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Journalism Concentration

The Journalism Concentration enables students to develop journalistic skills as well as attend to their role as public writers in their field(s) of study. Through interdisciplinary intellectual inquiry inside the classroom and practical internship experiences, you will explore the fundamental role of high-quality journalism: writing for the public that leverages in-depth research and reportage, clear-headed analysis, and the inclusion of different points of view. You will build a portfolio, learning to read closely, interview sources effectively, synthesize information accurately, and express it clearly and gracefully.



The journalism maintains a newsletter sent to subscribers every two weeks! This is an opportunity to stay informed about the concentration and keep up to date with all the important news and events for concentrators and others interested in the topic. Sign up for the journalism concentration newsletter!

Requirements & Courses


JNX 150 The Journalistic Impulse (1 Credit)

As the Gateway course for the Journalism Concentration, this course introduces students to journalism as a profession. It uses the personal as the lens through which to survey the field. The course covers basics of the profession, such as the role of journalism in a democracy, the lifecycle of a story (where it starts, how it develops) and the anatomy of a story (what counts as a journalistic story, how journalistic stories are constructed). In addition, the course invites working journalists as guest lecturers, enabling students to read, hear and discuss journalism from representative contemporary areas of the journalism enterprise. S/U only.


JNX 350/ WRT 350 Journalism in the Field (4 Credits)

This course provides students an opportunity to produce an extended reported project while exploring and critiquing contemporary forces shaping the media landscape. Required for senior journalism concentrators and open to all juniors and seniors, this course allows students to synthesize their previous journalistic experience. Students investigate contemporary journalism and methods and how these themes might influence their rhetorical, practical and ethical choices for their work in progress. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required.


Crosslisted Courses

ENG 136/ WRT 136 Journalism: Principles and Practice (4 Credits)

Offered as WRT 136 and ENG 136. In this intellectually rigorous writing class, students learn how to craft compelling "true stories" using the journalist’s tools. They research, report, write, revise, source and share their work—and, through interviewing subjects firsthand, understand how other people see the world. The course considers multiple styles and mediums of journalism, including digital storytelling. Students should focus their attention and effort on academic exposition and argumentation before learning other forms of writing. Prerequisite: One WI course. Enrollment limited to 16.

Fall, Spring, Variable

Journalism Concentration

  1. Gateway course: JNX 150
  2. Core course: WRT 136/ ENG 136
  3. Three electives: chosen in consultation with the concentration adviser
  4. Practicum: Two internships or practical experiences, totaling at least 100 hours of work each and approved by the academic adviser. International experiences are encouraged.
  5. Capstone course: to be completed in a student's final year of study.

Additional Programmatic Information

The Journalism Concentration accepts up to 15 students per class year. Students may apply after having declared a major. Sophomores, juniors and Ada Comstock Scholars are encouraged to apply. The selection of concentrators is based on academic performance, intentionality and commitment, and diversity of the cohort. Priority is given to students who have already completed the gateway course and one relevant elective. Journalism concentrators design their path in consultation with their adviser, choosing courses relevant to the journalistic practice that most suits their interests or needs—from general assignment reporting to photojournalism to public writing from within a scholarly discipline.

Internship Requirements

Internships are an integral element of the Journalism Concentration. Students complete two internships that enable each student to acquire practical, first-hand knowledge of the professional work of journalism and public writing. Students are responsible for researching and securing appropriate internships from a wide array of available local, regional, national and international internships identified in cooperation with the concentration advisers.

Each internship or practical experience must be approved by the student’s concentration adviser, involve a minimum of 100 documented hours of work, and receive a supervisor’s evaluation.

Internships in journalism, media and public writing vary widely in focus, content and competitiveness. 

The Jacobson Center is the organizational hub for the Journalism Concentration, and students design their path in consultation with a faculty adviser. Bridging with the larger community, the Journalism Concentration provides opportunities to interface with Five College, alum and regional journalists and faculty researchers, as well as the considerable resources of the college’s other centers. The concentration encourages a practice that is global in perspective and takes advantage of study abroad experiences.

