In the Fall of 2000 as the faculty of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at ACU continued its ongoing discussion about the future of journalism education, it started discussing the necessary curricular changes that would take the department into the 21st Century. As the faculty considered the changes in the ways journalism was changing and converging, it decided to pursue the construction of a multimedia newsroom — one that would combine the efforts of print, broadcast and online journalists.
During the next seven years, the department perfected the plan, folding in new technologies and systems as they became relevant and considering the pedagogical implications of this innovative journalism education lab. From the beginning the plan included common spaces and floor plans that would encourage collaboration among the students and faculty, as well as a space for the department’s first advertising and public relations agency. The university finalized the funding for the $1.1 million project in early 2007 and completed construction of the facility in December of that year.
Multimedia Gallery: See how the Don Morris Center and JMC/network newsroom have evolved and improved in the past few years. The JMC Department documented reconstruction of the building and other changes in photos and videos.
Early Planning Documents
- White paper on Media Convergence (pdf) (Susan Lewis, 2001) – Provides ideological support for the renovation
- Katia Scenario (pdf) (Susan Lewis, 2001) – Provides a futuristic vision of journalism education; instrumental in selling the idea to university planners
- Curriculum Changes (pdf) (Susan Lewis, 2001) – Continues department’s trajectory toward a converged curriculum
- First Construction Proposal (Susan Lewis, 2003) – Outlines the plans for the renovation
Peer-reviewed scholarly works regarding the renovation
- Black, White and Viewed All Over: The Practical Challenges of Expanding College Newspaper Coverage into Online Video (pdf), Kenneth R. Pybus, J.D. and R. Cade White (2006), presented at the Conference on Convergence and Society: Ethics, Religion, and New Media, University of South Carolina.
- Educating Journalists for the 21st Century: Constructing a Student Multimedia Environment (pdf), Susan L. Lewis, Ed.D. (2008), International Journal of Learning.