By Meghan Fitzgerald, Staff Writer
Recent changes in journalism have challenged educational institutions aiming to provide college students with the best skills necessary to land jobs in the multimedia industry. In an effort to combat a competitive job market and technological advancement, the University has created a new journalism course called Multimedia Journalism Video (JRNL 14).
Associate Professor of Journalism Gregory Smith has written a textbook called Going Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century to coincide with this new course. "What sets [my book] apart from other textbooks is that it shows people how to work alone…Every book up to this point in television news classes showed how to work in teams, separating videojournalism into two jobs, reporting and videography," said Smith. While this method has worked in the past, Smith acknowledged a great change in the industry that has prompted the University to create this course.
The technological advances of recent decades have greatly shaped the way that media supplies information to the public. "TV and radio stations have stories online; newspapers require reporters to post their stories first on a Web site with photos, audio and video; magazines have extended coverage on their Web sites as well, often with slick video to complement their glossy image," said Smith. Thus, Smith is touching upon the public's demand and expectation to receive news from multiple sources.
Whether it be via newspaper, a television network, a podcast or a stream from an iPhone, it is clear that the multimedia industry is more important than ever.
"For a journalism student, from my experience as a TV person, I'd like to see students have the skills for an easier working environment," said Senior Philip Eslick. "Journalism and TV people have different languages and it is good to have an understanding between them." Thus, Eslick highlighted that recent years have lessened the gap between print journalism and broadcasting, and that the same skills are now needed for both areas of the media.
"Knowing how to survive in a multimedia environment is a core skill that every journalist will have to master if they want a career in the media today," said Smith.
The objective is to not only teach students to report and write their own stories, but also produce and utilize images and footage to enrich their stories. While this process was performed by two or more people in the past, the University's new course will strive to educate students to complete the process singularly from start to finish.
"It is important [to create this course] because jobs are being marginalized and now the individual is made to do more," said senior Erika Crown.
This course will ultimately give students an edge over individuals from other institutions that do not draw parallels between journalism principles and new media methods. "Employers will come to recognize that Hofstra students have all the multimedia skills they need, as well as a good background in the liberal arts and law to not only get their first job, but to help them grow and thrive into the future," Smith said.