Additional Course Information

Core Courses

JNX 150 The Journalistic Impulse
As the Gateway course for the Journalism Concentration, this course introduces students to journalism as a profession. It uses the personal as the lens through which to survey the field. The course covers basics of the profession, such as the role of journalism in a democracy, the lifecycle of a story (where it starts, how it develops), and the anatomy of a story (what counts as a journalistic story, how journalistic stories are constructed). In addition, the course invites working journalists as guest lecturers, enabling students to read, hear and discuss journalism from representative contemporary areas of the journalism enterprise.

ENG 136 Journalism Principles and Practice
In this intellectually rigorous writing class, students learn how to craft compelling “true stories,” using the journalist’s tools. They research, report, write, revise, source, and share their work—and, through interviewing subjects firsthand, understand how other people see the world. We consider multiple styles and mediums of journalism, including digital storytelling.

This course deepens students’ capacity by familiarizing them with journalistic methods, including interviewing, reporting, writing and structure, audiovisual modes, and ethical considerations.


  • JNX 150: A partial-credit gateway course;
  • WRT/ENG 136: The core journalism course, Journalism: Principles and Practice;
  • Three electives relevant to the student’s area of focus. At least one elective must involve significant public writing, or practice such as photojournalism, digital media, or audio;
  • JNX 350: The capstone seminar, involving an independent journalistic project;
  • Two practical experiences or internships.

Electives in the Concentration 

At Smith, a wide variety of courses engage meaningfully with public-facing writing, public discourse, and media. These electives are loosely divided into four pillars:

  • Writing/Practice Focus: Explicitly engage with public-facing writing and practice through substantive assignments such as articles, podcasts, photography/video, or film;
  • Media Literacy Focus: Critically examine media presence, practice and impact in society;
  • Quantitative Focus: Provide grounding in quantitative methods useful for journalistic practice, including statistics, data analytics and visualization, and data journalism; and
  • Transnational Focus: Explore any of the above in an international context.

Eligible Courses

  • AMS 351/ENG 384 Seminar: Topics in Writing about American Society
  • BIO 380 Science in the Public Eye
  • IDP 107 Digital Media Literacy
  • ENG 135 Introduction to Writing Creative Nonfiction
  • ENG 290 Crafting Creative Nonfiction
  • FMS 280 Introduction to Video Production
  • MUS 325 Writing About Music
  • NSC 316 Seminar: Neuroscience in the Public Eye
  • SDS 236 Data Journalism
  • All Calderwood seminars (300 level) and very often ENG 291 (Lakes Writing Workshop).
  • AMS 225 Corporate Capitalism, Media and Protest in America
  • BIO 101 Modern Biology for the Concerned Citizen
  • ESS 230 Body Images and Sport Media
  • FMS 150 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
  • FMS 237 The Documentary Impulse
  • GOV 210 Public Opinion and Mass Media in the United States
  • SOC 270 Media, Technology and Sociology
  • CSC 109/SDS 109 Communicating with Data
  • MTH 105 Discovering Mathematics: Topics course – Sex, Drugs, and Rock-and-Roll: How Chance Changes Our Lives
  • MTH 107/SDS 107 Statistical Thinking
  • QSK 102 Quantitative Skills in Practice
  • SDS 192 Introduction to Data Science
  • SDS 236 Data Journalism
  • IDP 291/SPN 291 Reflecting on the International Experience: Depicting Journey with Digital Storytelling
  • GER 350 Language and the German Media
  • EAL 101 Introduction to Language and Culture in East Asia: Topics course – Writing and Cultural Identity
  • FRN 251 The French Media, Now and Then: Topics course–The French Press Online
  • FRN 365 Francophone Literature and Culture: Topics course–Scandals and Spin Control: Francophone Literature in the Media
  • JPN 350 Contemporary Texts I

Students may propose other courses in consultation with their faculty adviser. 

Capstone Seminar & Projects

JNX 350: Capstone Seminar
The capstone gives students the opportunity to put methodology into practice in an extended self-directed but faculty-guided project.

