we appreciate employers who are willing to help our talented, young journalists become even better. This is why we offer two different types of internship credit (in three different classes) – one required for graduation, and another to allow a student to explore job opportunities without pay. These are explained below.
We also believe that employers offering internships to our students have the responsibility to offer a quality experience – our students should not be required to fetch coffee or lunch, or answer phones and clean the office. As an internship provider, we expect you to:
- Provide direct supervision of our student, preferably from a degree-holding, professional journalist. (Supervision solely by an HR professional or support-staff member is not acceptable.)
- Provide meaningful work in a journalism capacity, including but not limited to broadcast production, editing, camera operation, photography, reporting, writing, research, web updating, social media content management, audio production, headline writing or copy editing. (We do NOT provide credit for students interning in public relations, events, communications, marketing, sales or publicity, or for talk shows, entertainment/reality broadcasts and film production.)
- Complete up to two professional evaluations of the intern’s work per semester.
- Sign off on up to two time sheets per semester.
- Provide a safe workplace that complies with all applicable federal labor standards and laws. (Virtual internships are NOT approved for credit at this time.)
- Make sure you and the intern understand all risks associated with the internship and that hours/days are mutually agreeable.
JOUR199 Survey Apprenticeship – (1 credit, repeatable)
This internship opportunity primarily exists for media outlets that require students to be registered for academic credit. Students may take this class at any time during their academic curriculum. All standards for employers listed above apply. There are no prerequisites, although we recommend that students complete their basic reporting/writing course (JOUR201) before accepting an internship. JOUR199 does not count towards a student’s degree, although both the student and employer must sign the college’s Supervised Internship Proposal form in order to enroll.
JOUR396 Supervised Internship – (2 credits)
This internship is required for all journalism majors whose initial registration date fell on or after 2012. Students must have attained a grade of C- or better in two specialized reporting classes, JOUR320 or JOUR360. (Credit will be granted for JOUR396.) Students must complete, in addition to their supervised internship experience, classroom requirements: a reflection essay, portfolio and review of job-seeking documents. Student and employer must sign the college’s Supervised Internship Proposal form in order to complete registration.
Students must be enrolled in these classes by the university’s schedule adjustment deadline for each semester (see deadlines) to receive credit.
Questions about our program may be directed to: Karen Denny, internships and career development director, 3105A Knight Hall, 301-775-8483.
The College's Basic Skills Curriculum
JOUR200 Journalism History, Roles and Structures (3) Introduction to the study of journalism from the standpoint of media history and sociology. Nonjournalism majors should contact the College of Journalism at (301) 405-2399 for permission to register.
JOUR201 News Writing and Reporting I (3)
Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in ENGL101, JOUR181, and JOUR200; and permission of JOUR-Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Restriction: For students intending to be journalism majors; and permission of JOUR-Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Introduction to news for the print and electronic media, development of new concepts: laboratory in news-gathering tools and writing skills. Students who earned 80% or higher on the JOUR181 diagnostic are exempt from the JOUR181 prerequisite.
JOUR300 Journalism Ethics (3) Prerequisite: JOUR201. Restriction: Must be in a journalism major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Examination of ethical problems in news writing and reporting.
JOUR350 Multimedia Presentation (3) Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in JOUR202; or minimum grade of C- in JOUR262. Credit only granted for: JOUR350 or JOUR373. An examination of the relationship of verbal and visual components of news content and the presentation of information in print and online publications by combining typography, graphics, images and interactivity using current digital technologies.
JOUR400 Media Law (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320, JOUR360, or JOUR501. Restriction: Junior standing or higher. Legal rights and constraints of mass media; libel, privacy, copyright, monopoly, contempt and other aspects of the law applied to mass communication. Previous study of the law not required. Restricted to students having earned at least 60 credits.
Selected Prerequisite and Elective Courses
JOUR202 News Editing (3) Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in JOUR203. Restriction: Must be a journalism major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Copy editing, graphic principles and processes, new media technology.
JOUR262 or JOUR347 News Videography (3) Prerequisite: JOUR203. Also offered as: JOUR603. Credit only granted for: JOUR262 or JOUR603. Introduction to shooting, editing and production of video stories for broadcast and the web; includes newsgathering in the field.
JOUR320 News Writing and Reporting II: Multiplatform (3) Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in JOUR201. Restriction: Must be a journalism major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Principles and practices of news reporting; covering news beats and other news sources, including researching news stories for accuracy, comprehensiveness and interpretation. Due to rigorous publication requirement, plan your schedule accordingly.
JOUR352 Intermediate Multimedia Journalism (3) Prerequisite: JOUR262 or JOUR202. Restriction: Must be a journalism major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Editing and writing online, using basic web-coding skills and tools to create news and feature packages for the internet. New-media issues, including interactivity and individualization, will also be discussed.
JOUR360 News Writing and Reporting II: Broadcast (3) Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in JOUR201. Restriction: Must be a journalism major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Writing and reporting for broadcast media: production of news stories.
JOUR361 Television Reporting and Production (3) Prerequisite: JOUR262 and JOUR360. Writing and editing for the broadcast media. Interpretive and documentary news stories. Due to rigorous fieldwork requirement, plan your schedule accordingly.
JOUR371 Feature Writing (3) Prerequisite: JOUR320. Research and writing feature articles. Majors only.
Suggestions From Past 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 backup 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 Merrill 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.