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Loyola's 90-year-old newspaper, The Maroon, unveils new multimedia newsroom

Loyola press release - January 21, 2014

The Maroon student newspaper at Loyola University New Orleans is celebrating 90 years and an award-winning past by unveiling a new multimedia newsroom—outfitted with high-tech TV cameras, a news desk, green screen and the ability to link with local and national news outlets—in an open house Feb. 6. The Maroon Multimedia Newsroom not only showcases state-of-the-art technology, but is also the latest example of new educational practices by Loyola’s School of Mass Communication.

The open house is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Maroon offices on the third floor of the Communications/Music Complex on the university’s main campus. The event is open to all Loyola alumni, faculty, staff and students as well as media industry professionals. The event features hors d'oeuvres, drinks, live music and a silent auction for the office’s beloved old desks adorned with signatures of Maroon alumni—some dating back three decades. All money raised will benefit The Maroon’s general fund.

In its first deployment of the new digital media technology, the student newspaper began producing “The Maroon Minute” this year. The news wrapup is produced in The Maroon Multimedia Newsroom by a student crew and is featured daily on the newspaper’s website.

“For The Maroon, which is celebrating 90 years of excellence, the creation of the Multimedia Newsroom gives students their first chance to produce The Maroon across multiple platforms to embed video to text content. Using The Maroon Multimedia Newsroom, Loyola faculty will also pilot new forward-thinking pedagogical practices in the current School of Mass Communication journalism curriculum,” said Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication.

School of Mass Communication alumna Michelle Gingras ’12, whose first job was as a multimedia sports reporter at The San Diego Union Tribune, knows well the advantages of multimedia journalism training for Loyola students. “Multimedia skills have been a part of my career since day one,” she said. As a multimedia journalist in San Diego, she was responsible for writing her own scripts, shooting her own content and editing her work for air and online.

“It’s so exciting to hear about all of the progress that the School of Mass Communication is making. There are innumerable benefits to having a multimedia newsroom inside The Maroon offices. The newsroom allows for journalism students to learn about digital media through a hands-on experience,” said Gingras, who is now a hockey reporter with the Tampa Bay Lightning and its affiliated Bolts TV.

“The Maroon's new technology is teaching students more than just visual storytelling, it's teaching them how to think for an entire newscast. Most multimedia or video journalism programs in college only look at individual stories and reporting, but ... there's so much more that goes in to the finished product," said former Maroon editor-in-chief Samuel Winstrom '13, who is now a weekend assignment editor at WVUE-TV in New Orleans.

In helping to propel the next generation of Loyola’s journalism students with The Maroon Multimedia Newsroom, the newspaper is taking the opportunity to look back on the last 90 years. The Maroon has stood the test of time, enduring—and reporting on—many of the landmark moments in history, including World War II, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to New Orleans in 1987, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Those moments in history are reflected in The Maroon’s coverage over the years, which is available online through Loyola’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library.

“This is a chance for The Maroon to celebrate how far we’ve come in 90 years,” said Michael Giusti ‘00, M.B.A. ‘12, journalism instructor and Student Media adviser. “The student newspaper started out on the most basic printing presses, and now we’re leaping into the digital media world.”

For media interviews or high-resolution photos, please contact Mikel Pak, Loyola's associate director of public affairs.