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 Mass Communication

 Johnson Hall

Innovative and Experiential

Since 1962, Winthrop University has been designing programs to develop exceptional communicators. Our students are prepared to create messages that impact, inspire, and influence our global society. Today, the Department of Mass Communication prepares students to meet the demands of the 21st Century.  A progressive curriculum grounded in liberal arts develops critical thinkers who delve deep and communicate succinctly and creatively. Immersed in the world of communication, students majoring in Mass Communication experience real world and broadcast journalism, while Integrated Marketing Communication majors train for converged media and communication environments. In addition, Digital Information majors, housed in the Department of Computer Science, are offered a concentration in Digital Mass Media to expand skill sets to include web design and web content management.

Faculty, all well-respected scholars with industry expertise, mentor and educate our students through a vibrant interactive learning experience. Alumni are leading broadly in journalism, multimedia, television, community and public relations, marketing communication, graphics, law, and corporate communication. Alumni stay connected serving as mentors and referrals to professional opportunities in the Carolinas and beyond. Their presence is visible at events and curriculum development opportunities.

Winthrop students are met with a rigorous, engaging curriculum that challenges and encourages pursuit of what students are most passionate about. Innovative classroom experiences, interest driven courses, and field experience spurs understanding of technology, multiple platforms of information, and traditional skills. Our aspiration that is the Winthrop student’s goal. Whatever the goal, students will be immersed with opportunities - technology, independent studies, community partnerships, internships, and study abroad.


Department Happenings . . .

Journalism History

The Winthrop University Mass Communication Department boasts connections to regional broadcast journalism throughout the years as well as some of the most formative moments in broadcast history. Haney Howell, our own emeritus faculty member and a prolific Vietnam War correspondent, was featured recently on PBS Charlotte/Carolina Impact about his years covering war for CBS News.

Student Work

The work below links to some of the outstanding stories and media students produce. The department strives to emulate a professional model through student media, class work and internships. Students excel at covering news, social issues, sports, human interest and more.

News Literacy and Future of Journalism Series Events

This year the department of Mass Communication will play an active part in the “News Literacy and Future of Journalism” series. The series is an eight-month collaborative effort among SC Humanities, Winthrop University, and the SC Press Association. Additional support comes from the North Carolina Humanities Council, The Newseum in Washington, D.C., The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, the Departments of Mass Communication and Political Science, and the College of Arts & Sciences at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.
“News Literacy and the Future of Journalism” is part of the national initiative on “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Mellon Foundation. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections among democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. The events are:

  • Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiogio Campus Center. “Fake News and the Threat to Democracy.” Jim Hoagland, Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize winner and Rock Hill native, in conversation with Mary C. Curtis, Charlotte-based, award-winning writer, speaker and editor. This event will be supported in part by the North Carolina Humanities Council (NCHC). Moderator: Nathaniel Frederick, Associate Professor of Mass Communication.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. 11 a.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Constitution Day Observance: Free Speech and the Responsibilities of Citizenship” by Dr. Michael Lipscomb. Dr. Lipscomb is a Professor of Political Science, Winthrop University. He specializes in Political Theory and teaches courses in American Government and Political Theory, including American Political Thought. Introduction: Dr. Jennifer Leigh Disney, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. 11 a.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “News Engagement Day Observation: Discerning the Truth: Fake News vs the Real Thing.” A panel of experts will discuss the importance of critically examining information and
    equip students with tools to look beyond the headline or “click bait” to determine the veracity of articles posing as news. Recent surveys show that young adults have the greatest difficulty determining legitimate news from fiction disguised as news. Panel is moderated by  Aimee Meader, assistant professor of mass communication. The panelists are:
    • Amanda Hiner, associate professor of English and director of critical reading, thinking, and writing (CRTW 201) course at Winthrop University.
    • William Schulte, associate professor of mass communication at Winthrop University.
    • Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, executive director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center: Public Forum entitled, “Is That All You Do: The Art of Editorial Cartooning” by:
    • Dwane Powell, retired political cartoonist from the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
    • Robert Ariail, current political cartoonist for the State and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Panel Moderator: Terry Plumb, retired editor, Rock Hill Herald.
    • Maria Henson, Wake Forest University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
    • Vilissa Thompson, disability rights advocate and author of Ramp Up Your Voice, a nationally-recognized blog that focuses on issues of concern to persons with disabilities and especially persons of color with disabilities.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. 7:00 p.m. Richardson Ballroom, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Do Opinion Writers Matter Any More?” This panel of guests will discuss the role of opinion writers in today’s partisan and ideological media environment. The panel moderator will be Betsy Teter, co-founder and publisher, Hub City Writers Project The panelists are:
    • Maria Henson, Wake Forest University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
    • Vilissa Thompson, disability rights advocate and author of Ramp Up Your Voice, a nationally-recognized blog that focuses on issues of concern to persons with disabilities and especially persons of color with disabilities. Panel Moderator: Betsy Teter, co-founder and publisher, Hub City Writers Project
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center. Public lecture entitled “Finding the Truth Among Competing Claims: Politifact’s Role in American Politics.” This lecture will be presented by Ms. Angie Holan, editor of Politifact, Pulitzer Prize winning independent fact-checking organization. Moderator: Avery Wilks, political reporter, The State.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place: Film Showing of Spotlight, followed by a discussion led by Dr. Peter Judge, Professor of Religious Studies and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Richardson Ballroom, DiGiorgio Campus Center. “Why Investigative Reporting Does Matter.” These journalists will discuss the role of investigative reporting in American Democracy and the challenges it faces in an
    era of citizen journalism, social media, and declining audiences for newspapers and television news. The panel moderator will be Manning Kimmel, co-owner and managing partner, WRHI radioPanelists include:
    •  Anna Douglas, The Charlotte Observer.
    •  Jennifer Hawes, Charleston (SC) Post & Courier and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
    •  Bill Fox, president of Protecting Public Access to Public Records (PAPR)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Dina’s Place. DiGiorgio Campus Center. “The State of the Fourth Estate: An Evening with David Fahrenthold.” Fahrenthold is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from Washington Post. He is known for his coverage of the Trump family business empire. Introduction: Beryl Dakers, SC ETV.
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019. 7:00 p.m. Richardson Ballroom: Closing campus plenary, a panel titled “the Future of Journalism.” Moderated by Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher, Panelists include: 
    • Kelly Kaufhold, professor at Texas Tech University
    • Gene Policinski, the Newseum
    • Graham Osteen II of Sumter Item
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019: Address at the SC Press Association meeting in Columbia. Eugene Robinson, Washington Post (Pulitzer Prize winner). This event will focus on the overall theme of the series. 10:30-11:45 a.m., the Marriott, 1200 Hampton St., Columbia.

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