The mission of the School of Journalism and Media is to contribute to the evolving world of media and journalism, to instill in students an appreciation of journalistic ethics and professionalism, one that enhances the quality of news reporting and dissemination. Writing, editing, graphic design and production skills, along with critical thinking, ethics, media literacy and research skills are given both interdisciplinary and media-specific emphases. The School is dedicated to continuously ascertaining and serving the needs of its students and of media organizations with print, broadcasting, online and mobile communication platforms.
The School recognizes that teaching is the core of the University’s mission of education. In our teaching, we provide majors with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers and to become responsible media professionals. This includes both hands-on professional skills as well as a well-rounded academic background. This background features critical thinking skills, information, and expression skills needed for success in life as well as in a career. In an era when careers evolve and change on a regular basis, we provide not only basic skills, but also the knowledge and abilities to adapt to whatever opportunities arise throughout a career.
The School’s goal is to hire and retain faculty members who are active in the profession through scholarship, creative activity, and service. In doing so, we not only contribute to society at large and stay active and involved with the field as instructors, but we demonstrate to our students the value of continued learning and inquiry. As our field changes and evolves, we not only recognize and integrate these changes into the curriculum, but also we strive – through leadership and excellence in research, creative activities, and service – to influence and to shape that evolution.
The School is a diverse and inclusive community that affects change by inspiring our students and pursuing scholarship and engagement that makes a difference. We shape socially conscious, ethical leaders who tell stories, solve problems, and serve as the foundation of an informed and responsible media industry in the U.S. and globally.
The School of Journalism and Media at the University of Tennessee is committed to providing superior undergraduate and graduate academic programs, research, and service, thereby enhancing its national reputation. The School will continue as the leader in Tennessee in providing a comprehensive education in journalism and media with a growing emphasis on international perspectives and on new technologies and emerging media. Through interdisciplinary research and teaching as well as service courses, the School will remain central to the missions of the College and the University.
History of the School of Journalism and Media
(Excerpts and information from Paul G. Ashdown, Professor Emeritus)
In 1923, the English department offered a few courses for Journalism for the first time. The courses included instructions on “practical exercises in the writing of the news story, the sport-story, and special feature-articles” and “exercises in headline-writing, criticism, and editorials, together with a study of the mechanics of modern printing.” Then in 1940, we moved to the School of Business which implemented logistics, debentures and nascent consumerism that took precedence. Later in 1946, The Tennessee Press Association requested that the University “expand its offerings in the field of journalism to enable the youth of the state to specialize in this profession.”
Instead of the Department of Journalism, it became the School of Journalism within the College of Business. When television and radio became more relevant in the 1950’s it helped to create the Department of Broadcasting. Which in turn created the College of Communication and Information. In the year 1968, we began offering graduate courses and by 1970 we had started our new master’s program. When the program was succeeding, we created a doctoral program. It was the first program to offer a doctoral program for journalism in the South.
The School began its very first international exchange program with the Dutch School of Journalism in Utrecht and the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus. Opportunities to travel multiplied, getting to travel to Ecuador, India, Germany, Russia, China, Egypt, Ireland, England, Belgium, France, Nigeria, Israel, Indonesia, Canada, Turkey, Scotland, Denmark, Japan, Thailand, and Belarus. Suddenly, our program became global and began to realize and learn how journalism was a growing industry that provided many opportunities for up-and-coming journalism majors.
The School of Journalism and Media’s mission is to educate a new generation to tell stories and those of us who studied or taught here were all part of a great adventure that began with words, images and gossamer dreams spun in red brick buildings on the bank of the Tennessee River.
Diversity and Civility Statement
The School of Journalism and Media is committed to fostering a vibrant multicultural and multi-ethnic environment that values diversity for achieving an inclusive curriculum, a diverse faculty, and student population, and a supportive climate for working and learning.
This School values domestic and global diversity that serves and reflects the society we live in. The School of Journalism and Media defines diversity and inclusion as acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, age, and sexual orientation, or societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual, or physical differences.
The school wants to build and maintain a climate that is comfortable for all. In communication, it is especially important that everyone display respect for all and avoid racist, sexist, homophobic or other negative languages that may unnecessarily exclude members of campus and classrooms. This is not an exhaustive list of behaviors; rather, it represents the minimal standards that help make the School of Journalism and Media a productive place for all concerned.
The School of Journalism & Media Student Facts
The School of Journalism and Media at the University of Tennessee is one of the premier schools in the country, with its graduates employed by some of the most prominent media outlets, from CNN to ESPN and the Discovery Channel, The Wall Street Journal to Sports Illustrated and The Tennessean.
With state of the art facilities and media platforms, the school provides an optimum experience in converged journalism for future leaders in the media and journalism worlds. The school also offers internships with some of the top media platforms, both national and international, and global experiences through its collaborative agreements with journalism schools in Holland, France, and Austria, as well as summer programs in Cyprus and England.
Faculty members of the School have extensive media experience and are some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. They are dedicated to providing an outstanding educational experience to their students.