Have notebook, will travel: How does J-school support other majors?
Earlier this month I watched members of Northeastern University’s recently formed College of Arts, Media and Design present on some of the projects professors and students have put together in recent years.
The presentations were very interesting, but the overarching objective of the presentation was left largely unanswered: how do students from such a diverse set of skills contribute to the overall success of the CAMD program? Or, more to my point, how do journalism students contribute to these efforts?
I’ve dragged my feet writing this post largely because I’ve been playing with the idea in hopes of pulling out an interesting suggestion. So far I’ve come up with one idea that may make it up the chain and give the school of journalism a fighting chance at helping the less abstract CAMD fields:
Synergy! (for lack of a better word!) – The CAMD program has some really amazing projects going on, from massive abstract art exhibits across the country to training the next generation of video game designers. Unfortunately, I only learned about these projects by attending this seminar. Maybe j-school students can cobble together some sort of CAMD publication meant to shed light on interesting projects. Not only would it give some hard working students and professors some much-needed attention (and possibly funding,) but could foster future interdisciplinary collaborations.
Maybe the architecture students are struggling to understand how a visitor will experience a building they are working on. What’s to stop one of the level designing classes (having read an interview shedding light on some of the challenges faced by architecture students) from turning a first person shooter engine into a 3D into an architectural aid meant to simulate walking through a new project?
For that matter, this is an online news class. How about an entire class devoted to maintaining some sort of craigslist-style blog where students can request the help of other CAMD programs while J-schoolers cover beats throughout the college, tracking down interesting programs and asking not just what students are doing, but what they are struggling with due to a lack of resources or training.
I think the best way the school of journalism can prove to other programs that we are not only a relevant, but potentially helpful force in the CAMD program is to do what we do best: track down interesting information, make som sense out of what we learn and ensure that information gets to the audiences that can do something about it.