Franklin Hall is home to Kent State's School of Journalism & Mass Communication. The 1926 building underwent an extensive two-year renovation and expansion and re-opened in 2007. Since then, it has provided a place for students to get hands-on experience and develop a multiple media mindset.
The building features an HD digital television studio, a converged student media newsroom, a high-tech Internet radio station, state-of-the-art focus group room and other rooms that encourage teamwork.
These technology-filled rooms are just the start. Franklin Hall was built for future flexibility, and it's still evolving.
Converged Student Newsroom
Two years ago, the student daily newspaper and television station had their own offices and newsrooms.
Today, the Daily Kent Stater and TV2, along with Black Squirrel Radio, collaborate to produce an outstanding website, KentWired.com.
And, they do it in one large newsroom, with no cubicles or other barriers. The shared newsroom was planned and organized by students with some guidance from faculty members.
The newsroom is more than 2,400 square feet, has about 50 workstations, a multimedia center, and a wing for vodcasts. Collaboration among students increases each semester.
Black Squirrel Radio
Dubbed as possibly "the most comprehensive college radio station in America" by ESPN.com, Black Squirrel Radio is Kent State's student-run Internet radio station, with nearly 150 students on staff.
BSR's origins date to the 1930s and the Radio Workshop in the School of Speech. It has since evolved to provide students with an opportunity to hone their on-air and management skills. The station usually offers more than 60 different specialty music programs -- with student DJs in the booth until 2 a.m. everyday. Other programming includes newscasts and live broadcasts of Kent State football and basketball games.
All broadcasts are streamed live.
Gannett Collaborative Classroom
Creative collaboration has become increasingly important in today’s changing media industries. That’s why Kent State University’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication has incorporated collaboration into its curriculum with a weekly Collaborative Hour and courses such as Collaborative Online Producing that emphasize teamwork among students with different majors.
The Gannett Collaborative Classroom was built with that teamwork in mind. The tools and technology built into the room were designed to support and encourage student collaboration.
The Gannett Foundation supported the creation of the classroom through a $200,000 grant.
Marcus Thomas Focus Group Room
The Marcus Thomas Focus Group Room opened in Fall 2010 semester after being on the drawing board for two years.
The amount of sophisticated technology had staff working hard to ensure everything was connected and working properly. For example, one technician had to write more than 3,000 lines of code.
Tools in the room include built-in cameras and microphones, flat-screen LCD TVs, projectors, wireless touch panels for controlling cameras, a DVD burner and a digital mixer. Other tools allow for greater interactivity, such as letting students write on computer images as presentations are running live.
Classes and professionals are using a cutting-edge space to perform research projects.