Supervised Internships

 

What internship courses are offered by the College of Journalism?

JOUR 199 – Survey Apprenticeship (1 credit)
Summer I 2014 | Summer II 2014 | Fall 2014 | Winter 2015

This class provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their college-approved journalism and communications internships, and share information in a class blog. It must be taken in conjunction with an approved internship, either at the beginning of the student’s academic experience or near the end. JOUR 320 or 360 are not prerequisites, but students should be enrolled in or have successfully completed JOUR 201 or have the approval of the College of Journalism to enroll in this course. JOUR 199 requires students to work a MINIMUM of 60 hours in an approved newsroom, over a minimum of eight weeks during spring and fall, three weeks in winter, and six weeks in summer. You and your supervisor should negotiate your schedule when you complete the Internship Proposal Form, including your start and end dates and the anticipated hours you will work each week. You may work more than the minimum hours and weeks described; many students do. Just make sure they're within the semester's academic calendar. In addition to journalism newsroom experiences, some broader communications internships that call for students to edit, report and write, shoot video or photos, collect audio, use social media for reporting, or do Web production will be considered on a case-by-case basis. JOUR 199 may be repeated, but it does not meet the internship requirement for a journalism degree or count toward your journalism requirements. JOUR 199 is offered year round, including winter term and summer sessions I and II.

Students who are under the university's General Education curriculum, rather than the CORE curriculum, must take the new two credit JOUR 396. See details below.

JOUR 399 -- Supervised Internship (1 credit)

Summer 2014Fall 2014

This online class is taken in conjunction with a college-approved internship and is required of all journalism majors. The off-campus internship immerses students in a professional newsroom, and the class requires them to reflect on their experiences in written summaries and to prepare a resume package and a portfolio or journal of their work. JOUR 399 requires students to work on site in newsrooms for news organizations under the supervision of professional journalists for a MINIMUM of 90 hours, over a MINIMUM of 10 weeks in spring and fall, and a MINIMUM of eight weeks in summer. Students must have completed JOUR 201 AND either JOUR 320 or 360 with a grade of “C” or higher to enroll in the course. You and your supervisor should negotiate your schedule when you complete the Internship Proposal Form, including your start and end dates and the anticipated hours you will work each week. You may work more than the minimum hours and weeks described; many students do. Just make sure they're within the semester's academic calendars. (This course is not offered over winter break, or starting in summer session II.) It is part of the sequence of skills courses that prepares students to report and produce multiplatform journalism accurately, ethically and without bias.

JOUR 396 -- Supervised Internship (2 credits)
Spring 2014 | Fall 2014

This online class replaces JOUR 399 for students who enrolled in the college for the Fall 2012 semester or after. It is taken in conjunction with a college-approved internship and is required of all journalism majors. The off-campus internship immerses students in a professional newsroom, and the class requires them to reflect on their experiences in written summaries and to prepare a resume package and a portfolio or journal of their work. JOUR 396 requires students to work on site in newsrooms for news organizations under the supervision of professional journalists for a MINIMUM of 90 hours, over a MINIMUM of 10 weeks in spring and fall, and a MINIMUM of eight weeks in summer. Students must have completed JOUR 201 AND either JOUR 320 or 360 with a grade of “C” or higher to enroll in the course. The student and supervisor should negotiate the internship schedule when completing the Internship Proposal Form, including start and end dates and anticipated hours to be worked each week. You may work more than the minimum hours and weeks described; many students do. Just make sure they're within the semester's academic calendars. This course is not offered over winter break, or starting in summer session II. It is part of the sequence of skills courses that prepares students to report and produce multiplatform journalism accurately, ethically and without bias. 

See what experiences count for JOUR 399/396 credit, below.


Applying for internships:

First, find an internship opportunity. See the Career Resources page for helpful information on starting your internship or job search, putting together a resume and cover letter and presenting yourself as a professional.

 Who can register for these courses?

JOUR 199: This course is open to journalism and non-journalism majors, but students should be enrolled in or have completed JOUR 201 or have the approval of the College of Journalism to enroll in this course.

JOUR 399/396: One of these courses is required of all journalism majors to graduate and is open only to journalism majors. Students must have completed JOUR 201 and either JOUR 320 or 360 with a grade of “C” or higher to enroll in course. In addition, students applying for Web production internships are strongly encouraged to complete JOUR 203 and 352 first.
 