Advisory Committee

Carrie N. Baker

Women & Gender Studies

Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Chair of American Studies and Professor of the Study of Women and Gender

Carrie Baker

Ben Baumer

Statistical & Data Sciences

Professor of Statistical & Data Sciences

Ben Baumer

Anaiis Cisco

Film and Media Studies

Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies

Anaiis Cisco

Brent Durbin


Associate Professor of Government; Director of Program in Public Policy; Chair of Government

Brent Durbin

Naila Moreira

Jacobson Center

Writing Instructor for Science Writing; Lecturer in English Language & Literature; Director, Journalism Concentration

Naila Moreira

Steve Waksman


Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music and Professor of American Studies; Chair, American Studies

Steve Waksman


Declaration of Concentration

Students who have been accepted into the concentration and received their adviser’s name need to fill out the
Program of Study Declaration Form.
This is the last step in making the concentration official in Workday.

Practical Experience Forms

After discussing the proposed practical experience with their advisers, students need to fill out the corresponding practical experience approval form in order to have the experience count towards the concentration requirements:

  • Summer Internship (100 hours or more) → Internship Credit Application
    All students undertaking a summer internship of at least 100 hours are eligible to receive academic credit (0.25 credits per experience) that will appear on their transcript. We encourage all students who qualify to apply for internship credit. Students applying for Praxis funding don’t need to fill out this form, and should instead use the “Praxis with Credit” form below.
  • Unpaid Summer Internship (220 hours or more) → Praxis with Credit Application
    All Smith students are eligible to receive a stipend payment for one normally unpaid internship through the Praxis program at the Lazarus Center. These internships must take place during the summer, and must comprise at least 220 working hours. Students in Concentrations are eligible to apply for Praxis a second time– Praxis Plus. When applying for a Praxis internship, the applicant must specify if the internship counts towards a concentration and should fill out the “Praxis with Credit” application.
  • Other Internships and Practical Experiences
    Students whose internships do not meet the above requirements because they take place during Interterm, during the school year, or for any other reason, should fill out the following forms.
    Prior to starting the internship please fill out the → Practical Experience Approval Form.
    Upon completion of the practical experience please fill out the Practical Experience Completion Form.
  • Retroactive Credit for an Experience
    Students who completed a practical experience relevant to the concentration prior to being accepted into the cohort should discuss the experience with their concentration adviser as soon as possible. Once the experience is approved, students must fill out the  Practical Experience Completion Form and check the “Retroactive Experience” box on the form.

Advising Checklist for Graduation

Students are required to submit a completed Concentration Advising Checklist at the start of their final semester. This form documents the completed components of the concentration requirements, and must be signed by the student’s concentration adviser. Completed form should be sent to the registrar’s office ( and to the administrative coordinator for concentrations (

Practical Experience Information

Organizations That Offer Internships

The Lazarus Center is a key partner in connecting students to opportunities and has compiled lists of previous student internships. Past Praxis student internship reports compiled by the Lazarus Center for journalism, publishing or media completed by Smith students from 2015–20 are compiled in the following:

The following external sites compile journalism internships and provide search tips and guidance:

New England Journalism Internships

Smith’s international programs also provide opportunities for student internships. Students should discuss past journalism internships and current opportunities with their study abroad advisers. Smith’s study abroad programs in Geneva, Florence, Paris and Hamburg have indicated the possibility of integrating journalism internships with their programs.

This document is a list of journalism internships, mostly recommended by Smith students who have previously interned with the company. It also includes advice on finding and applying to journalism internships. The document is continually updated with new information.

Organization: Via Nola Vie : (Magazine)
Location, Pay: New Orleans, LA. 
Local: N
Applying: No formal internship appears, email them. A Smithie worked there in 2018.

ViaNolaVie publishes and archives content focusing on New Orleans culture, stories, voices, and creativity, in collaboration with NolaVie journalists, ViaNola students, and community partners. Interns will have the opportunity to write their own pieces for the Magazine.

