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.