SOC students get schooled at NBC
Local news station offers opportunity
As a result of a partnership between the School of Communication and NBC, six AU students are participating in a one-credit course as part of the NBC4 Washington Broadcast Media Semester.
SOC, Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia students are studying at the NBC4 studios on Nebraska Avenue to learn about station management, marketing, digital media, promotion and advertising, among other topics, according to SOC Associate Professor Jill Olmsted.
“Students are benefited by having a professional association with journalists and other media professionals who are currently working in the field,” Olmsted said. “This has always been a hallmark of our programs.”
Kristen Pionati, a junior in SOC and the School of Public Affairs, is one of six AU students enrolled in the class.
“It’s one thing to learn about the inner workings of a television station, but it’s a different thing to actually be able to see those inner workings,” Pionati said. “I hope to gain first-hand knowledge about the many facets that go into making broadcast news.”
The NBC partnership began last fall when SOC Professor Sarah Menke-Fish and her students worked on an NBC4 project, “Metro Monsters,” which aired on NBC earlier this semester, and contributed to the “Muppets and a Christmas Tree.”
“[NBC News] President Steve Capus and I have signed an agreement of cooperation creating opportunities for the NBC staff and our faculty and students to collaborate on content creation for broadcast and the Web and to develop cutting-edge academic programs in digital journalism for graduate students and mid-career professionals,” said Larry Kirkman, the dean of SOC.
The class will be offered every spring and provides a cross section of journalism, public communication, film and visual media, according to Olmsted.
“[The class] reflects the reality of what is possible in today’s changing media landscape,” she said.
The partnership is in addition to AU’s long-standing class with The Washington Post, according to Peter Perl, the assistant managing editor for training and development at the Post. The class, which has not been offered in several semesters, has been modified, according to Perl. Instead of being offered every semester, the class will only meet in the spring with a limited number of students.
The program became too large for the Post to accommodate due to the continual downsizing of the newsroom in the past 10 years, Perl said.
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