SOURCE: Central Michigan University

September 16, 2008 15:57 ET

CMU Introduces New Journalism Lab, Major

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI--(Marketwire - September 16, 2008) - The future of journalism has arrived, and it's at Central Michigan University. CMU's new Caponigro Multimedia Lab, unveiled to the public Sept. 16, will prepare the university's students for high-tech careers in the ever-changing journalism industry.

The lab's opening is closely tied to CMU's recently approved major in new media/online journalism, which officially will launch in the spring of 2009. It will feature such courses as introduction to online journalism, advanced online journalism, computer-assisted reporting, multimedia reporting and an online journalism practicum, many of which will be taught using the lab and its arsenal of new-media tools, including camcorders, digital cameras and audio recording equipment.

A gift to the university's journalism department from CMU Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey R. Caponigro, a CMU alumnus who is president and chief executive officer of Southfield- and Tampa, Fla.-based Caponigro Public Relations Inc., helped to fund the construction and equipping of the lab. The technology-laden facility has been named in his honor.

"The addition of this lab is indicative of CMU's commitment to the experience of its students," said Caponigro. "Newspapers have changed and are turning more to multimedia, and the lab will help our journalism graduates stay on top of the game."

CMU journalism department Chairwoman Maria Marron said Caponigro's vision and generosity have paved a path to success for her department, its students and its programs.

"The Caponigro Multimedia Lab will help bring CMU's program into line with other high-caliber journalism and mass communication programs," she said. "Without Jeff Caponigro's willingness to provide these resources, we would not be going in this direction, and our students would not have these opportunities."

And the lab's future is secure, as an endowment has been established to ensure that the facility can keep pace with changes in technology in perpetuity, said Caponigro.

"It is a wonderful model for other projects that require both a major up-front cost and some significant maintenance and upgrade expenses into the future," he said.

To learn more about CMU's journalism programs, visit http://journalism.cmich.edu.

For broadcast-quality video footage of the Caponigro Multimedia Lab, including interviews, e-mail Tim O'Brien at obrie1t@cmich.edu.