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MFJS Announces New Professional Media Capstones

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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Students in the Spring 2022 Strategic Communication Seminar present their strategic communication plan to Cafe 180

The MFJS Department is proud to announce our new Professional Media Capstone initiative. This unique program is unlike any other across the United States and will help MFJS students to stand out from other new faces in the professional world after they graduate.

The Professional Media Capstones will provide students with opportunities to build their resumes while helping their community. Students will work together with their peers across courses and majors to explore a common theme, listen deeply to the concerns of those within the community and address important challenges through original research and client-ready deliverables. 

The Professional Media Capstone courses ask students to raise and consider questions of structural inequalities and enduring struggles for human rights, freedom and power. Starting in Fall 2022 the theme that will connect all four capstones is climate change. The capstone courses will work together as an “agency” to conduct research, pitch newsworthy stories and documentaries, develop a strategic communication plan and produce videos to meet our client’s needs. Each course builds on the theme and work from previous courses is passed along to aid in media pitching and creating client-ready deliverables. The series includes:

  • Media Studies Research (Fall)
    As the informational foundation for the Department’s capstone series, this Media Studies Research course provides you the opportunity to collect data, formulate opinions and produce writing and research to be used by your colleagues as part of a larger “agency” effort. You will plan, develop and conduct small-scale studies using diverse research methods, such as interviewing, textual analysis, ethnography and participant observation and historical research. The final project provides real-world experience working in teams to generate original research, engage in peer reviews and present your findings in a conference-style panel session.
  • Advanced Multimedia Journalism with PBS Partnership (Winter)
    Advanced Multimedia Journalism gives you the opportunity to research, pitch and develop newsworthy multimedia projects for Rocky Mountain PBS. Underserved communities of Colorado, including rural, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and religious communities will be the subject of our attention, and the content of your projects will be designed to amplify their voices to both online and television audiences. The course will culminate in the production of several short mini-documentaries and written pieces that will be submitted for consideration by the producers of the RMPBS program Colorado Voices and the PBS Video app.
  • Strategic Communication Seminar (Spring)
    The Strategic Communications Seminar allows you to gain professional experience working together as an “agency” to develop a communication campaign plan for a local nonprofit client. From audit and analysis, to targeted audiences and marketing materials, each team will create a complete communication plan and formally present their recommendations to a real client. Each individual will build their career portfolio with actual work examples from this live-project course. Past clients have included Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Women’s Bean Project, Slow Food Denver and Metro Denver Nature Alliance.
  • Creating Films for Clients (Spring)
    As part of a larger “agency” effort, you will work with a local nonprofit client to develop a video specific to the client’s needs, utilizing original research, journalistic storytelling and/or strategic communication recommendations provided by your colleagues within the Department. You will gain hands-on experience in strategy and planning, with opportunities to specialize in writing, editing, directing and producing. Throughout the course, you will identify and critique forms of creative action, strategies and theories leveraged for social change while developing heightened sensitivity to representational issues related to communities that are marginalized and minoritized. Please note: this class will not replace the existing Narrative/Documentary capstone series for film majors, but will instead be recommended as an elective.

These capstones (except for Creating Films for Clients) will be required as a part of each major’s curriculum for all incoming students moving forward. While they are not required of current students, rising juniors and seniors are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to gain professional, work-ready experience that will help you to build your resume and put you a step ahead in your career. Find out more