What experiences count for Journalism 399/396 credit?

Internships in the newsrooms of independent, general-interest newspapers, news websites, magazines, television or radio news departments or network news operations count for journalism 399/396 credit. So do production internships at most commercial sports news operations (such as Comcast SportsNet or ESPN), and internships at specialty publications, such as the Baltimore Business Journal and The Daily Record in Baltimore, trade publications, and the Washington bureaus of news outlets.

Your internship should be in your area of concentration so that you are prepared for it, and you are gaining experience that will help you find a job when you graduate.

Because JOUR 399/396 are supervised internship classes, the experience must occur in a newsroom or similar office, under the supervision of an experienced journalist. Freelancing remotely is valuable and is strongly encouraged by the college, but it is not the same as an internship and cannot count for JOUR 399.

Since the point of the journalism college’s skills classes is to immerse students in the field of professional journalism, it follows that the internship course should do the same. Ideally your internship should involve professional experience in reporting, writing, copy editing, broadcast news production or assignment desk duties, Web production or editing, news videography or photography, audio editing or graphics or page design. You can expect to do some grunt work on your internship, but that should not be the bulk of what you do.

The following experiences DO NOT count for journalism 399/396 credit: administrative or clerical work, advertising, marketing, public relations or promotions, community relations, entertainment broadcasting or working for a "reality" TV show. This includes internships with congressmen or legislators, and those in creative services departments of local network affiliates, TV programming not centered on news production, the communications or video departments of sports teams or leagues, and writing for publications designed to advocate for a specific agenda. While these experiences are unique and valuable, they are not journalism and cannot take the place of a journalism internship.

When applying for internships to fulfill your JOUR 399/396 requirement here are some key questions to ask:
 

  • What kind of work will I be doing and will it advance my career?
  • Who will supervise my work? What kind of feedback will I get?
  • Will I work in a newsroom or similar space with seasoned professionals or will I work at home and be expected to file my work remotely?
  • Does this organization present balanced news stories and projects, seeking points of view from all sides, or is the information presented only for entertainment, to push a specific agenda or to drive viewers/readers to advertisers?
  • What kind of reputation does this organization have and will working here help me get a job after graduation?

Students applying for JOUR 199 will also be approved for the types of internships described above. Broader communications internships utilizing the skills you learned in journalism classes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

Steps to take to secure Journalism credit:

1) Once you have been offered a journalism internship, you and your employer must fill out and sign the two-page Internship Proposal Form.

2) You must also print out a copy of your unofficial academic transcript, which will document that you’ve met the course prerequisites.

3) Contact Internship Director Adrianne Flynn, at aflynn@jmail.umd.edu, to schedule an appointment to go over this paperwork, to review the syllabus and course requirements and to complete an academic honesty pledge. This must occur before the end of the schedule adjustment period.

4.) The undergraduate coordinator, Josh Madden, will then give you a stamp to register for the course on Testudo.

These are the schedule adjustment deadlines at the college for internships for upcoming semesters. You must have completed your paperwork and meeting with the internship director and been cleared to register by these dates, in order to make the university's deadlines to register on Testudo:

Summer I (199,396 or 399) - June 1, 2014

Summer II (199 only) - July 13, 2014

Fall 2014 - Sept. 10, 2014

5) Make sure you enroll on Testudo before the end of the university's add/drop (schedule adjustment) period. No requests for late registration will be honored.

Restrictions:

  • Students cannot earn credit for internships retroactively.
  • The deadline for enrollment is firm. No requests for late registration will be honored.
  • Only JOUR 199 is offered during the winter term and summer session II.

Requesting a letter of credit verification:

Some employers will require verification from the college that you will receive academic credit for your experience. They may require a signature on an application or a letter from the internship director on college letterhead. To request that letter, make sure your experience counts for journalism credit and then contact the internship director by e-mail. Include the supervisor's name and title, the company and address of the person who is to receive the letter, and an e-mail address for the supervisor. Please also attach a copy of your unofficial transcripts, so that the director can verify that you are a student in good standing with the college. Please give the director sufficient time to prepare the letter. Last-minute requests will be accommodated as her schedule allows, but do not wait until the day before the application is due to request this document. This letter DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE of completing the steps required of the college for registration in the course, outlined in "Steps to Take to Secure Journalism Credit." It is an additional step that some newsrooms require.