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Journalism and Electronic Media Major Guide for 2016-2017

What is Journalism and Electronic Media

The exciting and dynamic area of mass communication attracts students who wish to become media professionals working for radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, and web-based media outlets.  The School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers media and journalism programs that are fully converged, preparing students to work on all media platforms and educates them to be flexible professionals for a fast changing world.  Students may develop a specialty area within the curriculum:  print/web journalism, broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, visual communication, media management, sports journalism, and science journalism.

Students who seek a career as news writers and reporters, TV news reporters and producers, magazine writers, photojournalists, videographers, video producers and directors, media sales and promotions managers, sports writers and broadcasters, science communicators, and online journalists should consider the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Career Opportunities in Journalism and Electronic Media

Career opportunities abound for graduates of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.  Our graduates work in a variety of positions in all media in small, medium, and large markets.  Graduates work in local radio stations as news reporters, program directors, and sales executives.  Graduates also work in local television stations as news reporters, producers, sales representatives, producers and directors.  A number of graduates work as reporters and editors for local and regional newspapers and magazines.  Still others work as video producers, writers, and editors for video production companies and cable television program producers.

With the trend toward media convergence, graduates with skills in multiple areas of mass communications are very attractive to potential employers.

Salary Trends in Journalism and Electronic Media

Entry-level positions in newspapers, radio and television stations, and video production companies are generally in the low- to mid-$20,000 range.  TV news reporters and producers usually start in the mid-$20s depending on the size of the station and the size of the market.  Media sales representatives can expect to earn $30,000–$40,000 in the first year.  Online publishing positions generally start near $35,000.  Employees who demonstrate talent and hard work usually move up quickly and are paid very well.

High School Preparation

High school preparation for students interested in journalism and electronic media should include as many writing and speaking courses as possible.  Students should gain experience on their high school newspaper, yearbook, radio or television station.  Computer courses and photography courses would also be very helpful.

How to Major in Journalism and Electronic Media

Students may choose journalism and electronic media as their major when applying to UT.  Current students should contact the School of Journalism and Electronic Media for current admission procedures.

Requirements for Journalism and Electronic Media

All students take a core of courses in the major.  The major includes 37 hours.  Students complete four courses in journalism and electronic media electives.  Students are advised to complete a minor, or a second major, in a discipline that complements the major specialty they chose.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The School of Journalism and Electronic Media requires all students to enroll in a practical professional media experience called a practicum.  A practicum is work experience at a local newspaper, radio station, television station, video production company, or related company.  A practicum experience requires 10-15 hours of supervised media work per week and is usually taken during the student’s junior or senior year.  Students are also encouraged to participate in the School’s internship program.  An internship is a full-time (40 hours per week) program providing three academic hours of credit to qualified students.  An internship may take place in Knoxville, Nashville, Atlanta, New York, LA, or any market in which the student wishes to go.  Internships are usually done during the summer months.  Students may do two practicums and one internship for academic credit.  The combination of excellence in the classroom and relevant professional experience at a media company will serve students well in acquiring entry-level positions.

Highlights of Journalism and Electronic Media

Journalism and Electronic Media students are strongly encouraged to get as much experience as possible. Students may work at THE DAILY BEACON, a daily publication by and for students at UT.  Most of the writers and editors at The Daily Beacon are journalism and electronic media majors.  The School also operates WUTK-FM, a 1000 watt student radio station serving UT and the Knoxville area.  More than 200 students gain experience at the station each semester.  Still other students work at THE VOLUNTEER CHANNEL, a campus cable channel for UT students managed by and housed in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.  Students produce news and entertainment programs.  Students also gain experience by working for other JEM-based media platforms such as the student magazine, SCOOP, and for the TENNESSEE JOURNALIST (TNJN.COM) website, a prime example of convergence journalism.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students in the College of Communication and Information are encouraged to participate in a study abroad program as part of the University of Tennessee’s commitment to make our graduates “Ready for the World.”  Studying abroad opens up many opportunities for students to learn about communication and information in an international setting, develop cross-cultural communication skills, and enhance their marketability and career options.  Students often say that their study abroad experience was the highlight of their college years.  Communication and information students may participate in faculty-led summer programs including global advertising in London, intercultural communication in Europe, global public relations in Italy, British media in London, foreign language in any number of countries, or participate in the study abroad program of their choice.  Most students participate in study abroad during their second or third year at UT.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Experience Learning

Experience Learning LogoExperience Learning is a bold new initiative with the goal of transforming the educational student experience at the University of Tennessee. Over a five-year period, UT will transform our culture to give students more opportunities to be involved in civic engagement, solve complex real-world problems, and contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work.

The purpose of Experience Learning is to help students apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom to real-world challenges. Experience Learning also seeks to engage student learning through direct experience and intense reflection to increase knowledge, acquire lifelong learning and problem-solving skills, and elucidate values.

Learn more about Experience Learning.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, click here.

For More Information

Catherine Luther, Ph.D., Director
School of Journalism and Electronic Media
333 Communications Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0333
(865) 974-5155


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

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