Multimedia Journalism at Simpson, What’s it like?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to graduate as a communications major? What the courses are like? One of the majors offered at Simpson College is Multimedia Journalism. When a student graduates in multimedia journalism, the student is able to master the art of traditional writing, editing and reporting skills. Students also learn how to use design products such as InDesign, Photoshop and Final Cut.

In the senior seminar course, students tie all the skills learned through coursework into one final project, a small business online news organization. Each class period begins with up to three students presenting current industry news showing that they are keeping up with current events and trends.

Another part of the senior seminar is integration of social media. Each week students engage on Twitter uploading current news, reactions to their classmates’ tweets, and submitting a Twitter report at the end of the week. The following tweets are about the recent Iowa College Media Association Convention attended by the students on February 8.

Learning social media tactics is very important in today’s news industry as Twitter and Facebook increasingly become a primary news source for many Americans.

Prof. Brian Steffen

A major part of starting a new organization or business is a business plan. Students in the Multimedia Journalism capstone course develop their own business plan for their online news organization. As part of the business plan, students learn how to make funding requests, financial projections and how to make money as a news organization. The business plan will be a key written component of their final project in preparation for the Iron Journalist Competition in mid April.  The competition is judged by local journalists evaluating the students on their business plans and the work they have done throughout the semester.  May the best student win!

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Simpson Students Win 17 Iowa College Media Association Awards

Simpson Student Media journalists scored their best results in years Thursday night, bringing home 17 Iowa College Media Association awards to campus.

“I’ve been advising student media at Simpson since 1989, and this has been as hard-working a group as I’ve known,” said Brian Steffen, chair of the Department of Communication & Media Studies and director of Simpson Student Media. “I’m so pleased to see the quality of their work recognized by professionals around the nation.”

The awards include three ICMA honors for KSTM-FM student radio — the first-ever statewide awards for the campus station.

First-place winners from Simpson included:
  • Nicole Gilbert, first place in Best News Photo.
  • Aaron Young, two first places — one in Best Sports Story and the other in Best Sports Feature Story.
  • Zach James and Jesse Stewart, first place in Best Sports Broadcast.
  • Ben Rodgers, first place in Best Investigative News Story.
Others winners from Simpson Student Media include:
  • Zach James and Tyler Crandell, third place in Best Sports Story.
  • Kate Hayden, honorable mention in Best Feature Photo and third place in Best Opinion Writing.
  • Sarina Rhinehart, third place in Best News Photo.
  • Megan Quick, third place in Best Feature Story and third place in Best News Story.
  • Jazmin Rubel, third place in Best Online Edition.
  • Jesse Stewart, honorable mention in Best Radio Newscast.
  • Sylvia Koss, second place in Best Opinion Writing and third place in Best Headline Writing.
  • Maddie Boswell, third place in Best Photojournalism Portfolio.
Simpson Student Media includes three brands of student-produced and student-led content at Simpson: The Simpsonian student newspaper and website, ID Magazine and KSTM-FM. 


A total of 40 students are on staff this spring term, working out of newly renovated facilities at Simpson’s new Gaumer Center.


Grant Rodgers is the editor-in-chief of the Simpsonian, and Jesse Stewart is station manager of KSTM-FM.

test post Erin


Filmmaker Duncan Comes to Campus to Discuss Recent Film

Chip DuncanSimpson Forum and the Culver Center sponsored Iowa native Chip Duncan on campus on February 5th. Duncan is a filmmaker, writer, photographer, and President of The Duncan Group, Inc. This company founded in 1984 focuses on documentary television and feature film production. The company mostly works internationally, however produces history films in the United States.

Duncan spoke about “The Reagan Presidency” and why this film is important to viewers today. The content of this film is still extremely relevant today. When talking about economics or taxes in the courts today, people commonly refer to the Reagan policy and its historic value. He also believe that the events took place long enough ago to do a history film without any political effects. Due to the inclusive of many high power figures, members of the Democratic and Republican parties, and people from many eras, the film is now able to be done objectively.

