Emergency Alert



Communications program and facilities to be updated

Milligan introduces innovative program for teaching convergent, multimedia journalism

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (April 2, 2009) – The Communications major at Milligan College is being updated to better provide what its graduates need in today’s digital media world. The broadcast and journalism programs are being merged into one new multimedia journalism program, effective Fall 2009.

“The industries that we service are in a state of convergence that will yield a new type of journalist, one who is asked to learn various print, web, and digital media methods,” said Dr. Carrie Swanay, associate professor of communications and chair of the Performing, Visual and Communicative Arts area at Milligan.

Swanay explained that the seismic shift in media due to the internet and wireless communication explosion has caused many media conglomerates to merge the multiple types of journalism – video, web, print – into a single business unit.

“The implication for education is a need to develop a digital media Renaissance man or woman fluent in all types of media,” said Jim Dahlman, associate professor of communications.

“With all mass media now working in digital technology, with its accompanying demands for multimedia storytelling and information, students who plan for careers in journalism must be familiar with and be able to work in what is commonly called a ‘convergent’ environment. They require a theoretical and practical education in multiple types of journalism.”

Students in the program will complete courses in multimedia reporting, digital photography, film and television aesthetics, digital video production and editing, narrative journalism, communications law and ethics, and press and society, to name a few. Students will also complete practicum courses in multimedia journalism, working on the college newspaper, The Stampede, and on the weekly college TV show, Wired.

Building updates

Dahlman said that beyond the coursework, there is a convergence of the physical news room and broadcast studio, as reporters are expected to know how to write, shoot, edit and deliver all types of content. So, building renovations and upgrades are also in the works.

The Paxson Communications Center is scheduled to undergo renovations this summer to create a larger multimedia lab and a convergent newsroom, as well as upgrade the broadcast control room and studio. The Center already has a state-of-the-art Macintosh lab, and video streaming capabilities will be upgraded this spring.

“Milligan is now one of the leaders among Christian colleges in developing a truly integrated approach to convergent, multimedia journalism,” said Dahlman. “We think students will benefit from an education that blends a strong liberal-arts curriculum and an innovative journalism program.”

The changes come as a result of more than a year of extensive research and planning by the Communications faculty. The plan was based on quantitative and qualitative research, including interviews with numerous media professionals and Milligan graduates working in various communications fields.

The new multimedia journalism program replaces the journalism and broadcast emphases. Other Communications emphases still include digital media studies, film studies, interpersonal and public communication, and public relations.

For more information, click here or call 800.262.8337.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

« Back to News & Events