The UMass Journalism program kicked off a fund-raising effort this week in hopes of raising $50,000 by the start of the Fall semester.

The “$50K By Labor Day” drive marks an effort by journalism faculty to raise monies to update the program’s “Mobile Mac Lab” as well as to upgrade the cameras, videocameras and audio recorders currently maintained by the program for classes.

The Journalism Program has grown tremendously in the last three years.   We’ve added a number of courses on Multimedia Journalism and students are now regularly producing stories that include blogs, tweets, audio slideshows and video mini-documentaries.   It’s an exciting time to be a UMass journalism student.   Students are learning how to construct new narratives with sound and images while designing their own Web sites and developing business plans for their proposed Web sites.

But we need to upgrade!

“A donation to the Journalism Program will directly benefit our students,” said Journalism Director Karen List.

“Every dollar will go to new laptops, cameras and recorders that will help them get the multimedia experience they need in many of their classes.  That experience in turn will help them succeed once they graduate.”

So, we need your help!   Any amount is good.  We’re trying to contact as many Journalism alumni as possible, so please pass the word to your friends.  Check out our Facebook page and ‘Like’ it – we’re fairly active about updating the Facebook page with program news.

We just had a Journalism Alumni night where six successful graduates came to share their experiences in Journalism.   It was a great night and showed once again that UMass is producing high-quality journalists.

“Journalism is all about the students and giving them the best possible education–and that’s the focus of this fund-raising campaign too,” said List.

So, please click and donate, click and follow us on Facebook, and come visit!

And, remember, Journalism Rocks!