Multimedia Production & Journalism Major

Today’s media creators are expected to do it all: photography, writing, videography, graphic design, Web development. Drury students do it all.

With this training, our graduates pursue careers in filmmaking, news and sports reporting, video production, Web development, public relations and social media management. 

Our majors choose from one of two emphases:

Multimedia Scholarships

The multimedia production and journalism major exposes undergraduates to an array of media tools and strategies for the professional world. As a part of a liberal arts university, ours is a program with a distinct focus on critical analysis, ethical standards, as well as reporting and writing for print, broadcast and online media platforms. Students will also learn to combine radio and TV production and programming with the best ways to leverage social media to connect with audiences.

Drury University multimedia production and journalism majors gain real-world experience in the Shewmaker Communication Center’s television studio, Carole Lambert Studios, and FM radio station. They also produce a creative senior project and portfolio which represent their accomplishments and growth during their years at Drury.


Program of Study

The multimedia production and journalism major must complete 36 hours of coursework: 33 hours of required courses and three hours of elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to find an internship during their time at Drury.

Please note that COMM 211 Presentational Speaking is a prerequisite for COMM 351 Principles of Persuasion and Influence.  Students should complete COMM 211 early in their degree program. 

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses. 

Core Courses

COMM 215: Foundations of Communication Theory
3 credit hours

Introduction to the fundamental questions, methods and theories that define the communication discipline and communication professions. Students also will survey approaches to the study of interpersonal relationships, organizational dynamics, public discourse, mass media and cultural criticism as well as the history and development of the communication field. This introduction will help students make informed decisions about the focus and trajectory of their study and career.

COMM 226: Multimedia Production I
3 credit hours

Provides students with the basic understanding of shooting and editing digital video. Using their own digital cameras, students will write, shoot and edit videos under the direction of the instructor. Upon course completion, students should be equipped
with basic understanding of storytelling, camera strategies, the importance of sound and editing terms, as well as the skills necessary to produce good amateur videos.

COMM 285: Communication and Ethics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  COMM 215.  
CCPS - none.
Introduction to ethics in communication studies. Students examine conceptual perspectives for understanding and evaluating communication ethics in interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations and intercultural contexts. This course is designed to stimulate the moral imagination, reveal ethical issues inherent in communication and provide resources for making and defending choices on ethical grounds.

COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion & Influence
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 211, COMM 215.
A study of the persuasive process in contemporary culture. Students study basic theories of persuasion and public speaking in an effort to become responsible consumers and creators of public persuasion. Practical applications are made by presenting persuasive speeches and critical projects.

COMM 386: Web Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 221.
Explores audience engagement on the Internet, teaching students basic web-design and social media skills. Using media-usage theory as a guide, students will develop an overall online communication strategy and web presence that incorporates interactivity and new ways to tell stories. Serves as the capstone experience for the web communication and design minor.

COMM 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

A capstone experience for students majoring in strategic communication, organizational and leadership communication, and multimedia production and journalism. Over the course of the semester, students will develop, execute and present projects that reflect the highest performance standards of their major area of study. Additionally, the course will prepare students for the transition from student to working professional (or graduate student) through the creation of career planning and development tools. Students will develop portfolios that serve as an integrated and documented album of knowledge and skills in communication and liberal arts studies.

Major Requirements

COMM 221: Multimedia Writing
3 credit hours

Provides a writing foundation for multiple disciplines, including print journalism, broadcasting, web and public relations. Students will learn about compiling information effectively for audiences and presenting content through social media.

COMM 322: Media Law
3 credit hours

A survey of federal, state and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising, with an exploration of ethical guidelines for professional behavior.

COMM 375: Principles of Multimedia Production II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 226.
Provides students with the opportunity to advance skills learned in Principles of Multimedia Production I. In this course students will be challenged to think beyond the basics and inject creativity into their video projects. By completion of course students will be able to produce videos for broadcast.

Choose One Emphasis

Broadcast Emphasis (6 hrs.)

COMM 245: Studio Production
3 credit hours

Exposes students to the principles of multi-camera video production as the basis for in studio or remote, live programs. Students will perform all aspects of studio production including live camera, switching, audio, lighting and floor management.

COMM 373: Advanced Electronic Media TV Activities
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 375.
The capstone course for future broadcasting professionals. Students will work together as DUTV staff members meeting weekly deadlines for on-air and web-based projects. Using skills acquired in Principles of Multimedia Production II, students will produce a significant amount of material and therefore increase those skills at or near the professional level. Several projects from this class should be resume quality.

Journalism Emphasis (6 hrs.)

COMM 356: Photojournalism
3 credit hours

An introduction to photojournalism, the concepts and thought processes used in shooting for a newspaper or other journalistic publication. Students will also develop writing for publication skills, as cutlines will be required for each photograph.