Organization: Artforum  (Magazine)
Location, Pay: NYC, NY. Unpaid.
Local: N
Application Date
Applying: They do not appear to be currently advertising a formal internship program. However, if you email them, they will likely be receptive to that. Smithie there in 2018.

Formal program description from a few years ago: The program is a great opportunity for those seeking to learn the dynamics of contemporary art criticism and as well as the workings of online media. Daily duties include fact-checking exhibition reviews, transcribing artists interviews, and performing research for our video column, among others. The position is unpaid and we prefer a commitment of two days a week anywhere from Monday-Thursday, with hours from 1pm-6pm for five months and consistent hours kept throughout the duration of the internship.

  • Smithie worked on the print editorial team. Helped edit and fact check articles. There was also mentorship in art criticism. 

Organization: Albemarle Magazine 
Location, Pay: Charlottesville, VA. 
Local: N
Application Date
Applying: Email them. 

albemarle is a lifestyle magazine originating from the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson. We are committed to Jeffersonian ideals: intellectual depth, love for the land, historic and cultural significance, humor, and celebration of life. Our content seeks to enlighten, educate, and entertain readers who are long-time residents, newcomers, and visitors to Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

  • Smithie wrote their own articles, as well as helping the editorial team with proofreading, editing, and layout for the print edition.

Organization: Northampton Open Media (formerly Northampton Community Television)  (TV)
Location, Pay: Northampton, MA
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: Email them. Smithie there in 2018.

Northampton Open Media is a community media arts center whose mission is to serve as a forward-looking organization enabling expression of all kinds across mediums, providing resources and programming and educational opportunities to the community through all means technologically available.

  • Smithie: Primary duties were to assist with any NCTV sponsored shoots and assist with any of the post editing. Also encouraged to pursue own production projects.

Organization: New England Public Media (TV and Radio)
Location, Pay: Springfield, MA. Paid.
Local: Y
Application Date: Spring 2024: Dec. 6

  • Spring 2024 Internship: Please send a resume, cover letter and writing sample (including published news clips, if available) to with INTERN APPLICANT in the subject line. 

Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, NEPM endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media—TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming. New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, MA. 

Location, Pay: Remote, unclear
Local: (Remote)
Application Date: Deadline for summer is April 18. 
Applying: To apply, please send a PDF containing your resume, cover letter and contact information for three references to Please put the name of the internship you are applying for in the subject line of the email. More info at: 

We are a team of filmmakers, journalists, storytellers and human rights advocates who envision a pluralistic, just and rights-respecting future in the region. We place documentary filmmaking and journalism, coupled with strategic audience engagement, at the center of our mission because we believe that stories have the power to shape public norms, equip audiences with vital information, undermine stereotypes and inspire.

Highly motivated individuals are encouraged to apply for Just Vision's internship program. Through this dynamic program, interns will gain hands-on experience and mentorship in the fields of media, education, outreach and development through the Israeli-Palestinian context. Just Vision actively recruits for spring, summer, and fall interns. Interns will be required to commit to 15-20 hours per week. Due to COVID-19, our internship program is currently fully remote and will be managed virtually.

Organization: Ms. Magazine (Magazine)
Location, Pay: Ms. headquarters are in Los Angeles, CA., but interns can be based anywhere. When possible, interns are welcome to join staff in-person at our office.
Local: N
Application Date: Rolling basis
Applying: Send a resume and cover letter to Include up to three writing samples, either as links or attachments. Visit for more info.

Ms. interns work closely with the digital editor and social media editor to assist in daily maintenance of and produce content for The internship offers plentiful opportunities for interns to build a writing portfolio and learn more about both feminism and digital journalism. Past interns have run dedicated columns; researched and reported features; adapted reported articles into shareable and engaging social media content; interviewed thought leaders, lawmakers and activists; made lifelong connections with feminists; and more.

Ms.’s internships range from five to 30 hours a week and coincide with academic semesters (spring, summer and fall) with the opportunity to extend the period if the intern wishes. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Location, Pay: Amherst, MA. Unclear
Local: Y
Application Date: Rolling

Production company that does television programming, mainstream Hollywood movies, and has worked in dozens upon dozens of independent projects as producers, production support staff, writers, directors, actors, etc. They have a variety of projects; for it to count for the journalism concentration, interns should work on more documentary style ones. 

