Mass communication, as a professional track, is intrinsically about unlocking talent to deliver creative forms of communication. At the Department of Mass Communication (MCM), our priority is to help students discover their creative talents to create content, share it with a larger audience and harness it to inspire and bring about positive change in people’s lives. We work hard to engage students in the art of digital storytelling through traditional and online/social media platforms. Our goal is to empower our students to be effective communicators by drawing on the finest international professional standards. For this reason, the department has provided first-class infrastructure for enabling students to develop their creative potential in an engaging and professionally fulfilling learning environment. Our MCM studio and Macintosh labs offer students ample professional media production opportunities for meeting the production requirements of courses in journalism, public relations or advertising. To motivate greater student engagement with course assignments, MCM has worked to secure greater community exposure for their video productions through an AUS-Etisalat MoU signed in May 2015. In 2017, our students won five visual media awards in the Sharjah-based Visual Report Competition.
The MCM Audio-Visual studio facility was officially inaugurated in November 2015 as the department’s premier on-campus video production platform, catering to students’ professional needs in the video area. The 85-square-meter facility includes a studio space, a control room, an audio booth, a video editing corner and a student brainstorming lounge. The sound-treated facility houses 20 lighting units, three HD studio cameras, a presentation desk, a talk-show sofa set and a blue-screen. The control room houses a vision mixer, an audio mixer, a lighting control unit and a large screen monitor. The sound booth includes microphones and an interviewing roundtable in addition to an audio production computerized system. The sound-proofed facility also has space for two video editing units that use industry-standard Adobe Premier software to handle video editing assignments. Students use the brainstorming space to discuss ideas for video productions and develop relevant concepts for their assignments.
MCM students use the studio for a range of purposes that include news presentations and interviews, talk shows, TV commercial productions, blue and green-screen filming and TV drama acting. The facility is open to MCM students from all concentrations to practice their creative talent in video production for course assignments and beyond. Videos produced by MCM students are now posted on Etisalat’s e-Life channel as part of the AUS Video Shop established two years ago as part of an AUS-Etisalat Memo of Understanding. In 2017, MCM students won five visual awards at the Sharjah Visual Report competition organized for students from Sharjah-based universities.
The Department of Mass Communication maintains two Mac-based labs to meet the students’ needs for digital storytelling, graphic design, infographics and video production. Computers are loaded with the latest Adobe Creative Cloud packages, including Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design, Animate and Premier. MCM students are provided with access to the Adobe CC packages on their laptops for use outside the lab.