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Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication

Alicia Oken '13 is a journalism graduate Student at Georgetown University and an intern in the Office of Digital Strategy for the White House. She majored in multimedia journalism, communication studies and political science at Augustana.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Students go on to careers in journalism, public relations, advertising, promotions, and marketing. Many of these are growing fields. The most recent Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communication reports that beginning salaries for journalists are increasing and the overall job outlook is improving. The Bureau for Labor Statistics projects 21 percent growth in jobs for public relations managers and specialists and 14 percent growth in jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers by 2020.

The Quad-Cities is an ideal setting for communications internships in multimedia journalism and mass communication (MJMC). There are two daily newspapers, four TV network affiliates and a PBS station. 

In this medium-sized media market, students are given opportunities they would not get in a larger market. Students have covered presidential visits, hosted local TV programs, and written front-page news stories.

The Quad Cities' proximity to Chicago also allows for big-city internships. Most recently, students have covered the Stanley Cup for WGN Radio, written blogs for the Arena Football League and coordinated celebrity visits for The Silverman Group.

Faculty mentors help students find internships. In the 2012-13 academic year, all MJMC majors completed an internship.

Augustana offers a major and minor in multimedia journalism and mass communication.

The program offers the conceptual and hands-on skills to succeed in the 21st-century media environment.

Students tackle assignments that help equip them with the ability to tell stories across multiple platforms. They encounter the fundamental roles and purposes of journalism in democratic society, and the place of these roles in the age of blogs and social media. 

Outside the classroom, students are encouraged to think big. From working with members of Congress to hosting a weekly Spanish-language television program, students take what they learn in class and apply it to internships.

On campus, students hone their skills in a range of activities, including the award-winning Observer student newspaper, the student-run campus radio station WAUG, the on-campus NPR station WVIK, Augustana's Photo and Video Bureaus, the Entrepreneurial Edge Center, and Ads (Advertising Developers), Augustana's chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

The department is housed in Old Main, the central academic building on campus. The 1889 building underwent a $13 million renovation in 2013. Communication studies and multimedia journalism students take classes in a 20-computer multimedia Mac lab and benefit from other freshly updated spaces. Student media are clustered together on the same floor, with new, dedicated spaces for The Observer and WAUG.

Faculty offices are clustered nearby the classrooms and student media rooms, making informal interactions with students a central part of the department's atmosphere. Sitting areas for informal meetings and computer kiosks are interspersed among the offices and classrooms.

Alicia Oken '13, multimedia journalism and mass communication, communication studies, and political science:
"The practical skills that you learn in the MJMC program have definitely helped me the most after graduation. From learning how to use Final Cut Pro to writing for the Augustana Observer, I've been a step ahead after graduation because of the MJMC program. While you can learn how to craft a sentence in any college, the professors in this program make sure what you learn in the classroom can be applied to life after college. I've benefited a lot from learning how to use the different software and equipment. These skills are transferable no matter what work you decide to go into."

Brennan Casey ’14, multimedia journalism and mass communication and business:
"One of the best decisions I have made in my college career was declaring my MJMC major during my sophomore year. I have developed many important skills in my experiences both in and out of the classroom. My internship in the sports department at WQAD-TV gave me the opportunity to shoot and edit video, write scripts, and improve my interviewing techniques. As the sports editor of the Augustana Observer, I was able to improve both my writing and interviewing skills. I have always had an interest in broadcasting but it was not until I was given the opportunity to broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games for WAUG, the student radio station, that I realized sports broadcasting was a career I wanted to consider. I feel that the classes I have taken in the MJMC department as well as the opportunities I have had outside of the classroom have helped prepare me for life after college."

Observer wins 18 awards, breaks school record

Augustana College's student newspaper, the Augustana Observer, has done it again, collecting 18 awards from the Illinois College Press Association to break the newspaper's record of 17 awards in 2011.

Journalist to discuss aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis

Augustana will host author Kevin Roose for the annual Ellwood F. Curtis Family Lecture in Public Affairs at 7 p.m. March 23. Roose, a journalist who has covered Wall Street, business and finance, will speak about his latest book, "Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits," which chronicles the story of brokers in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

Cokie Roberts to speak at fundraiser for WVIK Radio

Cokie Roberts, a Morning Edition contributor and former congressional correspondent, will appear Thursday, March 27, on behalf of WVIK, Augustana Public Radio, for a gala fund-raising dinner in the Gold Room of the Hotel Blackhawk in downtown Davenport.
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