Welcome to the Convergence Journalism Interest Area at the Missouri School of Journalism, the school’s first new major in more than 50 years. Launched in Fall 2005, convergence journalism teaches students how to produce news in a more impacting way with “converged” media–two or more mediums used together to create a stronger story. The program also focuses on training students to use, produce news and be involved with emerging media platforms, such as tablet apps and social media.
There are, perhaps, as many notions of “media convergence” as people who use the term. Ours is based on three basic principles:
- The public increasingly wants to access quality news and information at any time through any and all media that are convenient or appealing to them.
- The audience for news and information is less passive than it used to be. Many people, especially younger people, want to create, respond to and interact with media. This desire has led to emerging “citizen journalists.” Full-time journalists need to accept this power shift and take advantage of the opportunities it presents.
- Convergence training should not be “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Young journalists will not be equally adept at all storytelling styles and skills, but each student will have the opportunity to focus in on their desired field. Each student can still be effective in their desired field while understanding and taking advantage of changes in the media landscape.
Each student will undergo four levels of convergence journalism training, along with taking interest area, elective and general education courses.
- The first level of the program involves an introduction to the media and the equipment used to capture the media. The students will get familiar with the degree of reporting expected of multimedia journalists and acquire the technical skills needed to accomplish that standard.
- The second level will consist of a ‘reporting semester.’ The student will be expected to be part of and work for a couple different newsrooms. This will grant the student experience in the newsroom atmosphere, provide the student with published work to include in their portfolio and drastically increase his/her storytelling skills in different mediums. Along with being involved in different newsrooms, students will be part of teams that will produce a story every week. This will help students learn to work as a team on one assignment, as this can and will happen once the student graduates and enters the industry.
- The third level of the program focuses on the editing and managing roles necessary in the journalism industry. Students will have the opportunity to oversee teams producing stories for their reporting semester, as well as opportunities in multiple newsrooms to increase the student’s desired interest area and further supply material for a portfolio.
- The final level of the program is the capstone course, where students will be put in groups and partnered with a client to fulfill a research and production project. The experience will differ depending on the client and the project, but all students will be required to complete in-depth research for their client before putting together the final product that the client desires. With a wide range of clients and projects, each student should be able to obtain further experience for their interest area and also complete a large project that will add a lot of value to his/her portfolio.
Check the links below to learn more about the Convergence Journalism program, its partners, and major/interest area requirements.
If you have questions or comments that aren’t addressed, please contact Professor Lynda Kraxberger, Convergence Interest Area Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.