GCU Offers Digital Communication Major: The Evolution of Technology and Thought at The Court

The Digital Communication program at Georgian Court University provides a curriculum that is grounded in the traditional theories of communication and also provides hands-on learning. The major requires students to learn graphic design, video and sound production, web design, writing, research and presentation skills. Students have exclusive access to a MAC lab, which features 15 Mac computers that are equipped with the latest software, as well as a PC lab, Painting/Drawing and 3D Studios.

“After transferring from a bigger University in Maryland to Georgian Court University, two years ago,” said Mary Colleen Robinson, a Digital Communication student at GCU and the Social Media Coordinator for the People’s Pantry and Bonjovi’s Beet Center, “I was initially just seeking a degree. I never expected to be implementing the skills I have learned in class every single day at my job. A job that I acquired through my Digital Communication Internship. Since my employment as a social media coordinator, I am constantly using elements of digital communication to better our appeal to our audience. I could not have asked for a better experience or a better education.”

Screen Shot YouTube Channel
YouTube Channel showcases student work.

Dr. Gina Marcello, Director of the Digital Communication major, elaborates, “The communication department grew out of an art department, which was very forward thinking and innovative. The revised major and the new studio courses provide students the opportunity to use technology and their imagination to create relevant content. Due to our small size, we are able to offer an incredibly relevant and innovative program to our students. It’s amazing how many have already been offered jobs.”

Students learn strategic messaging, news writing and editing skills, public relations relationship building techniques and social media content creation. Classes like Public Relations Writing, Broadcast Journalism and News Writing are offered for students who want to specialize.  From mobile journalism, to digital communication campaigns, students are immersed in the tools they need to create innovative and relevant digital content.

When the Sisters of Mercy and Catherine McCauley created the university, they merely wanted to teach women the skills necessary to be successful in a world where opportunity did not exist for them. Today Georgian Court University, with new programs like Digital Communication is still providing that same opportunity. By giving women and men an environment to educate themselves, a place to become visually and digitally literate, GCU is a unique testimony to the adaptation of technology and the evolution thought and values.

Guest Blogger – Ashley Flach,  Digital Communication Student

Court Reporters: Digital Journalism at GCU

The Court Report, Georgian Court University’s new and improved on-line student run news sourceis looking for contributing writers and broadcasters. Take a look at all of the fun we have as Court Reporters. 

Please join us and become part of GCU history. If you are interested please contact Dr. Gina Marcello 

There are so many different ways to show your Court Pride but the best way is to get involved in campus activities! 

Twitter Assignment: A tool of Journalism?



For your final assignment in News Editing, you are responsible for writing a report about the use and importance of Twitter in journalism and how it is used by journalists as a tool of communication. Of particular importance is the interactivity of the tool.

Prior to writing your final report and presenting your findings, you will need to do the following:

Continue reading “Twitter Assignment: A tool of Journalism?”

Belmar Business Partnership – News Editing Class / Original Article Sent to Coast Star

Greetings from Belmar

Post Sandy Business Boom in Belmar – BBP supports growth of local business

While many local residents and visitors perceive Belmar as a summer destination, local business owners are working hard to change this perception. The Belmar Business Partnership (BBP) formed in 2010 by municipal ordinance was established to promote a positive business climate for year round tourism.

Sal Marchese, President of the BBP and owner of Salon Marsal, volunteers to help promote the interests and needs of fellow Belmar business owners. He states “Four years ago Belmar’s downtown had 28 vacant stores. Today, one year post-Sandy, only six vacancies remain”. The BBP was one of the many local organizations to work tirelessly with Mayor Matt Doherty and Belmar’s Tourism Adminstrator Mary Brabazano to rebuild Belmar.

Belmar is an ever increasing business friendly environment. The BBP assists new and established businesses create a sense of community.  Business owners can apply for outfit grants provided by the BBP to beautify their storefronts. Mayor Doherty states, “We believe when the downtown offers a welcoming environment people will want to visit year round. This means having a clean and consistent look on Main Street. People like to shop locally, and by providing a welcoming environment we encourage visitors to keep coming back”.

The BBP works closely with Belmar administration, Tourism, and the Arts Council to decorate Main Street during various holiday seasons, and assists with event promotions. Jamie Hardell owner of JLynn Boutique states, “The BBP also coordinates with business owners by helping us identify ways to promote our business during townwide events. When we are able to communicate easily, business owners are more likely to participate because we know how we can support the community and increase our profitability”.

Investors continue to support the vision of Belmar as a year round destination.  Freedman’s Bakery on the corner of 8th and Main Street will soon host the areas first microbrewery. More investors are drawn to Belmar because of the BBP’s hard work. Tax incentives are available for new businesses. Dr. Norm Einhorn, a 3rd generation building owner and secretary of the BBP states, “We need active involvement of all Belmar business owners. We’re here to help you and listen to your ideas.”

Rebuilding Belmar is a community effort. Business and building owners are a vital part of the transformation. Local resident Indiana Gaffney states, “Sometimes I forget what we went through last year. The town not only rebounded since the storm, we’re thriving. Downtown Belmar looks even better than it did before Super Storm Sandy”.

