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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Starting a Social Media Movement

In an era when print journalism is fading, the hottest jobs these days are in multimedia. But what about a career in multimedia trying to change the world? That’s what Woodbury University has in mind with its new Media for Social Justice masters. The two-year program, offered by the School of Media, Culture and Design, will be a collaboration between the university and the Media Policy Center in Santa Monica. The classwork says it all, such as a course in the History of Social Justice Media and another in Media and Social Change. It also will involve hands-on apprenticeships at the Media Policy Center, which makes educational media for the Internet and public TV. “It’s really groundbreaking,” said Nicole Keating, program chairwoman. The apprenticeships will be handled by Dale Bell and Harry Wiland, co-presidents of the Media Policy Center, who made a name for themselves producing films and television programs, including the well-known 1970 film “Woodstock” and the PBS series “Edens Lost & Found.” Both will also act as adjunct faculty and teach classes too. “They see this as passing a torch in a way to the next generation,” Keating added. The first cohort of students this fall will consist of about 10, growing to no more than 20 in the future. The Burbank university has been busy promoting the program in the media and will be visiting colleges to recruit students. The program will cost $1,000 per unit and scholarships will be available the first year that cover half the tuition. Still, that could leave students with substantial debt. So what would be their job prospects? Graduates might have a variety of choices from media production, to starting their own companies, to even employment in the video game field, where socially responsible games are a new trend. Martin Loeffler, director of Cal State Channel Islands’ California Institute for Social Business, sees a growing trend in college students following different career paths. “Young people are not as interested in just making a living and just making money,” he said, noting the popularity of coursework involving social causes. – Rosie Downey

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