Graduation requirements—for most majors, that includes passing classes, meeting university expectations, and possibly a mandatory internship. These requirements are present in the JMC Department as well, but we also have a unique addition: an internal internship.
Students in the JMC Department are required to work for two semesters in a student media agency to earn their diplomas. For journalism majors, The Optimist, JMC Network, and KACU-FM give different options for growing journalistic experience. Advertising and public relations majors have the opportunity to work for Morris & Mitchell. However, until last year, students in the growing multimedia major didn’t have a student agency that was truly home. The JMC Department recognized the need for a student media lab that would better serve students within this major.
A home for multimedia majors
99 West Media was created to serve that need. The student-run multimedia agency produces video and multimedia content for real clients. Since last year, agency has grown, adding two new staff positions.
A small student staff supervised by Dr. Jessica Smith and Cade White runs 99 West. This year’s staff includes director Brance Armstrong (pictured below), senior producers JP Festa and Marissa Jones, and producers Erika Thrasher and myself, Hailey Hendricks.
Brance Armstrong, current director for 99 West, started with the agency last year. As 99 West begins its second year, Brance is excited to grow client relationships and start to define 99 West Media as an agency.
According to Brance, “99 West is all about telling client stories, and we hope to be able to do that in a way that the client may not find anywhere else.”
99 West Media is unique as a student agency and provides a new home for multimedia majors to develop professional experience.