The Advisory Board Provides Employer Perspective

6 12 2017

By Ashley Larson (@aelarson6)

Advisory Board

The Department of Journalism at UW Oshkosh is committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills relevant for today’s job market. In order to keep curriculum as current as possible, the department utilizes feedback from a group of industry professionals called the advisory board.

John Giesfeldt, a board member and the Content Marketing Manager at B&W MEGTEG LLC, describes the advisory board as a bridge between the department and employers.

“The advisory board operates as a link between the Journalism Department [sic], its curriculum development, and the business community,” Giesfeldt said.

Public relations professor Kristine Nicolini points out that the advisory board’s feedback also helps the department meet accreditation standards in addition to making sure curriculum prepares students for the workforce.

Their function is to help provide insights related to the professional and public service accreditation standard of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). Specifically, their insights and feedback help ensure the curriculum aligns with advancing journalism and mass communication professions,” Nicolini said.

Giesfeldt said the board evaluates the department’s curriculum and provides feedback from an employer perspective so students know what to expect when they transition from the classroom to the real world.  

“Our decisions are really about providing feedback to the department about what we see as good curriculum development to prepare students. It comes down to trying to give students the right mindset of what they can expect when they do land a position,” Giesfeldt said.

A field as dynamic as journalism needs equally dynamic professionals. To help the department meet this need, the advisory board provides curriculum feedback based on the diverse perspectives of its members.

For Giesfeldt, that means looking at his professional journey since college, which includes stops in reporting, marketing, advertising and public relations, and incorporating his experiences into the board’s collective voice.

Though it seems easier to see how the journalism department benefits from its advisory board, serving on the advisory board is beneficial for its members as well.

“Being involved on the board has been a great experience for me. Being able to see and be involved in the decision-making process the faculty go through in determining whether or not course offerings are meaningful to the students’ development is very rewarding,” Giesfeldt said.


John Giesfeldt

John Giesfeldt (Courtesy of Twitter)






Find Your Fit Within The UWO Journalism Department

4 12 2017

By: Jamie Burns (@Jamiee_Burns)




Have a talent for writing, a love for photography, a mind filled with creativity or just an interest in media? Then welcome to the field of journalism. At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, there is no limit to the opportunities for students to explore. In fact, within the journalism department there are a variety of opportunities offered:

Journalism Major

Ask anyone to share thoughts on what journalism is and likely you will hear something along the lines of “reporting and writing news.” However, on top of this students with an eye for photography or desire to learn about multimedia production can fall into journalism as well. In fact, the journalism department is proposing an update for the current journalism major to become a multimedia journalism major. This would merge together two emphases — visual journalism and writing/editing.

Dr. Tim Gleason, journalism professor and acting director of the Interactive Web Management program, explains, “News media professionals need a variety of skills, which are those offered in the two emphases. It made sense to combine these two emphases so students will have the same baseline of writing, editing, video and visual design training.”

So if you aspire to be a big-time reporter or perhaps a digital content writer, this is right up your alley. Students take classes such as Advanced Reporting or Feature Writing where they gain hands-on experience in gathering, interviewing and writing content. In addition to this, you will get to practice photography, learn relevant software programs and have access to digital imaging equipment. You also get to create and manipulate elements such as visuals, sound, video and text. Rather than the usual lecture, immerse yourself in hands-on use of technology.

Public Relations Major

UWO was the first university in the UW System to introduce a public relations major. Within this major, students learn how to tell the story of a brand/company through the creation of press releases, media pitches, events or blog posts. You also get to work with actual clients to help them interact with key audiences through internal, external or corporate communication tactics. Classes include PR Techniques and Case Studies in Public Relations. Also, if you ever wondered what it was like in crisis situations, this major allows a hands-on experience in dealing with crisis communication and learning how to help an organization maintain honest and strong relationships with the public.

Advertising Emphasis

If you’re a creative thinker, enjoy building promotional content or imagine what it would be like working at an ad agency, then advertising might be your calling. Acquire skills in copywriting or ad production and become proficient in different computer software such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. Classes like Advertising Copy, Layout and Production teach the design side, while Advertising Media helps students learn how to select the right media for different target audiences. Students get the opportunity to compete nationally in Strategic Campaigns in advertising by working as an agency team and developing an integrated advertising plan for a real client that gets pitched to industry judges. What better way to gain real-world experience?

Media Studies Emphasis

Another direction in journalism to pursue is the management and research side. Students will gain a deep understanding regarding the relationships among mass media, individuals and society as a whole. They will also better understand a variety of media theories such as agenda setting or cultivation theory and be challenged with the ethical problems that are faced by mass media practitioners today. Classes in this emphasis include Media and Society and Media Ethics.

