Saturday, November 19, 2011

Multimedia journalism minor adds to education options at Randolph College

Randolph College students can now pursue a minor to gain skills that are crucial to today’s journalists.

The faculty recently approved a multimedia journalism minor. Currently, the minor consists of several journalism related courses already offered by the College. More courses could be added in the future, said Chad Beck, chair of the Communication Studies department.

“We have many students that consistently take journalism classes, so we know there’s a demand for it,” Beck said. “We decided that we needed to give students a multimedia journalism education.”

“Journalists today combine traditional methods of on-the-street,traditional investigative reporting, but they have to be multimedia professionals,” Beck said. “They have to use digital cameras for photography as well as filmmaking. They have to use blogs, and various forms of software for editing and publishing.”

Students can declare the minor and fulfill the requirements by taking 18 credit hours, including these courses:

COMM 102: Introduction to Mass Media—This course covers media organizations, what they do, and how we can analyze them.
COMM 111: Introduction to Communication and Cultural Studies—Learn how to analyze media in a cultural context.
COMM 211: News Reporting or COMM 212: Feature Writing—These two classes help students develop skills in writing news articles (about events and issues) and feature stories (about people, lifestyle, and culture).
COMM 330: News Media in the Information Age or COMM 432:Issues in Global Communication—Take a look at how journalism is meeting the challenges of reporting on an international, interconnected world, and how news reporting is playing a role in politics worldwide.
COMM 213: Newspaper Production Lab—The campus newspaper, The Sundial, is produced by students in this class.
COMM 279: Digital Filmmaking or COMM 181: Photography—A picture is worth a thousand words, so how much is a video worth? These classes explore storytelling through video and still photography. Both are essential elements of journalism today.

Students interested in broadcasting may also consider taking COMM 241: American Radio and Television, which examines how these media have changed since American families first tuned in to broadcast entertainment and news.

The communications studies department also encourages students in this minor to obtain an internship with a media outlet.

In the past, students have interned at our local ABC affiliate, WSET; Lynchburg Living, a local lifestyle magazine; Zohe Films, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox’s production company;and NBC Universal in Washington, DC.

Beck said this minor will give students a wide range of hands-on experience as well as theoretical understanding.

“We wanted to give students a career-oriented minor that also is grounded in the liberal arts traditions of Randolph College,” he said.