Once again, Jackson State University has made history.
Last November, it became the first historically black institution in the state of Mississippi to open a School of Journalism and Media Studies and the seventh HBCU out of 106 in the nation.
“The School of Journalism and Media Studies will give our students the skills and the experiences they need to tell the stories that matter, to connect to audiences in meaningful ways and to take their places as producers, owners and leaders in this ever-evolving media communications industry,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers at the official opening last November.
JSU has an accredited and highly respected mass communication academic program, two television stations, one radio station, one affiliate radio station, a weekly student newspaper, a student-produced magazine and access to an online weather facility. Only two other universities in the state, The University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi, have journalism or mass communication schools. The major focus of the school, located in the Mississippi e-Center@JSU, is to become a national leader in producing high quality multimedia journalists and mass communicators.
“The School of Journalism and Media Studies at Jackson State University has been elevated to the national media stage,” said the school’s dean, Dr. Elayne Hayes Anthony. “It is our hope that students will be energized, that faculty will be motivated and the media community will wholeheartedly assist us on our journey toward communication excellence in all disciplines.”
JSU media, which includes JSU TV, WJSU Radio, Tiger TV, The Blue & White Flash, Experience Magazine, and affiliate WeatherVision, are part of the school. In January, the Jackson State University School of Journalism and Media Studies and the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi entered into a partnership that will allow the two schools to exchange faculty, collaborate on research projects and enhance student learning in journalism and multimedia. The collaboration includes Jackson State and Ole Miss faculty teaching undergraduate courses for students at both universities, students from both schools participating in international travel and research and joint participation in annual media conferences sponsored by each university. During agreed upon academic terms, courses in a common classroom or other setting with a common instructor or instructors may be offered by both institutions in Jackson or in Oxford. They will be open to students at Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi. Ronnie Agnew, advisory board chair and executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, said there is enthusiasm for the new J-School.
“We have a great group of professionals on the School of Journalism and Media Studies Advisory Board who are excited about the opportunities ahead. We have the support of the administration, great leadership and vision for the school, a dedicated and experienced faculty and talented students who are eager to learn.”
Concentrations offered currently are integrated marketing, media production and multimedia journalism. Sequences to be added to the school will include sports media, advertising and public relations. New offerings will include a course in media literacy and social media. The JSU School of Journalism and Media Studies offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication and a Master of Science degree in Mass Communication.