Electronic Journalism: New Major to be introduced at Siena

By Christopher Hannmann
As of right now, Siena does not have too many venus for students who want to break into the field of Broadcast Journalism. Next fall, all of that is about to change. Dow Smith, who currently teaches Journalism at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, will be coming to Siena to help build an Electronic Journalism major at the college. While the college currently has a minor called Broadcast and Society, Smith hopes to expand the current program and eventually introduce new aspects. “As a minor, the current program introduces Siena students to careers in either electronic journalism or film,” states Smith. “The hope is the program will soon become a major called something like Electronic Media and School administrators hope the introduction of professors like Smith, who has teaching and field experience, will help enhance the interest in communications on Siena’s campus.
Although interest may be minimal, in recent years the college has seen its media outlets grow by leaps and bounds. Specifically WVCR FM, the college’s radio station, was named 5th in the nation among college radio for two years in a row.
In addition, The Promethean, the student newspaper, has continued to improve to become one of the best college newspapers in the Capital Region. It is through the new major, that Smith hopes to be able to work with other media related clubs on campus, such as WVCR, The Promethean and, of course, Siena College Television (SCTV).
As part of the new program, Smith hopes to utilize the new Joseph Reilly Broadcasting studio that was constructed last April. While since it’s construction, the SCTV club has made attempts to enhance the studio’s usage, the club has had a difficult time recruiting members and therefore has only used the studio sporadically. Smith hopes to change this. He states “One of my main concerns will be to enhance the service from the SCTV channels with a wide variety of program content that is both student generated and from other sources.” Smith assures that SCTV will continue to be the home base for the student television club, but he also sees the minor and the club complimenting one another. “What a great way to learn about making television and video,” states Smith.
While it may take a couple years to get the new major up and running, when asked why Siena students should consider becoming an Electronic Journalism major, Smith states “Electronic journalism covers a variety of important and rewarding careers, everything from on-air reporting in radio or television to the newer field of online journalism. The field is constantly changing. It is an exciting new media world and Siena students need to know more about this new way of doing journalism.”
Students who are interested in Electronic Journalism are encouraged to first declare themselves as a Broadcast and Society minor. See below for some courses that will be offered in the minor next semester. Registration is now available for the fall 2008 semester at http://www.siena.edu/registrar.

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