Raycom Media, WSFA's parent company, and Auburn University have created a partnership to give Journalism students in the College of Liberal Arts hands-on, real-time training and experience in producing news for television, digital platforms and social media.
A news bureau studio just off campus is being equipped and staff from Raycom Media, WSFA 12 News and WTVM 9 in Columbus will work with students as part of the collaboration.
The studio is expected to open by October with classes taught in the space starting spring 2014
Below is the news release from Auburn University:
Raycom Media and Auburn University Create Cutting-Edge Journalism Collaboration
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Raycom Media and the College of Liberal Arts' School of Communication and Journalism announce a pioneering partnership to train multimedia student journalists.
Professors and Raycom Media professionals will work with students in a convergent newsroom to reinforce classroom lessons with live reporting experiences. The partnership will allow Journalism and Communication majors to have hands-on learning experiences in a state-of-the-art studio. Students will deepen their journalistic experiences by working in an active newsroom to produce local news stories for television, the Web, social media and digital devices, according to School of Communication and Journalism Director Jennifer Wood Adams.
"The Auburn and Raycom collaboration will provide students with invaluable training, real-time journalism ethics instruction and insight into industry expectations," Adams said. "The groundbreaking part of this partnership is the direct link our students will have to Raycom news executives, who will be able to mentor and guide their professional development, as well as tap students and graduates for internships and jobs."
The AU news studio will adopt a teaching hospital model that has been strongly advocated for by media executives and journalism foundations. Last fall, representatives from the nation's leading journalism foundations, who have been clamoring for change in the way journalism students are educated, wrote an open letter to university presidents stating that students need a "teaching hospital" newsroom that is akin to the training medical students receive by working alongside a physician on rounds while in med school.
"News consumption habits are rapidly changing, and that calls for new ways to prepare tomorrow's multimedia professionals," Auburn University President Jay Gogue said. "We're excited about where this innovative partnership will position Auburn in the communication and journalism profession."
The studio will be located a block from campus on Gay Street. Raycom Media is providing studio equipment, as well as editing software, cameras, sets, furniture, and professional expertise all the students will use. Also available for both students and professionals will be live video functionality including the latest portable equipment making use of 4G wireless technology. This will all create and maintain a convergent newsroom and classroom space. The Raycom investment through this partnership provides technology, time and training to the School of Communication and Journalism at a value of more than $350,000.
Raycom will house a news bureau in the space, which will allow Auburn students to observe and work alongside of broadcast news and sports reporters, producers and news directors. Through class assignments, students will contribute digital material and video packages on WSFA's and WTVM's stations and web sites. Majors will receive feedback and advice about their reporting and producing skills from journalism professors and news professionals.
"The partnership will help students learn how to handle the challenges of today's news operation," Raycom Media President and CEO Paul McTear said. "It will also demonstrate the importance of journalistic integrity, while providing Auburn students with an understanding of the need to quickly disseminate news on multiple platforms. In addition, this is a tremendous vehicle for the news gathering industry to identify and grow those up and coming journalists for our fields."
The studio is expected to open by October with classes taught in the space starting spring 2014.
Raycom Media, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and/or provides services for 52 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states. Raycom stations cover 12.6 percent of U.S. television households and employ nearly 3,500 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company in Charlotte, N.C.) and Tupelo-Honey Productions (a Sports and Entertainment Production company based in New York), as well as Broadview Media (a post production/digital signage company based in Montgomery). Raycom is also responsible for the design and hosting of Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail web site.
Raycom owns regional cable and syndication television, and digital media rights to Atlantic Coast Conference Athletics. Raycom Media is headquartered in Montgomery, Ala.
Auburn University is one of the nation's premier land, sea, and space grant institutions. In the 2012 edition of the U.S. News and World Report ratings of undergraduate programs, it was ranked 36th among public universities. Auburn is an institution that is both highly research-active and committed to maintaining teaching excellence offering Bachelor's, First Professional, Master's, Educational Specialist and Doctoral degrees. Its 2011 enrollment of over 25,400 students includes approximately 20,400 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. There are 1,196 faculty members distributed across nine Colleges and three Schools, with degrees offered in more than 200 academic programs. The School of Communication and Journalism, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts, has more than 900 students in its four undergraduate majors and a master's program. (www.cla.auburn.edu/cmjn/)
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