In a digital age, information is increasingly important to all professions, but it is truly at the heart of the journalism industry. The news media major stresses the gathering, analysis and communication of information for all kinds of audiences. Students learn the many ways information is produced by journalists, from the traditional practices of professional news outlets to the emerging practices of media start-ups.

News Media students gain expertise in writing, editing, design, broadcasting, visual communication, videography, multimedia production, history, law and ethics. They learn to produce journalism for a variety of topics, from politics and social issues, to sports, food, fashion and travel. The program’s graduates are prepared for jobs in the journalism industry and for jobs in many other professions. Employers of all sorts, from business to law to education, are desperate for employees who can write well, visualize ideas, search for supporting evidence and organize information in engaging and clear ways. A news media degree gives graduates these skills.

The volume of information in our highly mediated society can be overwhelming, and it is the journalist who ensures that the information we get is trustworthy. While the communication skills and liberal arts knowledge that news media majors gain is valuable for their future careers, it's also crucial to good citizenship. As our majors learn to produce the news, they also learn to think critically and ethically about the role that news plays in society.

In classes, laboratories and campus media, news media students emphasize the knowledge, values and skills of journalism: compelling storytelling, strong writing, accurate reporting, sensitive editing, artful presentation and racial, ethnic and cultural diversity. News media majors also value critical thinking, teamwork, integrity, public service, the First Amendment and the appreciation for the free flow of information in a democratic society. The JCM department encourages dual majors when possible and advises that all majors complete internships, work in campus media and develop relationships with WVUA and the Digital Media Center.

Accelerated Master’s Program in Journalism/News Media

News Media majors admitted into this program will be able to earn both the BA in News Media and MA in Journalism at The University of Alabama in five years. For the highly motivated and academically gifted student, this program offers a faster, more economical plan than earning the degrees separately; a richer undergraduate experience and more courses in the major; and a stronger mentoring relationship with the faculty. Please contact the department for more information.

News Media majors must complete 120 hours for graduation, 40 of which are within the major as outlined below. NOTE: Of the 120 hours required for this degree, 72 hours must be outside of JCM/MC/APR under our national accreditation guidelines.

In addition to the general education requirements in the University Core curriculum, news media majors are required to complete 16 hours of JCM core classes and an additional 15 credits of the news media core classes. The final nine credits for the major can be any 300-400-level class within JCM, following all pre-requisite rules as listed in the course catalog. Students also must complete a minor or a second major. News Media majors may not complete a minor offered by the Department of Journalism & Creative Media or the Department of Advertising & Public Relations. 

Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

Written Composition (6 credits)

Hours
EN 101English Composition3
EN 102 or English Composition (if eligible or by exam)3
EN 103 Advanced English Composition
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6

Foreign Language or Computer Science (8 or 6 credits)

Hours
Foreign Language (FL) 18
Computer Science (CS) 1, 26

Humanities, Literature, and Fine Arts (12 credits)

Hours
Fine Arts (FA)3
Literature (L) 33
Humanities (HU) or (L) or (FA) 36

History and Social/Behavioral Sciences (12 credits)

Hours
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 100Introduction to Story3
History (HI) 33
History (HI) or Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB) 33

Natural Science and Mathematics (11 credits)

Hours
Natural Sciences (must include labs)8
MATH 110 or Finite Mathematics3
MATH 112 Precalculus Algebra

Writing (W)

Hours
Writing (W) 46
1

Students must complete either CS or FL for core requirements

2

News media students completing the computer requirements are encouraged to take JCM 202. 

