UM-Dearborn announces Journalism and Screen Studies major

JASS logoJournalism is all about storytelling.

That means both informing and entertaining an audience, whether they are watching TV, listening to the radio or reading a newspaper.

And as the journalism field continues to adapt, University of Michigan-Dearborn students will be prepared for the ongoing transition sparked by advances in technology.

This fall, UM-Dearborn added Journalism and Screen Studies (JASS) to its growing list of majors.

“So much of what happens in the world depends on, or can be influenced by, the ability to tell coherent stories, or to make captivating cases in compelling ways,” said Jerold Hale, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL). “This major focuses on theory and application that will prepare our students to do so visually and verbally. It is an exciting curriculum.”

Students now can enroll in courses that focus on media production and documentaries, news journalism, feature writing, as well as film and interactive media.

“In a lot of ways, we’re a cutting-edge major,” said Jennifer Proctor, assistant professor of JASS.

JASS began as a discipline under the communication major, but a recent surge in enrollment and student demand prompted CASL to adopt it as a major.

“JASS has experienced very rapid growth in the past few years since it was formed, so its recognition as a new major reflects both student interest and the significance of journalism and film as major industries, both on the professional and academic levels,” Proctor said.

Beginning this semester, JASS also is available to students as a minor.

And students will have no shortage of journalism expertise to rely on, as Proctor and professors H. James Gilmore, Tim Kiska and Carolyn Kraus will teach a majority of the JASS courses.

The faculty’s real-world experience is highlighted with the recent screening of Gilmore and Kraus’ new documentary, “Men at Work: Voices from Detroit’s Underground Economy.” They recently screened their documentary at New York City’s Urbanworld Film Festival, the largest internationally competitive, multicultural film festival in the world.

The documentary is part of an ongoing oral history project called “1001 Voices From Detroit,” which is organized and produced by JASS.

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