Kamin Fund Provides Digital Technology to Train Journalists of the Future at Rutgers

Kamin Fund Provides Digital Technology to Train Journalists of the Future at Rutgers

Journalism Students
Credit: Ashanti M. Alvarez
Students in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies experiment with new technology purchased with money from the Kamin Gift Fund. Undergraduate Coordinator Steve Miller, left, uses an iPhone; Tyler Donohue and Liz Jerry compare digital book readers; Michael Mishkovsky and Michelle Walbaum use MacBooks, while department chair John Pavlik, far right, looks on.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Students taking classes in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University’s School of Communication, Information and Library Studies will train to be journalists of the future with the help of $23,000 donated by one of the school’s alumni and longtime supporters.

The Kamin Fund has provided the funding to the Department of Journalism and Media Studies through Arthur Z. Kamin of Fair Haven, a graduate of the Rutgers College Class of 1954. Kamin was the president and editor of the former Daily and Sunday Register in Shrewsbury that began publication as the weekly Red Bank Register. He is an independent journalist.

The gift funds were used to purchase a digital video camera, digital voice recorder, two digital book readers, microphones for podcasting, a mini digital video player, an iPhone with service plan, a MacBook laptop computer, Wii and Wii Fit gaming consoles as well as more than 35 DVDs to stock a library of important documentary and journalism films for the students and faculty in the department.

“I started my career in the days of the typewriter and the Linotype, and I am pleased to be able to provide this support to Rutgers students,” said Kamin, who was editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum during his time at Rutgers. “I have a great deal of optimism for the future of our profession. I know that Rutgers’ journalism and media studies department and its distinguished faculty are deeply committed to training the next generation of journalists.” Kamin entered professional journalism as a reporter at the Register after serving as an Army Signal Corps officer at Fort Monmouth.

In 1990, Blair Douglass Kamin and Brooke Kamin Rapaport established, with initial donations, the Kamin Fund through the Rutgers University Foundation in honor of their parents, Arthur and Virginia Palew Kamin, a Douglass College graduate.

Blair Kamin, a graduate of Amherst and Yale, is an author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune. Brooke Rapaport, a graduate of Amherst and Rutgers, is an author, guest curator at the Jewish Museum in New York City, and a contributing editor to Sculpture magazine.

With the equipment, Rutgers students majoring in journalism and media studies will be able to engage in mobile reporting and produce multimedia packages for the World Wide Web. They will also be able to test new ways of receiving and consuming news and information. In 2008-09, there were about 450 students majoring in journalism and media studies.

“This generous and timely donation will help us teach our students vital skills in the digital media age. We are very grateful to Art Kamin for his continuing support for the Department,” said John V. Pavlik, chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies and a recognized expert in the field of digital journalism. “The funds will be key to ensuring that, in the near future, as many people as possible have the information they need to be active and informed participants in this democracy.”

The new purchases will also move the school further along in its video game initiative. Gaming is an area of growing societal influence and increased scholarly research and study; at Rutgers, the focus is on the economic, business, social, cultural and policy aspects of entertainment software and the online video game business.

“Video games are being used for commercial and political advertising and to reach people through the Web,” said Steven A. Miller, coordinator of undergraduate studies in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. “They have been around long enough that they have become a permanent part of American and global culture. As conduits of information, video games are an important part of the ‘new media’ phenomenon.”

Students and faculty will now have access to an extensive library of notable movie titles, including “Reporters at War,” “Shattered Glass,” “Merchants of Cool” and “The Persuaders.” These films will help clarify and illuminate subject matter in several conceptual courses in the undergraduate major.

“Our students learn time-tested reportorial skills in our foundation print and broadcast courses. From the inverted pyramid to ethical behavior, our faculty and staff cover the broad scope of information necessary for our students to succeed in this dynamic and demanding profession,” Miller said. “Students are trained to go to great depth to unearth the truth. Through writing and videotape, radio and blog, our majors are able to convey stories that will inform and educate now and in the future.”

Kamin majored in journalism at Rutgers, and has taught journalism courses as an adjunct instructor at Rutgers, Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College. Kamin is a former president of the New Jersey Press Association and is a retired member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has served as a chairman of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees, and is a recipient of the Loyal Son of Rutgers award and the Class of 1931 Cup award.

The Kamin Fund has provided financial support to other areas of scholarly pursuit at Rutgers such as art history, architecture, women’s studies, urban policy and planning and the visual arts program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Media Contact: Ashanti M. Alvarez
732-932-7500, ext. 8012
E-mail: ashanti@rutgers.edu