The Long Haul to Franklin A Peek Inside IU's New Media School
The Media School is a somewhat recent expansion of IU's academics program. It was formed two years ago out of a merger between the School of Journalism, Department of Telecommunications, and the Department of Communications and Culture. The majors that fall into this category span everything from film to public relations and even game design.
After the Ernie Pyle statue's installation in 2014, Media School administrators were surprised to discover that the word correspondent had been misspelled on the patch on his left shoulder. The embarrassing blunder was rectified last summer to the relief of many grammar fanatics.
Franklin Hall was erected nearly a century ago in 1907 to serve as the library for the original Bloomington campus. For decades, it housed administrative offices where students would come to register for class or pay bills. Because only about 85% of the building is occupied by the Media School, part of it will continue to function as office space for the Board of Trustees.
Upon setting foot inside the building, students will be greeted by a commons area which serves as a meeting location and a comfy place for them to hang out or complete assignments in between classes.
The feature of this room is a gargantuan multimedia screen that boast 24 ft by 14 ft dimensions. It can be split into up to nine screens and is utilized to display news broadcasts and student work. By downloading an app called Tunity, students can even select which portion of the screen plays sound.
A skylight was also added to the atrium-like entryway to combat some of the dim lighting characteristic of early 1900s architecture.
Crews in the studio are currently working on set installation. Eventually there will be six unique sets so the IUSTV camera operators can pan the lens one way and the audience will see a news desk, and then turn it another to reveal a talk show setup.
Quite a high-tech addition to the Media School is the game design lab, which is a dedicated workspace for students to develop and test their programming software. Students typically work in teams of four, so a corresponding number of computers will eventually be placed at each station. Game design was introduced as a new major this year, and has rapidly grown since its debut.
Most of the classes in the Media School aren't that big because they tend to be incredibly hands on. Additionally, a vast majority of media classes must be taught in a computer lab. The largest classroom in the building is the lecture hall, and even that only seats a maximum of 60 students. Due to a higher level of enrollment, some of the introductory courses will be taught in other facilities.
Perhaps one of the more artistic features of Franklin Hall is the film screening room. It is a quaint movie theatre designed for film students in criticism or theory classes to view movies without taking a trip to the cinema. These students will also have the opportunity to screen their own projects in this space.