Department of Journalism & Media Production
2013 News Archive
November 21, 2013
Professor shares how JFK assassination shaped America's news media evolution
John F. Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago this Friday was one of the first salvos in a cataclysmic decade that left the nation’s psyche battered. It also marked a maturing of television news and its emergence as an important player in the information landscape.
“TV captured our naiveté,” said Peggy O’Neill-Jones, professor of technical communication and media production. “It captured what an innocent nation we were.” The four days of marathon coverage of the assassination made the nation a “collective community” in mourning, she said.
From flustered TV announcers to talkative police officers who gave live interviews, the medium entered uncharted territory. “We were not prepared to process these images,” O’Neill-Jones said. “Walter Cronkite crying on TV, blood on Jackie Kennedy’s skirt. These were powerful images and they were live and coming at people.”
O’Neill-Jones was 9 when Kennedy was killed. She remembers going to her Catholic elementary school in hair curlers in preparation for a fashion show. When school staff heard the news, the students were sent to Mass. “There was some question about whether to cancel the fashion show,” she said. “It went on.”
November 6, 2013
Journalism and technical communication: A media marriage
It was a merger that was a long time coming.
After an on-and-off courtship of more than 25 years, the journalism and technical communication programs finally said “I do.” The two disciplines joined in July 2012 to become a full-fledged department. Journalism left the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences and joined its new mate in Professional Studies – a better fit for programs that are more career-oriented than theoretical.
Last fall, the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication moved into the Central Classroom building, creating a physical bond to complement the academic one resulting from the merger. Each side encourages – and in some cases requires -- its students to sample what the other has to offer.