ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a unique collaboration, The Poynter Institute's News University and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) have teamed up to offer a USFSP-Poynter Certificate of Proficiency in Digital Media. The assessment supplements the application process for USFSP's new fully online master's degree in Digital Journalism and Design.
Designed for journalists and other communication professionals, the online assessment helps professors assess the web-related knowledge and skills of applicants to the program. It covers subjects ranging from the basics of creating a website to the essentials of news design. Those who score at least 80-percent will be awarded the certificate. All the courses needed to prepare for the assessment are available at Poynter's NewsU. Applicants will have unlimited access to the e-learning courses and may take the assessment up to three times.
Those who take the assessment and choose to apply for the degree do not need a minimum score to be considered for admission to the master's degree, but their highest score will be automatically sent to USFSP to become part of their application package.
"This is a great demonstration of the flexibility of the Poynter NewsU training content and platform," said Howard Finberg, Poynter's director of interactive learning. "We are delighted to assist the university not only in its assessment of potential students but to offer those students access to training that will help them regardless of their next steps. That's the really exciting part of this project."
According to Professor Mark J. Walters, director of the new degree, there are three benefits to collaborating with The Poynter Institute in offering this assessment:
1. Applicants to the master's degree gain a valuable professional benefit—a certificate of proficiency.
2. Scores from the assessment will help faculty gauge the overall digital knowledge and skill level of the applicant pool and provide information to prepare the courses accordingly.
3. The NewsU courses will help those accepted into the degree program to successfully complete it—or, for that matter, to enhance their professional status in general.
For more information about the USFSP degree program, please visit djd.usfsp.edu. For information about the pre-admission training and assessment program at NewsU, please visit www.newsu.org/tools/USFSP.
The Master's Degree in Digital Journalism and Design at USFSP
The new degree program at USFSP meets the needs of established and budding journalists and other communication professionals by addressing the growing demand for online and digital media skills. The master's degree in Digital Journalism and Design offers journalists and other communication professionals courses to develop their web publication, audio visual production, and photography skills while integrating them with foundational journalistic principles. Students will also explore the evolving ethical and legal aspects of digital media. The degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or over a longer period of time if courses are taken part-time.
"No other degree program that we are aware of integrates digital technology as deeply into the practice of journalism as this one does," Walters said. "This program will build a community of thinkers, learners and doers ready to go beyond adapting to the rapid changes in how information is produced and disseminated – our students will be among the professionals steering the direction of online information and news delivery."
With courses in multimedia reporting, digital media technology, entrepreneurial journalism, photojournalism, audio and video production, visual information design and more, students will develop a broad understanding of digital news production to benefit a range of communications-related careers.
The degree program benefits from its association with the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at USFSP; the department has long offered an undergraduate program in mass communications and a graduate degree in journalism and media studies. The department is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Program and application information: djd.usfsp.edu
"This degree prepares communicators to deliver content in the engaging ways news consumers are seeking," said Frank Biafora, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "Students will find the relevance of this degree program essential for the development of their careers in journalism and other communication professions."
About Poynter and Poynter News University
The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter's website, (http://www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology. Poynter's News University (http://www.newsu.org) offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through more than 275 interactive e-learning modules and other forms of training. It has more than 206,000 registered users in 225 countries.
Howard Finberg, Director of Interactive Learning, The Poynter Institute
Jessica Blais, Director of Marketing, The Poynter Institute
Melanie Marquez, Media Contact, USF St. Petersburg
SOURCE The Poynter Institute/News University