Everyone told me the second I was admitted into the School of Journalism and Mass Communication that the introductory course, J202: Mass Media Practices, was about as overwhelming as overwhelming comes. A six credit course at UW-Madison is as time consuming, if not more, than a part-time job. However, once I was thrown in the the 16-week mayhem that was about to ensue, I could see what was actually going to happen.
After learning essential programs like iMovie, Audacity and WordPress I slowly became literate in the current media world. In my case it was extremely helpful because as I learned the programs in class, I was able to begin using them in my internship in the L&S Advancement Office. Through the simulation of a train derailment in Stoughton, Wisconsin I learned how to write a breaking press release, a strat memo, an infographic and more. This gave me the opportunity to experience what I will be expected to do once I graduate.
Going forward, I know the skills I have obtained throughout this course will become increasingly important to my career. I am able to write concisely and efficiently. Space is always a limiting factor to a written piece and therefore these skills are necessary. In addition, the skill to read news and information objectively and critically is irreplaceable. I knew it was important to not take everything I read at face value, however I did not apply that knowledge to large sources like CNN. I have a new perspective on press releases and statements directly coming from an entity. Everything has a strategic structure to it and now that I know many of these structures it enables me to read between the lines in many situations that I would not have before.
So, despite going through hell and high water to obtain these skills, I know each and every thing I learned through this course was necessary in one way or another. I truly feel that I am equipped with an impressive basic knowledge to begin my journey through the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.