University of South Carolina

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Broadcast Journalism: What to Expect

Lights, Camera, Action! Through challenging and interactive courses, Broadcast Journalism majors at Carolina will develop an understanding of the theories and practices of radio and television news. Although courses will concentrate on news, you will also be trained in announcing, writing, producing, and directing. As with other majors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, you will be encouraged to gain additional educational experiences through internships with television networks. As a senior, you will be in the newsroom five days a week producing a live, daily television newscast. The newscast airs on a local cable channel and on the USC campus channel.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a major in Broadcast Journalism:

  • Principles of Journalism
  • Television Production
  • Electronic Journalism
  • Advanced Radio Programming
  • Advanced Television Programming
  • Advanced TV Production and Direction
  • Broadcast Journalism Practicum

On average, there is a 15 to 1 student-faculty ratio in major-specific courses. A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. During Maymester, SJMC students travel to Munich, Germany for a unique and cultural experience. Print Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, and Visual Communications majors team up across traditional curriculum boundaries to produce stories across all media – old and new. Spring Break trips include Community, Culture and Communication in Jamaica and Public Relations Campaigns in Spain. SJMC also offers Freedom’s Messenger, a summer trip to various capitals across Europe. SJMC students can also enjoy semester-long study abroad experiences in England, Ireland, and Australia. Study abroad trips offer SJMC students academic courses, which will satisfy University graduation requirements. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site for more information on opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of nearly 300 student organizations. Electronic Journalism majors are often active in Carolina News, a student online edition of broadcast news. Students may also get involved in other campus media through The Carolina Reporter and The Daily Gamecock. Find a student organization on campus that interests you!
Distinguished Faculty can help enhance your overall academic experience while at the University. Sid Bedingfield, formed head of CNN’s US network is a visiting professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He brings unique and professional perspectives to Electronic Journalism majors at USC. In nearly 20 years at CNN, he held positions that included managing all domestic news programming and production, overseeing documentary and long-form programming, handling day-to-day newsroom management, and launching CNN International.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding entering freshmen or current students. Each year the School of Journalism and Mass Communications awards a handful of scholarships to entering freshman. These include the Joseph W. and Dorothy Shoquist Fund, Journalism Scholarships, Rocky D. Harwood Scholarship, School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Freshman Scholarship, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications Freshman Scholarship. The School of Journalism and Mass Communications awards more than 65 additional scholarships each year.
Associated Learning Communities are an integral part of the university experience, providing you with the opportunity to live in an environment that promotes diversity, embraces excellence, encourages insightful faculty-student interaction and works to develop a strong sense of community. These academically themed communities also emphasize active service-learning experiences, study-abroad opportunities and undergraduate research. Freshman students interested in an exciting and ever-changing career in the field of journalism and mass communications will benefit from the first-hand experience of professors in the fields of advertising, broadcast, print, public relations, and visual communications, all while taking a journalism section of University 101 and Journalism 201, an introduction to Mass Communications. The Journalism and Mass Communications Community hosts events including a welcome reception, etiquette dinner, discussion nights, and an interactive blog.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands-on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The School of Journalism has a searchable database of internship opportunities for their majors. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Broadcast Journalism majors at the University of South Carolina have landed internships with ESPN, Columbia Blowfish, 60 minutes, NBC, CBS, and a number of local news stations.

Student Spotlight

Broadcast journalism major Matthew Long was able to gain valuable hands-on experience through his internship as Director of Media Relations for the Columbia Blowfish, a local baseball team. Matthew was able to oversee all media aspects of Blowfish baseball games, which included creating programs, calling games, writing articles for The State Newspaper, maintaining the team Web site and serving as a liaison with local media outlets. As a sports fan, Matthew’s favorite part of the job was watching baseball six days of the week. He was able to gain valuable skills including time management, journalistic writing, and learning how to announce for games. “It was good to learn more about the equipment involved with radio. It was also a great experience to write in a sports journalism style, which takes some practice to perfect.” he said. He also learned about everything that goes on behind-the-scenes with sporting teams. “I learned to appreciate the amount of effort that goes into a three-hour game broadcast,” he said. The journalism techniques Matthew learned in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication proved to be beneficial when calling the games and writing articles. Matthew offers some advice for current students as they embark on their internships. “Take your opportunity seriously and make sure you are professional, but also make sure you enjoy yourself,” he said.

Career Opportunities

Broadcast Journalism majors gain experience as reporters and producers through internships with television networks and generally pursue similar positions upon graduating. Alumni have worked with television networks such as CNN and local stations including WIS TV, WLTX TV and WOLO TV. Other employment opportunities include announcing, reporting, writing, editing, directing, and producing. The average salary range for broadcast journalism majors within the first five years after graduation is $35,000 to $38,000.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the School of Journalism and Mass Communications

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina is one of 113 programs approved by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The School’s curriculum begins with a strong liberal arts base that expands into cutting-edge journalism and mass communication. The School’s primary focus is on educating students in developing professional skills in all areas of mass communications. Undergraduate students are able to specialize in one of five programs of study: Advertising, Public Relations, Broadcast Journalism, Journalism and Visual Communications.

Points of Pride

  • We are the headquarters for the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association, the South Carolina Scholastic Broadcasters Association, and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association.
  • We are recognized as one of the leading journalism programs in the nation, offering the first nationally accredited degree program and the only nationally accredited graduate degree program in mass communications in South Carolina.
  • Our facilities include television studios, digital stereo radio control rooms and studios, and the Associated Press broadcast news service, plus complete photojournalism studios and print production facilities for electronic editing, graphics, and photocomposition. We also jointly operate Newsplex, a $2 million multimedia newsroom of the future, with Ifra, a German-based consortium of news publishers and news technology vendors.

Additional Resources.
Broadcast Journalism Website
School of Journalism and Mass Communication Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin