Jennifer Thomas

Assistant Professor

Jennifer C. Thomas is an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the broadcast journalism concentration at her alma mater, Howard University. She is an award-winning veteran broadcast journalist whose career spans more than 25 years in network and local news. Most recently, she was an executive producer for CNN Headline News, and a news producer for CNN, where she continues to stay relevant in the industry as a freelance producer.
She played a vital role in the network’s coverage of major news stories, and was honored with recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for her contribution to CNN’s September 11th coverage and Peabody Award recognition for her contribution to CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She also received national award recognition from the National Association of Black Journalists, and throughout her career has pioneered coverage of major events such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, 1996 Summer Olympic Games, 1996 Democratic National Convention and Presidential Inaugurations. Thomas is also founder of MediaReady Consulting LLC, a media training and marketing, event management, and communications consulting service.
Thomas’ broadcast journalism students have been recognized as Hearst Journalism Awards Finalists, an equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize for undergraduates. She has also served as Executive Producer and faculty lead of the newly revised student-produced NewsVision broadcast on Howard University’s PBS station, WHUT-TV, which had been on hiatus for more than 20 years. She also serves as advisor for the Howard University Association of Black Journalists, mentor for the National Association of Black Journalists Student Project, member of the Howard University Royal Crown Advisory Committee, and president of the Howard University Communications Alumni Association. An avid singer, she was a performer in the 2003 Atlanta Jazz Festival.

Thomas holds a Master of Arts Degree with a concentration in Arts and Culture from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. Her research includes the dissection of current practices and pedagogies as it relates to the news media, and the historical and political perspective of African American college beauty queens. She is currently in the beginning stages of writing a book and multimedia project on the history of Miss Howard University from the 1960s-1970s, with the overreaching theme being Beauty Pageantry, Civil Rights and Struggle.

Thomas, a former “Miss Howard,” began this study as a recipient of the 2014 Mooreland-Spingarn Research Center Summer Faculty Research Fellowship. Her writing will examine the embedded traditions, historical significance and controversies of the role of the university queen during these mutable eras, as well as how it impacted the trajectory of the university.

Courses Taught

Broadcast Journalism I

Course Description:

Broadcast Journalism I is designed to introduce the skills needed to be an effective broadcast journalist to work in multimedia platforms. It emphasizes writing for broadcast news with concise, accurate, thoughtful copy and producing quality packages for broadcast and digital distribution. Students are expected to produce audio stories for the Howard University communication outlets. Students will learn and master reporting various techniques including researching stories, news and information gathering, natural sound collection, and interviews resulting in final enterprise broadcast pieces. Students will also maintain ePortfolios (websites) featuring their packages, projects, and podcasts.

Broadcast Journalism II

Course Description:

Broadcast Journalism II brings together and builds upon the fundamental skills and principles learned in the prerequisite journalism courses for this class. While the emphasis is on reporting and writing for television news, students will also learn to shoot and edit packages. Through field and classroom assignments along with fieldwork, students will sharpen their research, reporting and interviewing skills, polish their writing and gain practical experience in digital newsgathering and editing. They will become better prepared for internships and independent efforts. Student journalists will also maintain ePortfolios (websites) featuring their packages, projects, and other featured assignments.

NewsVision

Course Description:

NewsVision is designed to give practical, hands on experience in reporting, writing, and producing for broadcast media and online. The capstone course will give a sense of what it’s like to be a multimedia journalist and improve skills in storytelling and critical-thinking. Students will explore—through lectures, guest speakers, and case studies—how ethics impact media professionals, and how governments work and impact communities and individuals. The students will conduct news meetings and learn the intricacies of newsgathering skills and techniques. They will pitch story ideas, report, write, shoot, produce and edit reporter packages as well as help write, produce, anchor, report a (live or recorded) news broadcast featuring their original work to be published on WHUT TV and in conjunction with the department’s online news website, www.hunewsservice.com. Students will also maintain ePortfolios (websites) featuring their packages, projects, and resume reels.

EDUCATION:

  • 2011- MA, Columbia University- Graduate School of Journalism. Arts & Culture.
  • 1988- BA, Howard University. Broadcast Journalism.
Jennifer Thomas
Staff Information
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