Sunday, September 6, 2009

From the reception: What's next for A&M journalism

Heartfelt thanks to Matthew Watkins for this report!

An impressive showing by the Aggie football team and a pleasant FJSA reception made for a pretty great day Saturday.

Welton Jones II '58, the new inductee into the FJSA Hall of Honor, and Kayla Slimp, this year's recipient of the Bob Rogers scholarship, both gave inspiring speeches. More from them TK.

But first, Pam Matthews, associate dean of liberal arts, updated us on the status of the journalism program. She said she has frequent conversations with new program head Dale Rice about the future of journalism studies at A&M, and passed along some of his immediate goals:

Rice's biggest priorities for 2009-10 include reaching out...

...to high school seniors and A&M freshmen. Many of the current students at A&M only find out about the journalism program after they've been in school for a few semesters. They then have to play catch-up if they want to enroll in the program and complete all of the required classes. Rice will be speaking with top journalism students in high school and encourage them to look at A&M. He'll also try to make sure that incoming freshmen are aware of the journalism opportunities as soon as they arrive in College Station.

...to other departments to to co-sponsor journalism-related events.

....to professional news organizations in the field. That especially includes outlets willing to work with Aggie students. A great example is John Kelley at the Washington Post, who got a column by Krista Smith '09 published in his paper after working with her during the 2009 Journalists in Residence program.

Matthews also described how Rice has recognized the important role the Internet plays in the future of journalism. The JOUR 303 media writing class will add a video component to its curriculum, she said, and will publish an online magazine at the end of the semester showcasing each student's best work.

We also elected new officers. They are:

President - Douglas Pils '92
Vice President - Frank Smith '87
Secretary - Scot Walker '90
Treasurer - Nicholas Roznovsky '01