Hugh Curtis, a former editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and the first dean of the Drake School of Journalism, characterized Des Moines as a “communications laboratory city.” From the beginning, he wrote, the city’s media professionals developed “a sort of how-to, do-it-yourself brand of journalism, which is a local characteristic and has been echoed everywhere. … But [local journalists] wanted more and more formal education in their professions, for their employees and for themselves. Drake’s response to these community wants continues to be immediate.”
Journalism and mass communication practice at Drake, as in the industry, has evolved with technology over time. From pen and pencil to personal computer, from analog to digital, Drake faculty have adapted the curriculum to prepare their students for the needs of an ever-changing profession. But the core of a Drake education never changes: a focus on the fundamental skills of research, writing, verbal and visual communication, curiosity, creativity, courage, strategic thinking, and the ability to work as a member of a team, all built on a solid ethical underpinning.
The technology of producing news has changed, but the basic journalistic skills of ethical and timely reporting, writing, and editing remain the same.
Technology in the TV studio control room in the basement of Meredith Hall has evolved over the years.
The current curriculum embraces the latest technology tools.
Professor Robert Woodward and a student with an early personal computer as communications education entered the digital age.
Student reporters use mobile technology to report from the field.
While modern communications education increasingly uses mobile technology, computer labs are still needed to teach such skills as video editing and design.