COMM 380: Data Visualization
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 221.
This course focuses on the theory and practice of analyzing and presenting information for a variety of audiences. Students will learn how to gather data from public and private sources, and tell stories with visual representations of data, both in print and online.

Choose three hours from the following electives (3 hrs.)

COMM 141: Radio Activities
1 credit hours

Activities associated with KDRU, the student radio station, as well as Internet and web-based projects.

COMM 181: Journalism Activities
1 credit hours

Practical activities associated with The Mirror (student newspaper).

COMM 271: TV Activities
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 226 or prior experience approved by instructor.
Students work with the instructor to identify relevant multimedia projects for Drury University, the Springfield community, and/or DUTV. Students will coordinate studio or field productions and take story content into post production to generate programming for broadcast. This applied learning environment allows students to oversee video production projects from start to finish.

COMM 208: Introduction to Argumentation and Debate
3 credit hours

This course helps students develop the foundational knowledge and skills needed to become effective critical thinkers and communicators. Students will examine different types of argument structures and logical fallacies, learn how to evaluate and use evidence in constructing persuasive cases, and develop skill in refuting claims orally and in writing. Readings, discussions, and case studies will explore the interconnectedness between argumentation strategies and communication context. This course prepares students for participation in competitive debate experiences and other public advocacy roles.

COMM 332: Intercultural Communication
3 credit hours

A survey of critical and qualitative inquiry into intercultural communication. This course provides an introduction to the tenets of intercultural research as well as in-depth analysis of intercultural communication competency and cultural criticism. Topics include introductory readings in ethnography, social anthropology and communication studies, and numerous case studies across various cultures. Theories include nonverbal communication analysis and facework across cultures. Diversity issues and identity politics are explored.

COMM 342: Interpersonal Communication Theory
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 215.
Interpersonal communication is the process of interacting with someone on a one-to-one basis. This class will provide a survey of theories and research that define the field of interpersonal communication within specific relationships and contexts. Topics include social support, rituals, relational maintenance and termination, compliance gaining, sex and gender differences, relational intrusion, face management, and conflict.

COMM 353: Mass Media and Society
3 credit hours

The history and current status of mass media in America, including newspapers, magazines, books, motion pictures, the recording industry, radio and television. Students will also explore theories and research examining the effect media have upon society.

COMM 358, 359: Advanced Journalism Activities I & II
2 credit hours

Practical activities associated with student or college publications. Reserved for students holding editorial or other advanced positions on publications.

COMM 387: Organizational Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 215.
Analysis of how organizations are produced and affected by communication. This course provides an in-depth examination and application of theories, contemporary perspectives and research in fields of organizational communication. Topics include organizational structures, culture, socialization, decision making, diversity, stress, burnout, technology processes and leadership.

COMM 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

COMM 291, 391, 491: Research
Variable credit hours

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

COMM 397, 497: Internship
Variable credit hours

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options. S/U grading. 

ENGL 253: Grammar and Style
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-None.
CCPS-ENGL 150.

Students intensively investigate modern English grammar and usage. The course acquaints students with models of understanding and teaching grammar and with opportunities for experimenting with a variety of styles.

THTR 354: Writing for Stage and Screen
3 credit hours

Students study play and film structure, character creation and the art of writing dialogue. Course responsibilities include the writing of two short plays and/or films.


There are numerous extracurricular activities available within the communication department community. KDRU (the student radio station) encourages multimedia production and journalism majors to get involved with the operation of the station from working air shifts to management roles. DUTV (the student TV operation) offers students the opportunity to become involved in television production activities, from producing and directing to operating cameras and building sets. Students also are encouraged to get involved with the other communication department activities like The Mirror (student newspaper) and AD/PR Club.

Senior Portfolio Requirement

All communication majors, and those planning to declare a major, must keep a file of important assignments completed in communication courses and in the general education program. Items to be placed in the file include any written assignments graded or evaluated by the instructor, written projects, speeches, internship projects and audio/video materials. The contents of the file will be used to develop a senior portfolio, a course requirement in COMM 493 senior seminar. The senior portfolio is a reflective document that provides evidence of a student’s learning achievements and it may be used to facilitate career planning, job search activities and/or admittance to graduate study.

Extracurricular

The Communication Department has numerous extracurricular activities available for its students. Our FM radio station, KDRU, broadcasts throughout Springfield and streams worldwide on the Web, providing the opportunity to develop diverse programming. Our television operation, DUTV, has a full studio with the latest production equipment to provide students the opportunity to experience life in front of and behind the camera. And our student newspaper, The Mirror, provides a platform for students to make news and content decisions with real-world implications.

Lambda Pi Eta is our communication honors organization that acknowledges the top tier of students. Organization members coordinate our year-end Communication Department event, Shewmaker Celebrates, and several volunteer in our Speech Communication Center, which helps members of the Drury and Springfield communities prepare for public presentations.