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Oct. 13, 2011
Northwest Missouri State University dedicated its recently opened Student Media Converged Newsroom in Wells Hall with a dedication ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The dedication included remarks by Northwest mass communication faculty and alumni as well as Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski. Members of Northwest's student media also demonstrated how they use the variety of equipment and technology in the newsroom, which is located in the lower level of Wells Hall.
For decades, student-run media at Northwest have ranked among the top of college publications in the country and served as a training ground for students who have gone on to successful careers in journalism, media relations, advertising and education. Last year, the University and its Department of Mass Communication took steps to ensure students are prepared for the next phase of an evolving industry by tearing down the walls that divided the student publications area. The Northwest Missourian newspaper, Tower yearbook and Framework Interactive online magazine are now housed in an open newsroom that is vastly improved.
"It's a sign that the University is dedicated to the 21st century of news gathering and of journalism, and it's a great commitment and great faith that they had in allowing us to this," said Laura Widmer, director of student publications at Northwest.
Along with the department's revised curriculum, Doug Sudhoff, chair of Northwest's Department of Mass Communications, said the improved facility will play a key role in preparing students for the changing media industry.
"We have spent two and a half years working on refining curriculum and making some really radical changes that will better prepare our students not just to get jobs in the industry but to develop careers in the industry and to become leaders in the industry, and not just at the skill level but at the critical thinking level that will allow them to assess medic content and make decisions that will allow them to be successful," Sudhoff said.
The new Student Media Converged Newsroom provides a spacious and enhanced professional environment for students working within a variety of media. In addition to open workspaces, a conference room and flat-screen televisions, the newsroom includes a studio and editing bay where students can record and edit video and audio.
Northwest saved about $14,000 by completing the renovation with a crew of workers from the University's Department of Environmental Services. Their work included removing all partition walls and replacing the drop ceiling, doors and frames. The in-house crew also textured the remaining walls, painted the area and laid new carpet. Electricians saved thousands of dollars by retrofitting existing light fixtures with energy efficient ballasts and bulbs.
Wells Hall had served as the University's library until construction on the B.D. Owens Library was completed in 1983 and the Department of Mass Communication subsequently moved into the former library. While Northwest's student run-print media are housed in the lower level of Wells Hall, the third floor serves as the headquarters for Northwest's radio stations KXCV-KRNW and KZLX as well as television station KNWT.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468