Communication/Journalism Department Now Department of Media and Communication
Communication/Journalism students returned to Fisher this semester to a department with a new name. Now officially known as the Department of Media and Communication, the department has also added another degree program.
Dr. Jack Rosenberry, Department Chair and Associate Professor, said the name change was first proposed a couple years ago.
The name came about after a collaborative brainstorming session with the faculty. The group also sought feedback in a focus group they conducted in 2012, which included faculty members and the dean, meeting with about 25 people from local ad agencies, companies, and non-profit organizations. Rosenberry said the participants were all enthused by what the department was proposing because of their needs for entry-level employees with excellent communication skills along with some level of business literacy.
“We think the name better reflects the current state of the program and types of careers our students are preparing for,” he said.
The department is still offering journalism courses, but has expanded the offerings to include new courses focused on digital media, advertising, and public relations. The Bachelor of Arts in Communication/Journalism degree that the department has always offered is still in place as well, although, it was revised in 2011 to focus more on digital and convergent media.
“We have evolved to the point that we offer many more general media and communication courses than we do journalism courses, and the new department name reflects that,” added Rosenberry.
In addition to having a new name, the department is now offering a new Media Management major. Rosenberry said the major is a “mash-up” of a communication degree with a business/marketing degree. The new bachelor of science degree has 63 required credits, which is more than the required courses for the department’s bachelor of arts degree. The credits span from communication courses to business-oriented courses, including economics, statistics, and marketing. There is also a tier of electives with advanced work in public relations, advertising, and marketing, and a capstone sequence that involves a practicum.
While the new major was built mostly out of existing courses and will be taught by existing faculty, Rosenberry said what is new is the way in which it requires students to combine the courses toward a particular outcome that builds a joint understanding of media and business management.