A new multimedia journalism elective has been added to the English course offerings this year. The class, taught by Ed Schultheis ’99, is designed for students interested in journalism, video broadcasting, videography, production, and layout editing. Focusing on 21st-century applications for core journalism skills such as writing, reporting, and interviewing, the class allows students to apply their learning to various digital media. The curriculum includes a number of different projects from written articles to podcasts, videos, and live broadcasts. Student work is published to The Mount’s online newspaper, The Quill
“Many of the students are interested in sports journalism, and the skills they are learning in the course will allow them to explore those goals, as well as provide a glimpse into the fast-paced, deadline-oriented world of sports journalism,” explains Ed.
For the broadcasting portion of the class, students utilize the new Pixellot camera hardware that was installed in the Smith Center and on Plevyak Field over the summer. This allows the students to focus on the commentary portion of the broadcast while the artificial-intelligence-controlled camera handles the video work. In addition to the new hardware, students are also becoming familiar with Open Broadcast Software and YouTube Live, which they use to create live manual broadcasts for events, interviews, and more.
Student propose their own goals and deadlines for projects, and be held to those deadlines, just as they would in a real-world journalistic setting. “At the end of the day, I want students to know if they enjoy the work and being published,” says Ed. “That’s where the interest comes from, that hooks them – do they enjoy what they are doing? If so, I think they have a good chance at continuing to grow that interest in college and beyond.”
With digital media becoming an increasingly popular tool for personal communication, more and more students are realizing the viability of 21st-century journalism as a growing career field.
“Thanks to the technological world we live in today, students are already journalists. They just don't think of themselves that way,” Ed considers. “Students, whether by choice or by happenstance, are witnessing things and broadcasting them through social media directly from the scene. Their words and voices are out there, presenting their own unique perspectives on the events they are witnessing. In this way, I think it is important that students learn how to leverage the technologies available to them, as well as find ways to better direct and focus their messages, which is something we work on a lot in class.”
Journalism is constantly changing and adapting with technological advances and increasing opportunities to create and instantly share content across the globe. There has never been a more interesting and exciting time to dive into all the possibilities this course has to offer.