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Director of Journalism & Broadcasting puts focus on storytelling, innovation

As the new director of WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, Dr. Loup Langton has two points of emphasis for the award-winning and nationally recognized program – storytelling and innovation.

Loup Langton

“Journalism and the telling of stories about the world around us is going to survive. The way we’ve done journalism, however, is rapidly changing, and that’s true of broadcasting, advertising, PR, all of our areas,” Dr. Langton said.

To meet the needs facing the information media and to prepare students for jobs in a changing industry, “we can’t do things the way that we’ve done them in the past,” he said.

“I want us as a faculty to look at our curriculum, rethink it and make changes based on what will best prepare our students for the new realities of the professional world,” Dr. Langton said. “We must maintain the level of excellence in  information gathering that we have, but I think we need to balance this with the broader idea of storytelling.”

Today’s storytelling must go beyond traditional print and broadcasting methods to include social media/citizen journalism and multiplatform/multimedia methods, but Dr. Langton cautions that multimedia storytelling is just one platform and that quality storytelling must be accurate, ethical and engaging regardless of the medium.

Dr. Langton arrived at WKU in July and has been meeting with faculty and students in preparation for his semester on the Hill.

“I sense that both students and faculty are well aware of some need for change,” he said.

Dr. Langton comes to WKU from the University of Miami where he served as director of the Visual Journalism Program. He received his Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Texas and has been a faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. As a professional photojournalist, he has served as photo director at Copley Chicago Newspapers and at Ecuador’s largest newspaper El Universo and continues to work with several international organizations as a project director, educator, consultant and editor.

In addition to looking at curriculum in all areas of the school (advertising, broadcasting, film, mass communication, news/editorial print journalism, photojournalism and public relations), Dr. Langton wants to explore the changing business model in the industry and the school.

“We need to start nurturing that culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Dr. Langton is planning to bring guest speakers and lecturers to campus to discuss innovation and to work with students and faculty to tackle the challenges ahead.

Another goal for Dr. Langton is raising campus and community awareness of the Fleischaker-Greene Scholars program and its emphasis on First Amendment freedoms.

One thing that won’t change is the WKU School of Journalism & Broadcasting’s emphasis on preparing graduates for jobs in their career path and on competing for recognition among the best programs in the nation.

Earlier this year, WKU finished third overall in the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program and has finished among the top eight nationally for 18 consecutive years including three first-place finishes. The photojournalism program has won the Hearst photo championship 19 times in the past 22 years.

“I’ve known about WKU students for decades. The program’s reputation is amazing,” Dr. Langton said. “In terms of awards, I don’t think any programs in the country win the number of awards that our students do.”

Contact: Loup Langton, (270) 745-4144.

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