The Journalism and Mass Communication Department has added a new class to the schedule of electives for convergence journalism students.
The class is called Topics in Convergence Journalism and is taught by Dr. Kenneth Pybus. While the class title may sound ambiguous, that is intentional. It gives Dr. Pybus the ability to adapt the class to meet the needs of his students.
The Topic for the Fall Semester
The department chose to make the topic of the class for the fall term about sports journalism. This decision was in response to a recent influx of journalism student interested in covering sports after graduation. In the last two to three years, more and more students have been joining the JMC department in hopes of one day becoming sports writers.
In past years these students would be directed to The Optimist to join the sports staff or work with the JMC network on the weekly sportscast. Still, students wanted more.
Details of the Class
The class meets every Monday and Wednesday for an hour and a half. There are 11 students, and almost all of them have experience writing sports for The Optimist.
The curriculum includes two books about how to cover sports professionally. Students will be doing many practical assignments throughout the semester, like live-tweeting ACU sporting events and covering local high school sports.
Win-win for Students and the Department
All in all, this class is a good thing for everyone involved. It allows an avenue for journalism majors interested in a specific field to gain real world experience, and it shows the department is actively seeking to meet the needs of its students.