Graduate Catalog
Journalism

DAVID ARANT, PhD
Chair
Room 300, Meeman Journalism Building
(901) 678-2401

RICK FISCHER, PhD
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
(901) 678-2853
E-mail: rfischer@memphis.edu

http://www.memphis.edu/journalism

I. The Department of Journalism offers the Master of Arts degree in Journalism. In addition to the residential master’s program, the Department offers its MA in Journalism online to distant students.

All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

II. MA Degree Program

Students in the MA program may take courses in advertising, journalism, and public relations in keeping with their needs and interest. The programs are designed for practicing professionals and those who anticipate completing doctoral programs. The residential program can accommodate those who are planning a career change. The on-line program is for mass communication professionals who are already working in the field. Students should consult with the coordinator of graduate studies and with faculty advisors in designing individual curricula.

Program objectives are: (1) understanding and application of First Amendment principles and the law appropriate to professional practice, the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications, and the diversity of groups in relationship to communications; (2) understanding the concepts and being able to apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information; (3) developing the ability to work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity; (4) developing the ability to conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work; and (5) cultivating the ability to write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, their audiences, and the purposes they serve.

A. Program Admission and Prerequisites

Applicants to the program are evaluated three times a year on or around March 1, October 1, and June 1. Students may be admitted for the fall or spring semesters or for the summer session. Admission to the journalism program is competitive. Multiple criteria are considered and include official GRE or MAT scores, cumulative grade point averages, relevant employment history in the form of a resume, and personal goal statement.

B. Program Requirements

  1. Courses and credit hours.Students may complete their degrees with (a) a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit including a thesis, or (b) a minimum of 33 hours of graduate credit including a professional project, or (c) a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit with the acceptance of a paper for publication in a refereed scholarly journal or for presentation at a refereed academic or professional conference. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the graduate faculty of the department. Student work must be completed at a level of performance satisfactory to the graduate faculty. Students must complete all journalism courses with a grade of 3.0 or better. Course work taken outside the department must be approved by the student’s advisor. 

    Students with a strong background in journalism may elect to add a cognate area to their journalism degrees to prepare themselves for specialty areas of the journalism profession, e.g., biomedical journalism or journalism administration. Students must submit written program plans to the graduate faculty for approval before the specialty courses are taken. The cognate will consist of not more than four courses (12 hours) within the specialty. The MA with specialty may not be combined with the project or thesis option.

    Students with graduate credit earned at another institution may petition to have it applied toward their degree requirements at the University of Memphis. Such credit is not transferred automatically and must be approved by the graduate faculty. A maximum of nine semester hours, including up to six hours of journalism credits, earned at another regionally accredited university may be applied toward the master’s degree requirements at the University of Memphis. The Graduate School will not accept courses that have been used to earn a previous degree.

  2. Required Courses. All students are required to complete a 12-hour core consisting of JOUR 7025, 7050, 7075, and 7100 plus additional course work approved by the student's advisor to meet specified credit hour totals. JOUR 7050 and 7075 must be taken within the first 18 hours of coursework. No more than three hours in either JOUR 7700 or JOUR 7800, but not both, may be applied to the degree. No more than three hours in either JOUR 7600 or JOUR 7650, but not both, may be applied to the degree. All requirements for the degree must be completed in eight years. Courses older than eight years will not be allowed as credit toward the master's degree.
  3. Comprehensive Examination. Students may satisfy this requirement by doing one of the following options:
    1. successfully completing and defending a thesis;
    2. successfully completing and defending a professional project;
    3. successfully completing and defending a paper that has been accepted for publication by a refereed journal or accepted for presentation at an academic or professional conference.
  4. Master’s Thesis. Students who anticipate continuing with doctoral study should complete an independent research project culminating in a master’s thesis. Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write the thesis. On completion of a thesis, a student will take an oral examination with a three-person faculty committee that assesses the thesis and the student’s broader awareness of theoretical and empirical issues in his or her field.
  5. Professional Projects (JOUR 7998. Professional Project). Practicing professionals seeking master’s degrees to enhance career progress may complete a professional project under the direction of a faculty committee. On completion of a professional project, a student will take an oral examination that assesses the project and the student’s broader awareness of theoretical and empirical issues in his or her field.
  6. Each student is responsible for obtaining a copy of the Master of Arts in Journalism Student Handbook from the coordinator of graduate studies or the department Website. The document answers most questions about the program.

III. Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism

The Entrepreneurial Journalism Certificate program will prepare students to start their own media-related businesses or bring innovation to legacy media organizations as “intrapreneurs.” It will emphasize knowledge of business fundamentals, marketing, advertising and public relations strategies for new businesses, and creating digital, multimedia content for media products or promotions.

Objectives of this program include:

1)      To prepare students for today’s media landscape, which is undergoing unprecedented disruption as new digital technologies and changing economic realities have upended the practices and the business models of traditional media organizations. Students need to be able to understand this upheaval and be equipped to recognize opportunities for new businesses and ways traditional organizations can evolve to meet evolving demands.

2)      To equip students with the skills they need to not only to start their own media-related businesses but also to work as “intrapreneurs” within existing companies and to initiate and sustain change initiatives. They will learn startup fundamentals such as how to turn ideas into business plans, assess customer needs, pitch investors, and develop marketing, public relations and advertising strategies.

3)      Students will hone their ability to use social media and a variety of cutting-edge digital tools necessary to market and create content for new media businesses.

A. Program Admission

To apply to the Entrepreneurial Journalism Certificate Program, students must submit the following:

  1. Cover letter expressing interest in the program and qualifications
  2. Resume/CV
  3. BA or BS degree transcript

B. Program Requirements

Completion of 12 semester hours distributed as follows:

Required Courses: Total of 6 credit hours

JOUR 7100 Entrepreneurial Journalism (3)

JOUR 7300 Social Media Theory and Practice (3)

Electives: 6 credit hours chosen from the following:

UNIV 7110 Launch Memphis 48 Hour Launch (2)

UNIV 7110 LaunchMemphis BarCamp, SocialCamp, MobileCamp (2)

UNIV 7110 Business Plan Boot Camp (1)

UNIV 7110 Launch Memphis ad hoc mentoring (3)

JOUR 7650 Startup Journalism Practicum (3)

MGMT 7270 Venture/Bldg/Sustaining a Successful Enterp (3)

FIR 7648 - Evaluating/Finance New Projects (3)

ACCT 7412 - Legal/Accounting Aspects of Entrepreneurship (3)

C. Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the certificate students must:

1. Complete Certificate Program course requirements within a period of six years with a B or above average.

2. In the semester of graduation, the student must submit the Intent to Graduate form to the Graduate School and a Graduate Certificate Candidacy form to the College Director of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified by the Graduate School. 


JOURNALISM (JOUR)

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
JOUR 6800-09. Special Topics in Journalism. (3). Intensive study of a single critical issue or current topic. Topics may vary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.

JOUR 7200-09–8200-09. Special Topics in Journalism. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in online class listings.

 


JOUR 6120 - Advanced Reporting (3)
Gathering, analyzing and writing news stories about such topics as government, the courts, the economy, education, environment, and science; Students will do investigative work in the field and in the classroom, learning about both archival and computer resources. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3120 or permission of instructor.

JOUR 6124 - Comptr Assistd Reportng (3)
Advanced use of computer technology and investigative techniques to access, analyze, and develop database information in combination with traditional news reporting. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3120 or permission of instructor.

JOUR 6140 - News Design (3)
Advanced principles of design and production for newspapers, magazines and newsletters; subjects covered include typography, story and page design, graphics; copy images and infographics and presentations in clear, well-organized way; issues with headlines, titles, subheads and photo captions are addressed. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 2123, 3526.

JOUR 6328 - Strategic Adv Campaigns (3)
Development of an integrative campaign and its execution in include all advertising and promotion applications. (Sp). PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3324, 4326, 4327, or permission of instructor. [W, I]

JOUR 6440 - Public Rel Campaigns (3)
Application of theory, research data, and problem-solving techniques in development of comprehensive public relations strategies. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3400, 3421, 3410; JOUR 4420 recommended, or permission of instructor.

JOUR 6500 - Web Publish I: html/CSS (3)
Creation and development of journalism/mass media organization web sites; incorporation of target audience analysis and web usability; and application of information products' conceptualization and layout principles.

