This fall, five BU journalism students enrolled in the newly redesigned Washington, DC Journalism Program program are reporting for New England newspapers, including the Worcester Telegram, Cape Cod Standard, Nashua Telegraph, Patriot Ledger and Portsmouth Herald. In Spring 2012, the program will expand to include broadcast students.
The newly redesigned program includes a shift in the academic focus, as well as new offices and classrooms near Dupont Circle, and a new residence hall built specifically for BU. The residence is at the Woodley Park Zoo Metro stop. “The decision was made to provide state-of-the-art smart classrooms and office space and to build a new residence hall that provides for a 21st century learning experience in DC for our BU students,” said Philippe Pavillard, Executive Director of BU Study Abroad.
Based on recommendations from veteran BU journalism professor Nick Mills, BU Study Abroad and the College of Communication changed the program’s academics to emphasize the newsroom experience and to drop the internship requirement for newsroom students. Students enroll in the newsroom course for eight credits, the core course on national political reporting (taught by Susan Milligan, a former political reporter for The Boston Globe), and an elective for a total of 16 credits.
“The goal of the newsroom in the 21st century is to emphasize ‘backpack journalism’ and the use of multimedia tools to report on the news and the Washington newsroom is designed to develop those skills,” said Tom Fiedler, dean of the College of Communication. “The DC Journalism program provides students significant on-the-ground journalistic experience as correspondents for New England newsroom and broadcast outlets prior to graduation in a program that includes a partnership with the BU Center for Digital Imaging Arts located in the Georgetown area of DC.”
In addition to redesigning the journalism curriculum, the Washington center will offer an expanded set of courses and tracks to be developed for the internship program in order to attract more students in communication, political science, international relations, management, and other arts and sciences majors. For 2012, the focus is on courses related to the elections, and additional curriculum changes will be announced later.