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College Of Communications Offering iPhone Journalism For Spring 2019

The College of Communications will offer a new course next semester that teaches students the most practical skills they’ll need to enter the journalism field. COMM 497, iPhone Journalism, will allow students to use the iPhone X as a reporting tool for professional work starting in the spring 2019 semester.

While students won’t learn how to improve their selfie skills, they will learn how to edit photos using Photoshop and videos using Adobe Rush and Adobe Premiere.

Reporting news immediately has become an integral part of journalism, and there’s no more useful tool to make that happen than the iPhone. The College of Communications hopes to promote using modern technology in journalism with this class.

“While there’s definitely still a place for traditional cameras, there’s also a place in the current journalistic landscape for the phone camera that we carry in our pockets every day,” said John Beale, the professor who will teach the course. “Journalists across our country and around the world use phones to report stories. Immediacy in reporting has become a priority. The iPhone makes that immediacy possible.”

The College of Communications purchased the iPhone X through Penn State’s Teaching and Learning With Technology program, and students will be able to use them for the semester if they don’t own one themselves. Students will learn how to properly use the camera on Apple’s most recent smartphone as part of the course.

“We all use our phones to capture pictures and video and send them out to the world. But without training, we’re not using the technology as powerfully as we could,” said Marie Hardin, the Dean of the College of Communications. “This course offers a practical way for students to turn their phones into a really effective tool for digital storytelling — and it’s being taught by a master storyteller.”

This isn’t the first time the College of Communications has used smartphones to teach reporting. “Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for Journalists” is another course offered in the college where students learn how to use their phones for 360 videos.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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