At Counterfeit Cow Productions we're passionate about film making, and we believe in the power of education through film. That education doesn't just take place for audiences, but it also takes place behind and in front of the camera. We welcome applications from students in any major, at any level in their scholastic career from freshmen to college graduates.

Organization: WVII ABC 7 and WVFX Fox 22 (TV)
Location, Pay: Bangor, ME
Local: N
Application Date
Applying: Email probably. Smithie there in 2015. 

Local Fox news station in Maine. Intern shadowed reporters and photographers, did production on news pieces, uploaded stories online, and was able to actually do interviews and produce a few of their own segments. 

Organization: Holyoke Media 
Location, Pay: Holyoke, MA
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: Email to enquire. 

Holyoke Media is an independent, non-profit, multimedia organization funded through the local cable franchise, which was founded with the goal of bringing local media to the city’s residents. We provide local journalism, offer educational courses in media production and literacy, and support and foster the arts, civic dialog and access to local government. From our temporary headquarters in City Hall, we’ve already started to produce and distribute news and documentaries of local interest. We continue to provide coverage of City government meetings on cable channel 15.

Organization: Orion Magazine 
Location, Pay: Northampton or Great Barrington, MA
Local: Y
Application Date: Before March

(Nature Magazine) “It is Orion’s fundamental conviction that humans are morally responsible for the world in which we live, and that the individual comes to sense this responsibility as he or she develops a personal bond with nature.” Orion has become a focal point in an extraordinarily rich period of nature writing, and it has remained true to that core conviction, though the magazine has evolved into a bimonthly and the range of its interests has broadened to include not only environmental but cultural concerns.

Organization: The Boston Globe 
Location, Pay: Boston, MA
Local: Y
Application Date: November 1
Applying Will need a cover letter, resume, references, 400 word essay on prompt, and at least 5 clips. 

The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper founded and based in Boston, Massachusetts. The newspaper has won a total of 27 Pulitzer Prizes. Publishes local, regional, and national news. 

Organization: The Berkshire Eagle 
Location, Pay: Pittsfield, MA
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: Applicants should submit a resume and writing sample to the Director of Human Resources. Reach out to them first to ensure information is up to date. 

Daily newspaper (owned by New England Newspapers, Inc.) serving Berkshire County. Offers a small number of summer reporting internships with the newsroom. 

Organization: CommonWealth Magazine 
Location, Pay: Boston, MA
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: There are internship listings on their umbrella company, MassINC, site: Could also email them. 

We cover politics, policy, ideas, and civic life, with an emphasis on investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, and political mapping. We also provide a forum for policymakers and politicians to set forth their opinions. 

Organization: State House News Service 
Location, Pay: Boston, MA
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: Email them

The State House News Service is an independent, privately owned news wire service that has been providing in-depth coverage of the Massachusetts state government since 1894. It provides a continuous daily feed of news stories about state-government issues and events, supplemented by photos, audio and video. It is also the only news outlet with floor privileges in the Massachusetts House and Senate chambers, where SHNS reporters cover every session from desks near the rostrums.

Organization: VTDigger 
Location, Pay: Montpelier, VT. Paid. 
Local: Y
Application Date: Feb 1.
Applying Apply at this link with resume, cover letter, and clips.

The mission of the Vermont Journalism Trust is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, promotes public accountability and fosters democratic and civic engagement.

Organization: Seven Days 
Location, Pay: Burlington, VT
Local: Y
Application Date
Applying: Probably email them, don’t have an official internship currently up.

Seven Days is an independent weekly newspaper covering Vermont news, politics, food, arts and culture. New issues are published each Wednesday and distributed free at 1,000 locations in Northern and Central Vermont and Plattsburgh, N.Y. The Seven Days website includes breaking news reports, videos, up-to-date event listings, job postings and personals, as well as content from current and past print issues and special publications. 

