Missouri School of Journalism adopts convergence track

The Missouri School of Journalism at Missouri University will launch a convergence track this fall, according to Mike McKean, an associate professor at Missouri School of Journalism.

"The journalism school faculty embraced the notion of a separate sequence more than a year ago, but with a clear directive: make sure students receive in-depth training in at least one 'traditional' medium as well as the breadth of experience that comes from working in teams on multiple media platforms.

"The curriculum hammered out in consultation with administrators, a diverse faculty and nervous newsroom managers (faculty supervise student journalists at the Columbia Missourian, KOMU-TV and KBIA-FM) aims to do just that. Second-year undergraduates who opt for the convergence sequence will begin with basic skills training in radio, TV and online production, newspaper writing and photography. They will also sign up for a one-hour course in the fundamentals of advertising, marketing and public relations, especially as they apply to converged media operations.

"Students will then take three core convergence courses. The first focuses on reporting. The second teaches editing and management. The third is a capstone that assigns teams to work on in-depth projects for our newsrooms or prototypes of new journalistic forms and products.

At the same time, we will require students to take at least six hours of coursework from their choice of 'concentrations' developed by the existing sequences in areas such as investigative reporting, magazine design, photo editing or TV newscast producing. With six elective hours also at their disposal, they can gain even more experience in a single medium or use those credits for further exploration."

Master of Arts students will also have the option of choosing a graduate convergence model.



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