The Mass Communications Department at the University of West Georgia has been revamped for the new school year. In addition to the enhancements in The WOLF Internet Radio and WUTV, two new concentrations have been added. Mass Communication students now get to select from four concentrations: Convergence Journalism, Public Relations (PR), Digital Media and Telecommunications and Film and Video Production.
“What was previously Film and Media Arts is now being split into two concentrations or sequences,” said Assistant Professor of Mass Communications, Deon Kay. “One of them is called Digital Media and Telecommunications. The other one that I’m the director of is Film and Video Production.”
In addition to the new concentrations, the department also has a less rigorous Film and Video Production minor. Mass Communication majors cannot minor in the new sequences. However, they will be allowed to take the courses as electives and have them count towards their degree.
With the addition of a new concentration, a new criterion is required. Some classes that were once electives have now been made requirements.
“Previously there were several production classes that were electives, which were Digital Cinematography and Image Design, Film and Video Post-Production and Sound Design,” said Kay. “Now those have become requirements as have Advanced Film and Video Production.”
The required writing class, COMM 3301 (Writing and Reporting for Newspaper I) has now been replaced with Short-Form Screen Writing and Analysis.
“That class will serve the Film and Video Production sequence and the Digital Media and Telecommunication sequence,” she said.
Though different classes are required, students still have to acquire 120 hours to graduate.
“There are eight required classes within the sequence and you still have the same number of electives.”
Students enrolled in these courses will get first hand instruction and experience with operating camera equipment, lighting and editing software. Because these courses are technology-based, most, if not all, will be in the Mac lab, which is located in the Anthropology building. The Mass Communications Department also provided all the necessary equipment for students to check out for a two-day period.
Along with all of the expansions and changes, the department has already hired a new professor and is looking to hire others.
“We hired someone this year as a limited term instructor so she’s with us for a year and we’re in the process of hiring a full-time tenure track faculty to add to the sequence,” Kay said.
Also, if finances allow, the department has hopes of opening at least one additional Media Law and Mass Communications Research Methods class per year.
“It’s exciting and we have been working on it for two years. It was not an easy thing to achieve, but it’s a good thing for the department and for the university and we’re excited on our end.”