High-Tech Media Lab Established at Howard
By Ronald Roach
The Microsoft Corp., donating software and $70,000 in cash for the purchase of computer hardware and furniture, has joined with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and the Howard University Department of Journalism to launch the Converged Media Lab for journalism students at the university. The new lab combines broadcast, print, advertising and public relations studies and provides one of the most advanced converged journalism curricula available at a historically Black college or university.
The multimedia facility, which is a refurbished classroom modeled after open newsrooms, contains broadcast monitors and 10 workstations with computers, printers, scanners and digital graphic design equipment. The lab is equipped with high-tech tools that will serve the 367 currently enrolled journalism majors. The innovative classroom is linked to the NNPA’s newsroom. The NNPA is an organization that serves the nation’s Black-owned newspapers.
“This exciting partnership merges Howard University’s journalism classroom with the NNPA’s newsroom,” says George Curry, editor in chief of the NNPA’s electronic news wire service, BlackPressUSA.com. “The lab provides students with the experience of writing for a national news outlet that reaches more than 200 Black newspapers and 15 million readers. Students will come to the lab to put into practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.”
“We know that the convergence is occurring. To help shape change, you need to embrace it and try to understand and work with it,” says Dr. Jannette Dates, dean of Howard University’s School of Communications.
The launch in October included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from Dean Dates; John “Jake” Oliver Jr., president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Tom Broadwater, general manager of the mid-Atlantic region at Microsoft; and Makebra Anderson, Howard journalism major and executive editor of the student Web site BlackCollegeView.com.
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