When it comes to presidential speeches and the way the media is able to receive the speeches today, Reagan changed this method. Due to a little joke, all public speeches must go through the Navy’s soundboard before it goes to media sources. Ronald Reagan also started a new tradition with a weekly radio address. This was to connect with fellow Americans and let them know that their President was working for them. This tradition is continued today as President Obama now produces a weekly Internet address.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Involvement is Key to Job Success

What’s a great organization to impress employers? Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is an organization on campus for students interested in public relations and communications. The group is a student chapter to the national professional association, Public Relations Society of America. This organization allows students to network with potential employers and gain contacts for the post-graduation job search.

The Simpson College Chapter of PRSSAPRSSA shirt is very involved on campus sponsoring many campus wide activities. PRSSA designs the official Simpson College Homecoming t-shirt every year. This allows graphic design students experience in creating a design and getting it published. It also allows students to put their marketing tactics that they learn in the classroom to use by promoting the t-shirt to fellow students. Another famous event sponsored by PRSSA is the Goodwill Fashion Show. In addition to these events, PRSSA also hosts a winter blood drive, assists with the Belize Dance Marathon, and invites monthly professional speakers.

Why should you be interested in PRSSA? It is a great way to broaden your network and connect with future colleagues through regional and national events. When you join PRSSA, you have access to the PRSA Job Center which has many employment opportunities all over the world.

Want to know more? Contact Jane Murphy, our PRSSA advisor.

Rhinehart Combines Her Majors For A Great Internship Experience

Sarina Rhinehart

Junior Sarina Rhinehart is majoring in integrated marketing communications and political science. She is the communications intern at the Iowa State Capitol with the Iowa Democratic Caucus allows her to put her political science knowledge to use with the skills she has learned through her integrated marketing communications major.

Through Sarina’s internship with the Iowa Democratic Caucus, she has been able to strength her photography, video, and news writing skills. Sarina is in charge of taking photographs of the representatives to be used for press coverage. She also takes video of their speeches from the floor to post to YouTube. Each week every representative sends out a newsletter talking about what they have been up to. Sarina contributes articles for these publications. Another important skill she is learning through her internship is writing press releases. She creates press releases for the caucuses to distribute to the Des Moines Register and area newspapers from the representative’s districts.

Communication and media studies coursework and activities have provided Sarina with the necessary skills needed to prepare for this internship. Over May term, she took a video production course which has helped her to edit videos prior to publication. Through various courses such as beginning news writing and reporting, she has developed skills in programs such as Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. Finally, her experiences with the Simpsonian has given her skills in photography and as a writer.

2013-2012 Dice Salary Survey

The 2013-2012 Dice Salary Survey shows technology salaries in the U.S. enjoy their biggest bump in a decade!

Dice 2013 Salary Survey

Computer Jobs Take 3 of the Top 10 Paid Majors

NACE Top Paying Majors

NACE recently released a report showing Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Information Systems take 3 of the top 10 paid majors of 2012!

Murphy New Full-Time Professor

Professor Jane Murphy is the new Simpson College Department of Communications and Media Studies full-time professor. She was previously a part-time professor teaching courses at three different schools, Drake University, Simpson College and Central College. She says, “it’s nice to be with a school in one place and not travel as often.”

Murphy will be teaching primarily in the public relations (or integrated marketing communications) track. Currently she is teaching introduction to communications, introduction to public relations, and the senior seminar in integrated marketing communications. “I am excited about the integrated marketing communications or public relations track,” says Professor Murphy, ” I’m ready to build it up into an even stronger program.”

Murphy will also continue to serve as the advisor for Public Relations Student Society of America.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Simpson Debate Screams Success

This past weekend, six Simpson College students traveled to Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first debate tournament of the year. The tournament was very successful for the whole team as they won sweepstakes, or the most points from winning different rounds.

First year IMC major Jacy Gomez was very successful in her first college tournament. She won the top speaker award as well as made it to finals with her partner Julius Foster. Gomez says, ” I enjoy the competition, but also like to learn and research various topics. Debate has taught me how to write a paper and prepare a presentation.”

First year MacKenzie Bills, a political science, international relations and French major was also a part of the team that participated this past weekend. She is the second speaker on her team. “When you are the second speaker, you must be able to think on your feet and be prepared to combat criticisms coming from your opponents,” Bills says, ” it can be intense and you have to be quick.”

The team is preparing for tournament this weekend at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Want to know more? Contact Spencer Waugh, the Simpson College debate coach.