Full Sail’s New Media Journalism Master of Arts online degree program reflects the new requirements for today’s journalists: namely, that they need to do a little bit of everything.
Gone are the days when writers, photographers, or videographers each had just one skill to master. With the ease of publication afforded by the Internet, the fast-paced news cycle and the sophistication of readers, many journalists find that they end up writing, taking photographs, shooting video, blogging, tweeting, and more.
The New Media Journalism program provides students with training in all these disciplines and tools, said Program Manager Ryan Kitelyn, who has a background in radio, sports marketing, and advertising.
Students take classes in writing, research, multimedia development, digital news production, mobile technology, social media, media law, public relations and new media publishing and distribution.
They receive a Sony video camera, tripod and website hosting at the start of the program, so they can begin developing a website and portfolio of their work.
“They’re going out and they’re getting interviews,” says Kitelyn. Students use iMovie, GarageBand and other software products to get the story across, and “every month they are published; every month, they are building their portfolio in every class,” Kitelyn continues. “When they graduate, they will have that to show potential employers.”
Students can tailor their sites to their interests, says Kitelyn. Some students may be very interested in video, while others are avid bloggers.
“We want to give them options,” he says. “As long as it’s newsworthy, you can tell [a story] different ways.”
“It’s always about the story. How do you know your audience is listening? Are you writing in the right tone? Are you using the right mediums to reach those people? Do you have something important to say? Do you have an opinion on the topic? Is that opinion relevant? Is it over-played? Is it timely?”
Kitelyn says that while the tools and distribution methods of journalism have changed, the core values of journalism have not.
“Newspapers have been on the decline; hard-copy print journalism has been on the decline. However, journalism itself – telling the story and getting that information out – has never been stronger.”
Read more about Full Sail’s online New Media Journalism Master of Arts degree program at FullSail.edu.