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Jackson State launches School of Journalism and Media Studies

Jackson State University is the first historically black college or university in the state of Mississippi to open a School of Journalism and Media Studies.  JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers made the official announcement Nov. 12 at the Mississippi e-Center@ JSU where the School is located.

Drs. Evelyn Leggette, Carolyn W. Meyers, Elayne H. Anthony and Karyn Hollingsworth celebrate the launch of JSU's J-School.

Drs. Evelyn Leggette, Carolyn W. Meyers, Elayne H. Anthony and Karyn Hollingsworth celebrate the launch of JSU’s new School of Journalism and Media Studies.

Only two other universities in Mississippi, The University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi, have a School of Journalism or Mass Communication.

Jackson State becomes the seventh out of 106 HBCUs in the nation (three private and three public universities) to house schools of journalism, media or communication.

“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.

JSU has a noteworthy 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. By leveraging these resources, the University recognized that this modification would provide a core opportunity for growth and enhancement.

The major focus of the School 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.  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,” said Dr. Elayne H. Anthony.

Dierdra Harris-Glover, junior mass communications major, welcomes guests to the launch of the new School of Journalism.

Dierdra Harris-Glover, junior mass communications major, welcomes guests to the launch of the new School of Journalism.

JSU media, which includes JSU TV, WJSU Radio, Tiger TV, The Blue & White Flash, Experience Magazine, and affiliate WeatherVision, are now under the auspices of the School.  The establishment of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, coupled with the inclusion of all JSU media will enhance the reach of the department and result in a premier program.

“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,” said Ronnie Agnew, advisory board chair and executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Current concentrations in the Department of Mass Communication 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.

  • Enrollment is approximately 250 undergraduates and 44 graduate students.
  • Courses relate to specializations in editing and graphic design, electronic communication (television and radio broadcasting), multimedia journalism, photojournalism, reporting, integrated marketing and public relations.
  • The School has three labs:  video, design, and journalism plus the remote equipment that will allow students to complete multimedia projects.
  • Students write, edit and produce content for the closed-circuit and commercial television stations as well as participate in practicum experiences at the radio stations and student publications.
  • The School consists of professional media managers, full-time faculty members with expertise in sequence areas of multimedia journalism, media production and integrated marketing, adjunct faculty who are current or former media practitioners, and 22 advisory board members.