3

Students must complete either a HI or L sequence

4

Writing requirement fulfilled by upper level JCM courses

JCM Department Core (16 credits)

All students are required to take the following core courses:

More InformationHours
JCM 100Introduction to Story3
JCM 102The Fundamentals of Media Technology3
JCM 103Mechanics of Media Writing1
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 493Ethics and Diversity in Media3
JCM 499JCM Capstone3
Total Hours16

News Media Major (15 credits)

More InformationHours
JCM 180Journalistic Principles and Practices3
JCM 303News Writing and Reporting3
JCM 315Advanced News Writing and Reporting3
JCM 331Introduction to Electronic Reporting3
MC 401Mass Comm Law & Regultn3
Total Hours15

Electives (9 credits) 

More InformationHours
Students can take any JCM 300-400 classes to meet their elective requirement, assuming that pre-reqs for those courses are met at the time of enrollment.9
Total Hours9

Sports Media Concentration (40 total credits - including 16 dept. core)

Students planning on completing the sports concentration must officially declare that on myBama. 

Sports Media Concentration Core

Hours
All classes in the news media major above with the following changes:
Substitute JCM 325 Sports Writing and Reporting instead of JCM 31515
JCM 425Advanced Sports News Coverage3
Total Hours18

Advanced Sports Media Coursework (select 6 credits)

Hours
JCM 381Digital Media Practicum1-3
JCM 382News Media Internship1-6
JCM 444Advanced Sports Writing & Reporting3
JCM 496Issues and Ethics in Sports Journalism3

Professional Experience

News Media students should seek a variety of media work experience, exploring opportunities at the campus newspaper and magazines, digital publications, WVUA-TV, campus radio stations, literary magazines, departmental and alumni newsletters and magazines, and in University communications and sports information offices. Students are strongly encouraged to seek internships with professional media organizations throughout their study at UA. The Department of Journalism & Creative Media has ongoing internship programs with The Tuscaloosa News, WVUA-TV and several other local media outlets. Internships may be completed for academic credit when the student has completed 45 semester hours and JCM 303 News Writing and Reporting with a C- or better. Job and internship listings are posted on the departmental website and outside the departmental office. An internship before senior year makes students more marketable when they graduate.

Career Options for News Media Majors

Graduates can work as writers, reporters, television anchors, editors, photographers, designers, broadcasters, producers and content managers at newspapers, magazines, digital publications, television stations, wire services and book publishers. Many also work in public relations, corporate communications, electronic news, political communication or enter law school or graduate school.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Recent graduates have accepted positions as news reporters, covering sports, news, features and business in television, web and/or print outlets. Others have found jobs as editors, writers and designers at lifestyle and specialty magazines. One of the fastest-growing segments for jobs is online media, including outlets connected with newspapers, magazines and television stations, as well as web-only publications. Our top students, especially those who dual major in fields such as political science and communication studies, have been successful gaining admission to law schools.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Our alumni hold top positions in media organizations nationally and internationally. Examples include the U.S. Supreme Court reporter for CBS News, the White House reporter for The Chicago Tribune, an online producer at BuzzFeed, the former editor of O Magazine, presidents and CEOs of online news outlets and public relations firms and several television news reporters in Alabama and throughout the Southeast.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center

Sample Curriculum for the News Media Major 

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
JCM 1003MC 1013
JCM 1023EN 1023
JCM 1031Humanities (HU) or Literature (L) or Fine Arts (FA)3
EN 1013History (HI) or Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB)3
Mathematics (MATH)3Natural Science (NS)4
History (HI) or Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB)3 
 16 16
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
JCM 1803JCM 3033
Humanities (HU) or (L) or (FA)6Humanities (HU) or (L) or (FA)3
Elective3Elective3
Foreign Language (FL) or Computer Science (CS)3-4Foreign Language (FL) or Computer Science (CS)3-4
 Minor Course3
 15-16 15-16
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
JCM 3313JCM 3153
Humanities (HU) or (L) or (FA)3MC 4013
Natural Science (NS)4JCM 300-400 Elective 3
Minor Course3Minor Course6
JCM 300-400 Elective 3 
 16 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
JCM 4933JCM 4993
JCM 300-400 Elective3Elective (as needed)8-9
Minor Course3Minor Course3-6
Elective (as needed)3 
 12 14-18
Total Hours: 119-125