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Digital Media Academy

Students from diverse backgrounds will come to Columbia in May for the College of Information and Communications’ second Digital Media Academy). 

The participants will use cell phones and iPads to shoot and edit video stories under the direction of college faculty and industry professionals. The workshop will be held in the UofSC School of Journalism and Mass Communications May 18-22, 2020. 

“We are going to have two tracks this year, one for journalists and the other for students in advertising and public relations, said Tom Reichert, dean of the college. “Video is increasingly important in all disciplines.”

The academy is a week-long bootcamp in video storytelling. In the inaugural session last May, participants came from Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College, Columbia College and the University of South Carolina.

“There are some great students at our historically black college and universities, but they do not always have access to the tools and expertise of a major university,” said Randy Covington, CIC’s director of special projects. “The academy is intended to give them a boost up in their studies and careers.”

Participants finish the week with a story for their demo reels as well as a certificate of accomplishment.  In the course of the week, they will hear from industry professionals like WIS anchor Judi Gatson and Boeing public relations executive Meaghan Norman as well as visit local TV stations and ad agencies. 

“I liked the fact that they brought in real people who actually worked in television, news, social media and public relations,” says Tariq Edwards, a Claflin University student who traveled from Dumfries, Virginia, to attend last year’s academy. “It gave us a real, genuine feel for what this field is like and the different avenues these people took to get to their goals.”

Edwards was a member of team that produced a story (LINK) on campus safety that was judged to be the best of last year’s academy. 

“The inaugural class of Digital Media Academy Fellows represents students’ desire to learn more about how this trend transcends all media content and transforms how we prepare students for digital media careers,” said Shirley Staples Carter, CIC associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Carter says. “The DMA has extended our outreach to first-generation and underrepresented students and equipped them with a skill set in video and digital media technology they can add to their toolkits, while advancing diversity in the field.”

The Digital Media Academy is similar to programs offered by the University of Georgia and Clemson University. Dean Reichert says each of the three universities offers something different for participants and students are encouraged to complete all three.

 “Industry leaders are constantly asking us to send them diverse talent,” says Reichert. “The academy is a way for us to meet their needs while also offering a valuable educational experience for underrepresented students from our university and others.”


About the Digital Media Academy

Come for the experience and prepare for a future career
Discover and prepare for a career in digital media during our week-long, immersive, dive-in academy. Using cell phones, iPads and your imagination, you will learn the principles and techniques of video storytelling and more in UofSC’s state-of-the-art media facilities. Receive hands-on experience and expert training and mentoring from faculty and industry professionals. Earn a certificate of completion from the University of South Carolina.

Where and when will the DMA be held?
The Digital Media Academy will be May 18-22 on the University of South Carolina campus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 800 Sumter Street.

Who is eligible to apply?
All sophomores, juniors, seniors, first-year graduate students — any majors interested in learning more about video storytelling. All underrepresented students are eligible to apply, including those attending HBCUs. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

How do I apply?
Complete this online application.  Once we receive your application, we will send you a confirmation email with instructions for uploading your letter of recommendation from a previous or current professor, employer, or other professional contact.

Is there a fee?
There is no fee to participate, but participants are expected to provide their own housing and transportation. The academy provides the instruction in a state-of-the art facility, equipment, meals, entertainment, career counseling, coaches, and mentors for the week-long academy. Students who successfully complete the academy will receive a Certificate of Completion.


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