If you are still unsure about which major or emphasis to pursue, comment below with any questions you may have regarding the program.

Advance-Titan Team Attends College Media Convention in Dallas

20 11 2017

By Alicia Kahl (@kahlmealicia)

It’s 3 a.m. and we’re all a mixture of tired and excited to be en route to the airport for a weekend trip to Dallas, Texas for the 2017 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention . Eight staff members of The Advance-Titan were given the opportunity to attend this annual convention at the end of October where more than 300 sessions about media, public relations, design, photography and more are offered to students involved in their campus media outlets.

The night before we were struggling to fit everything into a carry-on bag, and now we are struggling to stay awake on our 7 a.m. flight after a full night of newspaper production. Nonetheless, we persevered and were grateful to be on the way to Dallas.

The weekend was filled with learning, bonding, eating and napping when we had even 20 minutes of down time. Each of us brought back ideas that we wanted to apply to our newspaper; whether it be new design ideas, typography or photo ideas, the convention was extremely educational and applicable to our newspaper life. (Each of us also brought home full stomachs after the Texas barbeque we devoured, but I digress.)

The value of this convention is unrivaled. With opportunities to hear from professionals in photography, writing, design and so much more, there was such an abundance of knowledge provided. Keynote speakers such as Bob Schieffer  and Hugh Aynseworth left us inspired, and we walked out of each keynote chatting about the contributions these amazing speakers made during their media careers.

On top of all of the great learning and networking, we brought home two awards thanks to Jacob Lynch, an exceptional photographer for the A-T. He won second place in the CMA Pinnacle competition and received honorable mention in the ACP Pacesetter competition. Both competitions are very prestigious in college media and Jacob helped represent the A-T in front of colleges that were twice our size.

A-T Award Winning Photo by Jacob Lynch

This photo, taken by A-T photographer Jacob Lynch, won 2nd place at the CMA Pinnacle Awards and honorable mention at the ACP Pacemaker Awards.

As a collective group, we knew we were lucky to be at this convention. We took pride in representing UW Oshkosh as we showcased our talented team and best newspaper capabilities. Who knew UWO would be such a competitor and key player on the national level!?

We did.
If you are interested in joining The Advance-Titan, please contact Morgan Van Lanen (

UW Oshkosh Gets Starbucks Fix with Anne Enright

27 10 2014


Recently, the Department of Journalism had the opportunity to host Anne Enright, the Director of Media and Measurement at Starbucks, for a presentation about her work. Enright received the Distinguished Alumni Award, becoming the first woman to win this award from the department.

Anne Enright Background

 Starbucks Media UW Oshkosh

Anne Enright was a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate with a Journalism degree emphasizing in Advertising and Public Relations. Since 1997 Enright has been working in the advertising industry at notable agencies including: Laughlin/Constabe, Marchfirst, The Integer Group, Digitas, OMD and Starcom. However, her most recent position is on the client side of the media industry at Starbucks.

Starbucks Media

In her presentation, Enright gave insights into Starbucks as a company from a media perspective. Enright touched base on the fact that Starbucks didn’t actually advertise until six years ago due to the outstanding service and products they offer to consumers. She also gave an insider’s look into Starbuck’s latest branding campaign that revolves around human connection. Take a look at the campaign in the this video below!:

Advice from an Outstanding Alumnus

When UW Oshkosh students at the presentation asked for advice she had great perspective. Enright said, “You have to be inquisitive and challenge yourself,” Enright said. … “Be analytical and have an interest in consumer behavior… be open to change because there has been a huge shift of consumer behavior from TV and print to digital and tablet. Be flexible and always continue to grow and learn. Also, learn to negotiate really well to make it a win- win for you and your future clients.”

Why UW Oshkosh?

When Enright was asked why she attended UW Oshkosh she said, “I wanted to do PR, and the journalism department had a good reputation, so I originally came here for that and the campus is amazing now, you are lucky!”

More insights and pictures from Enright’s presentation can be found at the department’s Facebook, Twitter and event hashtag, #AwardingAnne. Want to learn more about the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Advertising advertising program? Click here.

Any questions? Comment below!

Joel Christopher: New Media and the News Industry Interview

22 12 2012

By: Melissa Beyer (@MelisBe)

Of all the industries that have converged with new media, few have been so greatly affected by the encounter as news organizations. From the national level to the local, new media are revolutionizing the news. Joel Christopher, editor/digital at Post-Crescent Media, was kind enough to share with me in an interview some of the ways that new media have changed and challenged the news industry.

Joel Christopher

Joel Christopher, editor/digital at Post-Crescent Media (Photo courtesy of Joel Christopher)

In addition to a website and print newspaper, Post-Crescent Media makes use of Facebook, Twitter, live streaming video and other new media platforms. Part of Christopher’s job as editor/digital includes producing content for new media platforms as well as supervising others who are doing so.

