Multimedia journalism education in U.S.: Examining journalism programs in New Jersey

With the category of multimedia journalism programs in mind, I looked at  communication/journalism programs at eight universities and colleges in New Jersey, trying to find how multimedia or multiplatoform journalism is being integrated into college curriculum.

The four categories are: fully integrated, partly integrated, silo, and electives only.

To sum up my observations: There is no fully or partly integrated multimedia journalism programs in New Jersey. Rowan University has an Online Journalism track that focuses on multiplatform journalism and can be categorized as a “Silo.” Rutgers University has a few multimedia journalism courses as electives, thus falls under “Electives Only.”

The schools that I looked at are Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Monmouth University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Rowan University.

What I examined is: (a) whether the program description emphasizes a multimedia or multiplatform focus of the curriculum; (b) whether the core courses or required skill courses include courses that focus on multimedia/multiplatform reporting and production; (c) whether the program merges conventional broadcast/print tracks.

Here’s the detailed observations and comments:

Rowan University: Department of Journalism
This department has a separate Online Journalism sequence and two required courses – Online Journalism I, Online Journalism II. The professor responsible for the online journalism courses keeps a blog.
This program falls under “Silo.”

Rutgers University: Department of Journalism and Media Studies
This department offers several areas of specialization: Consumer Media; New Media and Sports Reporting; Global Journalism; Political Journalism; Visual Journalism. The degree requirements include two courses, “Multimedia Reporting” and “Exploring New Media.” But they are not required of all students.
This program falls under “Electives Only.”

Montclair State University: Department of Communication Studies
The core course offerings indicate this is a conventional communication program without courses of new media or multiplatform journalism. In addition to the communication department, there’s also a broadcasting department, and without courses focusing on multiplatform reporting and production.

Monmouth University: Department of Communication
Their three clusters are Applied Communication, PR/Journalism, Radio/TV. Reading the descriptions of the clusters, I don’t see any mentioning of new media or multimedia journalism.

Rider University: Department of Communication and Journalism
This department offers six majors: Speech and Interpersonal Communication; Graphic Design; Journalism; Public Relations; Radio and Television; Web Design and Multimedia. The requirements for journalism major don’t include course that indicate “multiplatform” contents. The only such course, “Converging Digital Media,” is listed as an elective under the Web Design and Multimedia track.

The College of New Jersey: Communication Studies
Three concentrations: Public/Mass Communication; Radio/Television/Film; Interpersonal/Organizational Communication.

New Jersey Institute of Technology: Communication and Media
They have a Media Arts track and a Professional & Technical Communication track, without a clear focus on journalism or multimedia journalism in the program description.

Fairleigh Dickinson University: School of Arts and Media Studies
They have a BA in Communication, and BA in Communication with Broadcasting concentration. This is not a conventional journalism program, and obviously not a multimedia journalism program.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (, a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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