ALISM MULTIMEDIA JOURN Graduate Program uidebook
Prospective Student G 2014
Download a QR reader app to your smartphone and scan these symbols to visit our online links.
Welcome Message from the Director of Graduate Studies What sets our curriculum apart from others is that it was designed for the digital age. We’re not simply dropping some “digital” concepts into traditional journalism courses, but instead, the courses have been created to address the needs of a modern storyteller. Mobile and digital practices are the foundation of what
as they’re happening, often scooping local, regional and national news outlets. Students in our program also are exposed to documentary storytelling, both through photo essays and video production, and their work is published through our School’s online
our graduate students study at VCU.
properties in addition to local and
Our courses include techniques and
there are opportunities to get wider
strategies for using large datasets to tease-out stories that could never be discovered through traditional data-collection practices. We’re also focused on providing real-world experience in telling stories across different mediums. Learning when and how to place content in social media channels versus traditional print and broadcast outlets is complemented by our mix of skill-based courses that emphasize best practices in writing, video production, interviewing, story
regional news outlets. Additionally, exposure through CNS, which is a nonprofit cooperative between the University of Maryland and VCU that provides all subscribing journalistic outlets in Virginia and Maryland with state-level, multi-media political news packages. I hope you’ll take the time to review the content in our brochure and reach out to me if you have any questions. We’re always looking for professionals who are ready to move to the next
framing and data analysis.
level of journalism excellence.
We’re also focused on helping our
students develop and publish stories faster. The days of turning stories around in a week, or sometimes two, are long behind us now. We’re teaching students how to take tablet computers into the field to record, edit and post stories where they happen,
June Nicholson Director of Graduate Studies Robertson School of Media & Culture Virginia Commonwealth University
Robertson School of Media & Culture: Social Media
Multimedia is the new normal for how storytelling is practiced The modern environment for
The explosion of content created
journalism has merged traditional
through digital means has led
storytelling mediums, such as print,
to amazing advances regarding
radio and television, with digital
storytelling techniques and story
additions that include social media
promotion. For example, rather than
and blogs. Where these formats were
being the domain of editors, headlines
separated in the past, they have
are now routinely tracked (and
now converged to allow much more
alternatives tested) through clicks and
freedom in how stories are gathered
shares in order to influence what is
and told. The central philosophy
viewed. This kind of data collection
within the multimedia journalism
using testing, analysis and action
program at VCU is to learn to quickly
is also mirrored in the way modern
adapt to changes in the industry while
journalists comb through large
also embracing new opportunities for
datasets to expose corruption and
find opportunities for citizens.
Contemporary journalists are now expected to have a much wider set of skills than anytime in history.
Contemporary journalists are now expected to have a much wider set of skills than anytime in history. Among them are video editing and
The landscape for journalism
production, social media savvy,
has changed dramatically with
impeccable grammar, basic html
the growth of the internet, large
coding knowledge (and sometimes
databases, and now, mobile devices.
more advanced knowledge), layout
The convergence of these three
and design abilities, data analysis
phenomena has led to massive
techniques and extremely fast
changes in the journalism industry
turnaround times for stories. This is
that extend beyond what anyone
more than what most people can
previously imagined regarding a 24/7
accomplish in an undergraduate
news cycle. News is now constant
program, which has fueled demand
and moves across devices, and to
and competition for graduate
individuals, in real-time.
programs that have adapted to the new context in which journalism is practiced.
Multimedia Journalism: Program Highlights The M.S. in Mass Communications
learning about international media
with a concentration in multimedia
journalism prepares graduates for the practice of professional journalism
The program is designed so that
in a highly competitive and multiple-
students will take three courses each
platform (print, broadcast, online/
semester (fall and spring). During
digital) news environment.
each semester, two of the courses will be offered in the evenings and one
This professionally oriented graduate
will be offered online. Thus, students
program focuses on building
will be able to complete the course
multimedia skills. The degree requires
work over two years of study.
36 credit hours, 30 of which are in the journalism discipline. Students
During their time in the program, our
take an additional six credit hours
students have opportiunities to cover
in a collateral area outside of mass
political stories in the state capital,
communications. Students in this
conduct evironmental and health
program learn the theory and
reporting using contacts at the VCU
practice of journalism in an immersion
medical campus, work as interns,
news environment, and can further
network, take public policy courses
specialize through graduate electives,
in the Wilder School, enroll in an
projects and stories in any number of
internatioanl journalism course (with
â€œbeatâ€? areas. For example, students
an opportunity to go to China) and
can focus on coverage of health or
practice journalism in a diverse, rich-
the environment or concentrate on
media area of country.
After Multimedia Journalism: Media Art & Text PhD VCUâ€™s interdisciplinary doctoral
MATX emphasizes the historical and
program in Media Art & Text is a
theoretical foundations essential to the
joint endeavor of the Department of
scholarly study of media, both old and
English, the School of the Arts and the
new, broadly defined.
Robertson School of Media & Culture. It provides an intellectually stimulating The program prepares students
environment that encourages students
primarily to teach at the college or
to work both collaboratively and
university level, although some pursue
independently, as well as across and
careers in related media fields.
between disciplines and media.