Organization: The Massachusetts Review 
Location, Pay: Amherst, MA. (Based at UMass). 
Local: Y
Application Date

The Massachusetts Review is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary magazine. Our mission—to publish underrepresented voices and artists unafraid to challenge, dissent, and inspire through their work and their political values—is as crucial today as it was when we launched nearly sixty years ago. 

Organization: Daily Hampshire Gazette
Location, Pay: Northampton, MA. Unpaid.
Local: Y
Application Date: Rolling, depends on semester
Applying: Applicants should email a résumé, three work samples, and a cover letter describing their goals in an internship to Chad Cain, Gazette managing editor, at, or Shelby Brock, Recorder managing editor, at 

The Daily Hampshire Gazette and Greenfield Recorder offer internships for college students who are eligible for academic credit for their internships during the academic year (fall semester: September-December; spring semester: January-May) and the summer. The Gazette and Recorder are daily newspapers published in Northampton and Greenfield serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. The unpaid internships offer students real newsroom experience, working in print and online. Interns develop and hone their skills in reporting, writing, copy editing and photography under the supervision of experienced editors.

In our newsrooms, we value the ideas and perspectives interns bring to the papers, and they leave with new skills, strong clips, and a deepened sense of the community in which they live. We invite applications from students who are eligible to use their internship to receive formal academic credit, which is a requirement. 

Organization: Facing South 
Location, Pay: Durham, NC. $400 weekly stipend. 
Local: N
Application Date: Usually Mid March.

Founded in 1970 by veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies is a research, media and education nonprofit dedicated to exposing injustice, strengthening democracy, and building a community for change in the South.

The Institute for Southern Studies, an award-winning nonprofit research and media center based in Durham, North Carolina, seeks Summer Interns to support the Institute’s research and media projects covering a range of critical issues in the South. Institute internships provide opportunities to develop research and writing skills while connecting with leaders, advocates, writers, and researchers in the region. Ideal candidates bring a passion for advancing issues of democracy and social justice in the South as well as strong research and writing skills.

Organization: The Shoestring


Reaching out to your local paper

How to find your local paper:

  • The Smith College publication finder can be helpful to find your local paper
    • Search the name of the town, it can go under the search term “title”
    • If no results come up, there may not be a significant local paper, so you should try searching for a slightly larger town or urban area near you.
      • However, there are some local papers that Smith doesn’t have under this, so double check in another way
  • Google “(town) local paper” and a variety of results should come up of papers that cover that area
    • Could also search by state or region: “local papers in (state)” - this often comes up with a list maintained by the government or another group
Instructions for applying to local papers:
  • If they have an internship program, follow those instructions.
    • To find out: google the paper name + internship, or look at pages on the website like “contact,” “jobs,” or “about us.”
  • If they do not have a pre-existing internship program, send them a polite email asking if they are looking for interns.
    • Send the email to their general email, the managing editor, or, if they have one, the HR department
Suggested email template
  • This is just one option, you can be more creative and use your knowledge of how to write cover letters to improve it to fit you


Dear so-and-so,

I’m writing to inquire if you had any internship opportunities for __(summer 2023)___. I’m a rising (grade) at Smith College studying (majors, also include if you are a concentrator). I am from (city), and I am very interested in journalism. 

  • Say what experience you have
    • For example: I currently write for my school paper, The Sophian, and have also had some work published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
      • Also mention: previous internships, if you are a first-year or sophomore you could mention writing for a high school newspaper

I would love to work for your paper in any capacity you have available this summer! My resume and three writing samples are attached. [Or, include links to articles].

Thank you for your time,


Deadlines: specific internship programs will have deadlines. If you are just emailing to enquire, do so in late March to early April so they have enough time to consider interns before the summer. 

Journalism Concentration Application

The next application deadline is October 16, 2024. While the concentration accepts applications on a rolling basis, those received by the deadline will receive priority consideration. 

You may apply to the Journalism Concentration using the following link to the electronic application form. 


Contact Journalism Concentration

The Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching and Learning
Seelye Hall 307
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Director: Naila Moreira

Administrative Assistant: Yona Kimball-Smith