JOUR 6550 - Web Publish II/: html/CSS (3)
Creation and development of journalism/mass media websites; application of advanced web publishing skills, focus on use of cascading style sheet (CSS); orient toward web usability. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 4500.

JOUR 6560 - Interactive News/Flash (3)
Creation and development of interactive news story for web using Flash and its ActionScript; integrating writing, reporting, designing and presenting audio, video, slideshows elements in production of multimedia story. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 4500.

JOUR 6702 - Mass Media/Diversity/Society (3)
Advanced study of critical problems faced by mass media, with exploration of complexities that cause them.

JOUR 6708 - Mass Media Ethics (3)
Classical approaches to ethics presented with their application to the day-to-day considerations that journalism, public relations, and advertising professionals must face in working with employers, local publics, and a larger society dependent on a free flow of accurate information.

JOUR 6712 - Mass Media & Cultures (3)
International communication, flow of news and propaganda; role in national development and international affairs; growth and impact of global journalism, television news, advertising, and public relations; comparison of media systems.

JOUR 6900 - Multimedia Mass Comm (3)
Planning, development, design and execution of a project for print and digital display, including data visualization, illustration, branding, video and photography. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3900, or permission of instructor.

JOUR 7000 - Media Writing/Editing (3)
Information gathering, writing, and editing skills necessary for any field within journalism and mass communication through lectures, discussions, and exercises that meld theory to technique; both laboratory writing and field assignments.

JOUR 7015 - Advanced Media Writing (3)
Designed to help students become more precise as well as versatile writers by diagnosing their writing, polishing their grammar and editing skills, and teaching them to write with clarity, cohesiveness, and conciseness.

JOUR 7025 - Law Mass Communication (3)
Laws and regulations affecting mass media with attention to social and political forces that shape the law; exploration of First Amendment theories as well as the constitutional framework of the legal system; in-depth legal research in the student's selected area of interest.

JOUR 7050 - Mass Comm Theory (3)
Key concepts and development of theories offered to explain operation and effects of mass communication media; multidiscipline overview of theories dealing with advertising, broadcasting, print, and public relations messages, media, and effects.

JOUR 7075 - Mass Comm Res Methods (3)
Familiarization with content analysis, survey research, data analysis, and field studies as practiced by reporters, editors, and public relations decision makers; modern research techniques and class project using computer analysis.

JOUR 7100 - Entrepreneurial Journalism (3)
This course, Entrepreneurial Journalism & Media Management, will examine business models and new media tools that can encourage entrepreneurial thinking and planning in various fields of mass communication, as well as the theory and practices of traditional media management. Subjects will include assessment, organization and strategy, budgeting, decision-making, and other functions in advertising, news, and public relations.

JOUR 7125 - Research in Mass Comm. History (3)
This is a graduate seminar in the history of American mass communication. It examines the scholarship surrounding the major events, personalities, and issues that have shaped the development of mass media, with special emphasis on the history of American journalism. Course is not repeatable.

JOUR 7300 - Mass Comm Literature (3)
Review of scholarly publications, books, periodicals, and databases in advertising, public relations, and news media.

JOUR 7320 - Mass Media & Diversity (3)
Research and analysis of the relationship among mass media, women, and minorities.

JOUR 7330 - Social Media Theory & Practice (3)
Examination of research and theory on the impact of social and new media on journalism, public relations, and advertising, and applying these core concepts to the real-world use of digital tools. Active use of blogs, RSS feeds, Twitter, widgets, social bookmarking, mapping, and other Web 2.0 tools to produce and curate content and interact with other professionals in the field.

JOUR 7340 - Advertising Management (3)
How to articulate the strategic process of advertising management, to understand the factors influencing media management decisions, to strategically evaluate functioning advertising management strategies, and identify, formulate and defend advertising decisions grounded in media management issues.

JOUR 7350 - Advanced Multimedia Reporting (3)
Recent research findings in news reporting, writing and editing principles; practical experience in preparing finished news reports suitable for publication or dissemination in professional-level mass medium.

JOUR 7375 - Integrated Communication (3)
Integration of advertising, direct mail, public relations, and other strategic communication tools to produce a singular message that reaches every target audience segment; emphasis on application of theories to a particular case study.

JOUR 7400 - Pr Principles & Issues (3)
Contemporary social trends, public relations roles and responsibilities, and applicable public relations theory.