Though the advent of social media platforms has radically changed the media world, Christopher said the change is a positive one.

“With the fragmentation of news sources you have so much more information available to you,” Christopher said. “And that forces news organizations too to make sure that they’re not getting too narrowly focused and not all following the same path on a story.”

Christopher also said that the changes that new media have brought are good for the public.

“The more information that’s available to people the better,” Christopher said. “And that’s what digital media gives you, and it gives readers, viewers the ability to shape the news to some extent by their reactions to it. It allows them to raise questions that may have been missed; it allows them to provide information in ways that they weren’t able to do in the past. I don’t see how more information is ever a bad thing.”

Yet, despite these positive aspects, new media also have their disadvantages. One such drawback comes from an obscure economic model.

“Resources are more limited than they were, and that means things fall through the cracks, or that decisions have to be made to not cover certain things,” Christopher said.

New media platforms present another challenge with their demand for speed.

“The churn of the news cycle is so short now that it presents some pitfalls,” Christopher said. “Accuracy is always an issue and the faster you work and the fewer hands are on something, the more likely mistakes are to occur and that you can get caught up too much in the chase instead of looking at a bigger picture and trying to get into deeper levels of journalism.”

Despite these difficulties, Christopher said that, “It will all be figured out at some point.”

Nevertheless, aspiring journalists should be prepared to join a career field that will be characterized by change.

“It’s not a business anymore for the change averse,” Christopher said. “I think the main thing is that journalists have to accept the idea that their job is going to change constantly.”

The Post-Crescent

Notwithstanding these changes, some aspects of journalism will remain constant.

“I don’t know what the delivery of news will be in five years,” Christopher said. “But I know that there’s always going to be a hunger for news, and that there’s going to be a need for people who have specialized training and skills and judgment to play a role in producing it.”

Journalism Department Chair welcomes students to Sage Hall

19 09 2011

Welcome to our new home

The chair of the Department of Journalism, Professor Mike Cowling, would like to welcome all students to our wonderful new classrooms and offices in Sage Hall.

“I hope that students are adjusting well to the new building and are able to find their way around here, because it’s sort of like a maze until you get used to it,” he said.

As students explore the new journalism facilities, they will see that the department still has three fully equipped computer labs dedicated to journalism classes, a scanning room, a newly furnished reading room, and a new digital photo lab.

“The photo lab is a great addition to the program,” Cowling said. “It includes a new digital camera for use in the studio, new lighting and a new display table, among other features. The lab should greatly enhance our visual media courses.”

Sage Hall is a green building with the latest technology. Cowling said the faculty will work hard to ensure that as the technology continues to evolve the department will be able to keep up with the latest developments.

For now, here are some things to look forward to as we settle into our new academic home.

Alumni and student Homecoming events

During Homecoming weekend, the journalism department will host an alumni reunion, its first in several years. On Friday, Oct. 21, the department will host a social media event in the afternoon. That will be followed by a panel discussion featuring two of the three journalism alumni who will receive awards at a dinner that evening. Read the rest of this entry »

Embrace Change for Your Media Career – Lessons from WBAY-TV

16 06 2011

By Jaquelynn Pettinato (@lynnypett)

By Jaquelynn Pettinato (@lynnypett)

Most individuals learn from a textbook in college amidst a classroom atmosphere. But in the real world, life is not going to be like a textbook. In Media Organization and Management, a journalism course taught by Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen, students learn via a hands-on approach, touring companies that some of us may work at one day.

One of those tours centered on a visit to the WBAY television station in Green Bay. So for those of you who have never been to a television studio, this post may provide some insights.

We started our day with eight of us pulling up to a historic brick building with large, white pillars – home to WBAY, which is owned by Young Broadcasting, and the ABC television affiliate in Green Bay. It carries Storm Center 2 24/7, retro television, weather channel and broadcasts UHF digital channel 23. The company is made up of 100 employees, some which have been with the company since the 1960s. Mike Harrison, the senior director of WBAY, has been with the station since 1963, when television was still in black and white.

“I remember when I had difficulty finding a parking spot, now there are lots of open spaces,” said Harrison.

Nowadays, most broadcast organizations are increasing automation and monitoring of local stations. Advanced technology in the industry means less people are needed for station operations. Technology is causing media industries to change and these changes are already becoming apparent. When robotic cameras enter the studio, individuals will lose their jobs. There will be no font people, floor directors holding the camera, master control, video person or audio person.

Harrison noted that the best way the company is dealing with change is not fighting it but embracing it. Smarter technology does work with fewer people, Harrison said. And by allowing smart technology to expand, such as automated TV stations, opportunities develop for new forms of media to be shared with society. Read the rest of this entry »