Department awarded grant to produce television series

By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer

Students and faculty members in the Department of Mass Communications received needed funds for a new television series.

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation awarded $50,000 to facilitate the TV series, “Ethics and Broadcast Journalism: the 2012 TV show series,” said John Hillis, vice president for university advancement.

The show will follow the ethical practices of national media during the 2012 presidential election.

“It seemed like there were natural strengths that were coming together to provide an opportunity to do a show paralleling the 2012 election year,” Hillis said.

The money will fund the production aspects of the 10-episode series, such as hiring a student crew, building a set and receiving software and equipment, said Dr. Matt Hamilton, chairman of mass communications.

Students also will have the opportunity to experience producing a show.

“This ties directly to the Ethics of Excellence Foundation’s mission,” Hamilton said. “Their concern is with the future of journalism and teaching new journalism students to write and disseminate ethical reporting.”

Steven Leahy, mass communications senior, said the show will offer students the closest thing to professional studio work outside of an internship.

Students will be motivated to participate in the polls, Leahy said.

“I think that, by doing this show, not only will people be more aware of OCUTV, but it will be a great motivator to be a part of the political process,” he said.

Mass communications will not be the only department involved with the series, Hamilton said.

It will engage experts from the political science program, business school, philosophy department, and President Robert Henry.

“This grant will allow us to reach out and tap into the various talents on campus to help discuss and debate this particular issue,” he said.

Faculty and students will produce three shows this semester and seven during Fall 2012, Hamilton said.

“If this is successful, we hope it will lead to other proposals for other shows,” he said. “This will increase the visibility and profile of the department.”

Being awarded the grant demonstrates the quality of the university and the leadership within the Department of Mass Communications, Hillis said.

“It’s a wonderful endorsement of the good work going on in the mass communications department,” he said. “I really commend Dr. Hamilton and his staff in putting us in the position to really develop this outstanding idea.”


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