JOUR 7420 - Strategic Publc Reltns Writing (3)
Examination of strategies and forms of public relations communication, including traditional publicity, owned media, shared media, paid media and promoted media.

JOUR 7440 - Orgnztnl Public Reltns (3)
How organizations maintain rapport with their publics and the mass media by effectively communicating long-range goals.

JOUR 7450 - Public Relations Mgmt (3)
Development and management of public relations practice, department, or consultancy through study of planning and decision-making techniques; aspects of public relations practice that differ significantly from other enterprises; development of proposals and presentations; and management of financial and human resources.

JOUR 7600 - Media Internship (3)
Work in practical assignments at a media organization under supervision of qualified practitioners. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the department's coordinator of graduate studies. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7650 - Journalism Startup Practicum (3)
Students will engage in a semester-long project that will involve building a business plan, developing prototypes or products, creating content, and/or making advertising or public relations materials and strategies for media-related startups. Project will be determined in consultation with instructor. PREREQUISITE: permisssion of the department's coordinator of graduate studies.

JOUR 7700 - Individual Research (3)
Projects on non-thesis related topics of special interest to the student, ending in a completed research article or report. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7800 - Directed Indiv Readings (3)
Preparation of literature review for master's thesis with extensive bodies of writing in topic areas. May be taken to prepare scholarly papers on subjects of individual interest. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7996 - Thesis (1-6)
Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7998 - Professional Project (1-6)
Completion of supervised professional project in student's area of expertise. Repeatable to maximum of 6 hours; only 3 hours applicable to degree. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 8025 - Law Mass Communication (3)
Laws and regulations affecting mass media with attention to social and political forces that shape the law; exploration of First Amendment theories as well as the constitutional framework of the legal system; in-depth legal research in the student's selected area of interest.

JOUR 8050 - Mass Comm Theory (3)
Key concepts and development of theories offered to explain operation and effects of mass communication media; multidiscipline overview of theories dealing with advertising, broadcasting, print, and public relations messages, media, and effects.

JOUR 8075 - Mass Comm Res Methods (3)
Familiarization with content analysis, survey research, data analysis, and field studies as practiced by reporters, editors, and public relations decision makers; modern research techniques and class project using computer analysis.

JOUR 8100 - Entrepreneurial Journalism (3)
This course, Entrepreneurial Journalism & Media Management, will examine business models and new media tools that can encourage entrepreneurial thinking and planning in various fields of mass communication, as well as the theory and practices of traditional media management. Subjects will include assessment, organization and strategy, budgeting, decision-making, and other functions in advertising, news, and public relations.

JOUR 8300 - Mass Comm Literature (3)
Review of scholarly publications, books, periodicals, and databases in advertising, public relations, and news media.

JOUR 8320 - Mass Media & Diversity (3)
Research and analysis of the relationship among mass media, women, and minorities.

JOUR 8330 - Social Media Theory & Practice (3)
Examination of research and theory on the impact of social and new media on journalism, public relations, and advertising, and applying these core concepts to the real-world use of digital tools. Active use of blogs, RSS feeds, Twitter, widgets, social bookmarking, mapping, and other Web 2.0 tools to produce and curate content and interact with other professionals in the field.

JOUR 8340 - Adv Advertisng Practice (3)
Planning and design of advertising campaigns and tactics with primary emphasis on implementation.

JOUR 8350 - Adv News Practices (3)
Recent research findings in news reporting, writing and editing principles; practical experience in preparing finished news reports suitable for publication or dissemination in professional-level mass medium.

JOUR 8375 - Integrated Communication (3)
Integration of advertising, direct mail, public relations, and other strategic communication tools to produce a singular message that reaches every target audience segment; emphasis on application of theories to a particular case study.

JOUR 8450 - Public Relations Mgmt (3)
Development and management of public relations practice, department, or consultancy through study of planning and decision-making techniques; aspects of public relations practice that differ significantly from other enterprises; development of proposals and presentations; and management of financial and human resources.

JOUR 8700 - Individual Research (3)
Projects on non-thesis related topics of special interest to the student, ending in a completed research article or report. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 8800 - Directed Indiv Readings (3)
Preparation of literature review for master's thesis with extensive bodies of writing in topic areas. May be taken to prepare scholarly papers on subjects of individual interest. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

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