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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. 

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 requires a minimum of 33 credit hours.

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 (18 hrs.) 

COMM 211: Presentational Speaking
3 credit hours

Principles and practice of effective oral communication. This course focuses on researching, composing and delivering formal and informal presentations. Topics include ethics and public speaking, listening, research, analyzing and adapting to audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of message, effective use of visual aids and critically evaluating public address. The course emphasizes informative and persuasive speaking. Designed for students who seek speaking and critical thinking skills.

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 227: Foundational Video
3 credit hours

This course provides students with the basic understanding of shooting and editing digital video. Using a digital camera, students 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

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 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.

Digital Media Coursework (22 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 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 270: Introduction to Data Visualization
3 credit hours

This course is designed to teach students critical skills for evaluating data usage and visualization, and introduce them to ways to analyze and present their own data sets. The goal is to develop the ability to review data visualizations critically and determine their usefulness and validity.

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 336: Visual Storytelling I
3 credit hours

This course will give students the skills to effectively communicate by means of visual storytelling and photojournalism. The concepts and thought processes involved in shooting documentary photography for online or print media publications will be explored as well as the concepts that makes for cohesive visual narratives.

COMM 346: Visual Storytelling II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 336.
The ability to communicate ideas and stories through multiple platforms is crucial in today’s digital society. This class builds on Visual Storytelling I by integrating multimedia and video into visual narratives needed in these spaces. Students will also explore media-effects theories to understand how images shape and affect people’s perception of the world.

COMM 384: Audio Documentaries
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 221.
This class is designed to expand students’ investigative skills and storytelling abilities through the development of audio documentaries. Students will deepen their research skills by obtaining and analyze data sets, and learn to communicate their findings effectively to diverse audiences through long-form audio storytelling.

COMM 388: Professional Video Production
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 227.
Students will expand their video skills in pre-production, photography, lighting, audio, interviewing, and editing. This course will build upon the basic technical skills by using professional-grade video-production equipment to explore the aesthetic and ethical impact of visual representations on diverse audiences.

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.

Students pursuing a major in Multi-Media Production and Journalism may not also major in Strategic Communication, or Organizational and Leadership Communication, or minor in Communication.

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.