Journalism 2.0 gives students real-life experience in multi-media

by Steve LovittStaff Writer

The Communications Studies department is completely revamping its present program with a new and more modern approach to the changing world of journalism and media studies. The communications professors have worked long hours to create classes that will give students more of a hands-on way of learning. Journalism 2.0 is one of the classes that have been created from this new idea.

Kelli Herzberg, senior and current student in Journalism 2.0, feels that this class has prepared her more for the real-world of journalism.

“This course is an experiment of the communications department,” Herzberg said. “Brian Steffen mentioned the possibility of this course during an advising meeting last spring. It sounded like an untraditional approach to the journalism world and a unique opportunity.”

Brian Steffen, professor of communications studies and chair of the department of communications studies, feels this class benefits students a lot more than past journalism classes.

“I think you are going to see this course become very valuable to the communications studies department, especially the journalism area,” Steffen said.

In the past few years, there have been a lot of changes made to this department, such as adding more of a media-based focus to give students the ability to study broadcasting and advertising if they choose to.

“I love this course,” Herzberg said. “It is an untraditional approach to journalism. The course teaches mediums of communication that are outside of the traditional print media courses.”

One project the class is working on is a Web site,, which covers Simpson’s efforts to increase sustainability on campus and follows students’ attempts to lead environmentally-friendly lives.

Tracy Lucht, assistant professor of communications studies, who is teaching Journalism 2.0, has a lot of interesting projects going on right now and hopes many other students will want to get involved in this class.

“Our current project is an audio slideshow about efforts to make and use bio-fuel, but the students are continually writing on their individual blogs,” Lucht said. “They’re doing some really creative stuff. I’m proud of the initiative they’ve shown.”

Lucht wants everyone to know that this is a work in progress and all comments and criticisms are more than welcome.

“Well, we’d love to get the word out about the Web site,” Lucht said. “We’d love for Simpson students and faculty to visit, comment and give us ideas for more stories!”

Herzberg has been very impressed with what she has learned in this class and knows when she graduates in May; she will excel above many others.

“It’s tons of fun,” Herzberg said. “In what other class do you get to use video cameras, audio devices, be on the Internet every day during class time, constantly problem-solve and explore topics of your choice?”