For more information or to get involved with the Belmar Business Partnership contact Sal Marchese at http://belmarbusinesspartnership.com

Gina Marcello, Ph.D. is a Professor of Convergent Journalism at Georgian Court University in Lakewood. This article was written with the assistance of students in News Editing.

Service Journalism / News Writing and Reporting

News You Can Use!

I’ve included a few articles about service journalism as you work on your “blurb”.

Remember: it is news you can use!

For this min-assignment, you are writing for your classmates!  To help you select an idea, identify a topic relevant to your roommate or teammate. I’ll be on the look out for articles we can publish in the next issue of the Lion’s Tale.

If you find other articles, please share them with the class.

Broadcast Journalism Assignment 9/25 – Effectively Using Your Voice


EFFECTIVELY USING YOUR VOICE Broadcast Journalism Assignment #2

As we’ve discussed in class, one of the most important tools you have as a broadcast journalist is your VOICE.

For this assignment, you are going to focus on improving your rate, tone, pitch, inflection and annunciation.

To do this, you will create a PowerPoint presentation with a voice over. The topic for the assignment is “Happiness”.  We’ve discussed ideas, resources, and information in class to help you create the content for your presentation.  Resources include:  Sean  Anchor’s TED Presentation “The Happy Secret to Better Work” and  Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book the “How of Happiness“. 

Additionally, please read this New York Times Article by Sue Shellenbarger the “Changing Sound of Your Voice” for even more reasons why improving the overall quality of your voice is important to your workplace success.  Don’t forget to utilize the additional multimedia resources available in the article including the audio interview – incredibly informative and interesting!

For the purpose of this assignment, you will organize the presentation using an INTRODUCTION, BODY (3 main ideas), and a CONCLUSION.

The content you provide is important. However, the goal of this assignment is for you to develop an awareness of how you sound. Pay close attention to your use of inflection, pacing, annunciation and pitch.

Use the slides as a visual guide to your voice over. Include pictures and text to help you illustrate the story you choose to tell.

When you’re finished, please upload your presentation to our class YouTube channel at gcucommunication.

Thanks, Dr. Marcello


News Writing and Reporting – Feature Assignment 9/25

Writing a Profile News Story

Writing a profile story (a type of feature) requires the ability to tell a story with the expectation of contextualizing the story for a broader audience. As you write your profile consider not just the angle of the story but how the individual’s experience relates to our shared human experience. Did the individual overcome an obstacle? Is the person incredibly optimistic? Did the individual redefine a sport?

Remember: You are not writing a biography;  a detailed description of person’s life.  A profile is a highlight of an individual’s life within the larger context of an entertaining, interesting or illuminating story.

news picture
In class, we’ve discussed, viewed,and read a variety of profiles. Today, we looked at the 60-minutes profile on Michael Jackon’s brand after his death and we watched Kaylee Hartung’s profile of Garrett Graff the 28 year-old executive editor of  “The Washingtonian”.The inverted pyramid is not required for this type of article. However, you still need to provide who, what, where, when and how.

For this assignment, due on September 30, you will:

1. Select a person for your profile.

2. Identify the angle of your story.

Ask yourself:

a) What, specifically, makes this person special and unique to a broad audience?

b) What is surprising, useful, or important?

c) You must help answer the reader’s biggest question about ANY story… why should  the reader care?

3) Write a strong headline to attract interest and attention.

4) Research the individual (in most cases you would personally interview the individual).

5) Write a 1,000 word article.

a) Be descriptive in your writing.

b) Include quotes.

c) Provide context (tell us why it is important)

6) Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit.

7) Include a picture of the individual. The picture should capture the essence of your story.

8) Post your article to your blog (click on create new blog post).


In addition to what we’ve discussed in class, I’ve included two additional resources.

Click here for an overview of profile stories  from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Click here for How to Write a Profile Feature Article from the New York Times.

Mass Media and Social Issues – 9/24 Assignment CM302


Please watch the following Frontline documentary Merchants of Cool.

You can watch the video by clicking HERE  “FRONTLINE correspondent Douglas Rushkoff examines the tactics, techniques, and cultural ramifications of the largest media organizations  in “The Merchants of Cool.”

Within each of the six video chapters you will hear from top marketers, media executives and cultural/media critics, and the teens who consume the images (messages).

As part of our assignment, I want you to consider the complexity of the relationship that exists between the media and today’s teens. Below my post, please provide your feedback. Consider the following questions:

1. Douglas Rushkoff states,  “The paradox of “cool hunting” is that it kills what it finds.” If this is true, what does this mean for new technologies as they lose their luster with younger consumers. Today in class we discussed Mark Zuckerberg’s comment, “Facebook is done with being cool”. Can the concepts discussed in Merchants of Cool be applied to new media?

2. Do you think young people are more sophisticated today than when this video was produced? Have social media changed the way young people experience cool? If so, how?

3. Finally, how are the major media conglomerates using the information they acquire from our internet and social media usage to leverage new brands, shows, etc. This article explores a few of the issues we have discussed in class regarding the big 5 Media Giants. Consider how although the tools of communication are evolving the underlying motivation of the media industry remains the same.

I look forward to reading your posts!

Dr. Marcello