Beginning this fall, Louisiana Tech University will offer a new experiential learning opportunity for students interested in careers in journalism, public relations, or communication.
The Student News Bureau began as a partnership between the Office of University Communications (UC) and the School of Communication. Journalism students produced strong work in their classes, and they needed opportunities for publication.
Dr. Judith Roberts, who teaches copy editing and reporting classes in the School of Communication, found in UC the perfect partner. The office issued the best stories as press releases under the student-authors’ names. They were also published on the University’s news page (latech.edu/news) and shared on the University’s social media accounts.
“The challenge for young journalists is that they need to have work that is published in order to get their first jobs,” said Tonya Oaks Smith, Executive Director of University Communications at Tech. “Our office always has a need for great stories about what’s happening at Louisiana Tech, and we have connections with local media who need story ideas. It’s a winning combination for our students and our University.”
Students chosen to represent Louisiana Tech in the Student News Bureau will have “beats” to cover, just like working journalists, will engage in regular story development sessions, and will learn about packaging their written work with relevant video, photographs, and graphics.
“Louisiana Tech is committed to offering students a robust education with as much real world experience as possible,” Roberts said. “The Student News Bureau will both give students opportunities to become published writers and allow them to understand the various dynamics involved in interviewing, researching, writing, and editing. This is an exciting time for our majors and our University.”
Staff in the Office of University Communications bring decades of practical experience to their work with student interns each quarter. The creation of the Student News Bureau will allow them to influence the next generation of communicators constructively.
“We’re looking forward to seeing this interdisciplinary learning experience develop and grow,” said Dr. Les Guice, Tech President, “and provide more students with the chance to develop their multimedia and journalism skills.”