Western iMedia Looks To Future Of Field

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By Jake Boswell | 

The Confucius Institute may be a program that you're not too familiar with, but the students of Western iMedia are hoping to change all that by bringing you the story in a non-traditional manner.

"We're always looking for stories that need to be told in multiple dimensions and multiple facets to be interesting, to be successful. Simple stories don't really tax our efforts." said Kerry Northrup, who heads the class.

The class has partnered with a company in Amsterdam that specializes in augmented reality so that once it's finished, their story can be presented in a way like you've never seen before.

"the technology is based for an app on your smart phone. You can use an app called "Layar", and then you hold it up to some kind of poster or some kind of trigger point and then it interacts with you. So if i held my phone up to a poster I'd be able to watch some videos and click on some links and vote on some polls just from my phone." added Ryan Vennell who works for Western iMedia.

The goal of the course is to push the limits of journalism and develop new ways to tell a story rather than the traditional route, due to the changing landscape of the field.

"Journalists skills are more in demand now then they ever were. If a parent comes up to me and says "Why should my kid major in journalism?" Take a look at what's happening with TV audiences and newspapers. I say those journalistic skills have kind of been detached from only occurring in those media." added Northrup.

From traveling, to working, with companies across the world to exploring new technology, it's safe to say that this group is upping the expectations of a traditional classroom.

"It's just an outstanding opportunity that probably helps make this journalism school what it is, and that's why we're one of the better journalism schools in the country." added Vennell.

"I don't want to think little, I don't want the people I work with to think little. We should think large, we should think big. If the stories we can do can have a global audience, which they can,
then let's go for that global audience." commented Northrup.

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