MU Gets $6.7 Million To Create Documentary Film Program

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A reality television pioneer gave the Missouri School of Journalism $6.7 million that will be used to create a degree program in documentary journalism, educating students in the history, business and production of film and other nonfiction multimedia.

Jonathan Murray, a journalism school alumnus, is a writer, producer and pioneer of reality television, developing “The Real World” series, “Road Rules,” “Bad Girls Club” and “The Simple Life,” among others. Murray credited the School of Journalism with teaching him the skills he has used in his career since graduation.

The Documentary Journalism Center will hire three faculty members, ideally with professional documentary film experience. Students will write scripts, shoot video, record audio, edit short documentaries and possibly begin work on full-length films. They could have opportunities to enter their work in film festivals and distribute it online or through a broadcast channel. The curriculum will cover business models of filmmaking and give students experience in budgeting, management and fundraising.

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