Howard University, NNPA and Microsoft Launch Converged Media Lab

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today joined the National Newspaper Publishers Association and Howard University Department of Journalism in launching the Converged Media Lab housed at the university. The new lab combines broadcast, print, advertising and public relations studies and provides one of the most advanced converged journalism curricula available at a historically black college or university.

“This exciting partnership merges Howard University’s journalism classroom with the NNPA’s newsroom,”
said George Curry, editor in chief of the NNPA’s electronic news wire service,
“The lab provides students with the experience of writing for a national news outlet that reaches more than 200 Black newspapers and 15 million readers. Students will come to the lab to put into practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.”

“The unlimited access to information and technology available to students taking courses in the Converged Media Lab will enable them to realize their full potential when they enter the work force,”
said Tom Broadwater, general manager of the mid-Atlantic region at Microsoft.
“Microsoft is proud to join the NNPA and Howard in launching this high-tech learning center and in launching the careers of many future journalists.”

Microsoft provided software and more than $70,000 in cash for hardware, technical assistance and furniture to support the Converged Media Lab. The multimedia facility, a refurbished classroom modeled after open newsrooms, contains broadcast monitors and 10 workstations with computers, printers, scanners and digital graphic design equipment. Microsoft worked closely with the NNPA and the Howard Department of Journalism to develop a lab conducive to learning and equipped with the necessary high-tech tools to teach the curriculum to the 367 currently enrolled journalism majors.

“We know that the convergence is occurring,”
said Dr. Jannette Dates, dean of Howard University’s School of Communications.
“To help shape change, you need to embrace it and try to understand and work with it. Having not only print and broadcast journalism but also advertising and public relations as part, an integral part, of what goes on in a truly converged atmosphere where we have students who understand that they all are dependent upon each other … is going to be phenomenal.”

The launch included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from Dean Dates; John
Oliver Jr., president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Broadwater; and Makebra Anderson, who is majoring in journalism at Howard and is executive editor of the student Web site

About Howard University

Howard University has served for more than 130 years as the training ground for the nation’s leaders in the fields of education, law, medicine, the arts and journalism. As the School of Communications celebrates its 30th anniversary, the Department of Journalism pioneers a program designed to provide an advanced converged journalism curriculum.

About NNPA

The National Newspaper Publishers Association was founded in 1940 to bring together publishers of African-American-owned newspapers toward the advancement of their mutual interests and professional concerns. For over a half century the NNPA has been the voice of the Black Press across America, serving the media interests of Black Americans.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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