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JMC Network Newsroom

In the Fall of 2000 as the faculty of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at ACU continued its ongoing discussion about the future of journalism education, it started discussing the necessary curricular changes that would take the department into the 21st Century.

Optimist special section commemorating the grand opening of the new JMC Network Student Media News Lab. (click image to read at

As the faculty considered the changes in the ways journalism was changing and converging, it decided to pursue the construction of a multimedia newsroom — one that would combine the efforts of print, broadcast and online journalists. During the next seven years, the department perfected the plan, folding in new technologies and systems as they became relevant and considering the pedagogical implications of this innovative journalism education lab.

From the beginning the plan included common spaces and floor plans that would encourage collaboration among the students and faculty, as well as a space for the department’s first advertising and public relations agency. The university finalized the funding for the $1.1 million project in early 2007 and completed construction of the facility in December of that year.

Optimist Coverage:

In The Newsroom

Newsroom Dedication

JMC Demolition

Moving Out

Student Media Offices

Producing a JMC Network broadcast – Students in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at Abilene Christian University produce a weekly online newscast and sportscast. The students discuss the role the broadcasts play and what goes into making them. Reporting and videography by Farron Salley. (permalink)

Producing the Optimist

Students from the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at Abilene Christian University talk about what happens on deadline day at The Optimist. Reporting and videography by Sommerly Simser. (permalink)

JMC faculty prepare for renovation

JMC department faculty pack up their offices and classrooms in advance of moving to temporary facilities during a major renovation project. Included in the project has been the construction of a state-of-the-art student media newsroom. (permalink)

Optimist staff prepares for move

Members of the Optimist staff reflect on their past and future. They were preparing to move out of the Don Morris Center while the facilities were being upgraded. (permalink)

Newsroom Dedication Event

ACU’s News Release about the event (pdf)

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