How to Apply To apply, contact June Nicholson, Director of Graduate Studies, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (804)-
What to Send to the Director of Graduate Studies:
• An updated resume
827-0251. She will provide additional
• A personal statement of educational
and professional objectives • Three official graduate references,
To apply online, complete the
using the graduate reference forms
application form available at the VCU
available on the VCU Graduate School
Graduate School Website. Note that
this program has a summer admission
• Portfolio material from your
only. Pay the online application fee.
undergraduate and/or graduate and/
Send official, sealed transcripts for
or professional experience
all graduate and undergraduate work
• Unofficial or official transcripts of all
to the VCU Graduate School. Make
graduate or graduate work
sure that your official GRE scores also
• GRE scores
are sent to the VCU Graduate School. VCU Graduate School Application
Deadlines for admission are January
International applicants without a
15 and March 15 for preferred
degree from an English-language
consideration. The School may admit
university must also submit TOEFL
other students who submit materials
beyond those review deadlines, depending on availability of space.
Mailing Address: June Nicholson
Director of Graduate Studies Robertson School of Media & Culture Box 842034 Virginia Commonwealth University 901 W. Main Street Richmond, VA 23284-2034
Courses and Electives MASC 611 Research Methods in Mass Communication (3 credits) Fundamentals of mass communications research techniques (content analysis, survey research, experimental design, historiography), including an overview of computer applications, statistics, theory development and trends in the published literature. MASC 642 Online Journalism I (3 credits) Exploration and production of various means of journalistic communication using online resources. Various multimedia projects will be reviewed and discussed, as well as the best use and application of media types based on the information being communicated. Students will research news stories and examine the effectiveness of online presentations while exploring how online journalism can work with more traditional forms of communication. MASC 643 Online Journalism II (3 credits) Development of online journalism production skills and familiarity with the best uses and practices for publishing material on the Web and for administering news websites. Students will learn the skills for posting media and also about the systems for maintaining news organizationsâ€™ entire websites. MASC 644 Computer-assisted Reporting (3 credits) Provides a practical guide to online research, data analysis and other computerassisted reporting and research skills. Students will learn how to find authoritative information, including news sources and data, through the Internet and other online resources. Students will also learn how to use spreadsheets, database managers, mapping programs, social networking analysis, statistical packages and other software to sort, summarize, analyze, visualize and present data. Course will cover how to evaluate the reliability of electronic information, how to find trends and integrate them into news reports, and how the First Amendment and journalism ethics apply to digital information.
Thereâ€™s more to school
than just coursework. Visit
VCU Recreational Sports to
learn about our facilities and extracurricular activities.
MASC 645 Visual Journalism (3 credits) A theoretical and hands-on course that immerses students in all aspects of visual journalism, including videography, photography, informational graphics and photojournalism. Examines visual communication theory and applied uses of multimedia, particularly in online journalism. Activities include professional-quality projects for multimedia publication. Addresses legal issues in producing multimedia packages, including copyright law. MASC 646 Convergence Law and Ethics (3 credits) Explores the delicate balance that exists between freedom and control of the mass media (print, broadcast and new media). Focuses on judicial decisions and reasoning,
given the impact the courts have on interpreting the First Amendment. Will also focus on new legal and ethical concerns created by the Internet and digital newsgathering and presentation technologies. Students will be immersed in the ethical decision-making process through the case-study approach. MASC 684 Multiplatform Storytelling (3 credits) Students will develop new ways of storytelling that leverage the power of the print, broadcast and online media, combining two or more of those platforms into a single, multimedia package. Analyzes the origins of multimedia and its current trends. Themes include the history of multimedia journalism, the adaptation process for traditional media, the search for a business model and the new news audience. MASC 685 The Business of Media (3 credits) Provides students with both a macro and micro understanding of the business operations of small and large newspapers, television and radio stations and online media. Students will examine newsroom operations, advertising and human resource issues. Will also examine laws and regulations governing media as well as ownershope trends. MASC 686 International Journalism (3 credits) Explores how major news organizations in the U.S. and abroad cover international news in the 21st century as well as the various media structures and systems that are in place in countries around the world. Students will examine the power and impact of global news media in shaping public opinion. They will study trends in international coverage. Students will explore the role of the press in a democracy as well as in authoritarian or communist nations. They will examine the ethical and legal dimensions of international reporting across various media systems, regulations and protocols. The course will also emphasize the ways in which technology is rapidly changing how news is developed and disseminated. Coverage of wars and major world conflicts will also be emphasized. MASC 688 Converged Media Applications (3 credits) Graduate-level research and production focused on multimedia. Students will complete a significant multimedia project that draws on their experiences and the skills learned in other graduate courses. Students may opt-out of this course and insterad take MASC 699 Thesis (3 credits). Graduate electives (6 credits)
Richmond: Quick Facts
Richmond consists of many distinct neighborhoods, including “the Fan,” which spreads out from VCU’s Monroe Park campus. Multiple Fortune 500 companies have made Richmond
About VCU VCU is an urban, public university with approximately 31,000 students and features more than 200 degree
their home, and the city is regularly included at the top of national lists for outdoor sports and recreation. RVA, as Richmond is known among
and certificate programs.
locals, has an eclectic variety of art
It is comprised of two campuses
that attract tourists and business
in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The main campus is called Monroe Park, which includes all non-medical programs. The second campus, MCV,
galleries, museums and restaurants visitors. The James River flows through the center of the city and provides opportunities for white water rafting, hiking and mountain biking.
is connected to the VCU Medical Center and houses all medical programs. A free shuttle service connects students and faculty on both campuses. VCU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as RU/VH, which is the highest classification for a researchoriented university. It also belongs to the Atlantic 10 conference in the NCAA, where the men’s basketball team has made a tournament appearance for the last three years.
Richmond Visitor Information
MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM Graduate Program