Students working in the new journalism lab

New lab, new tools

October 31, 2023


A new journalism lab features a podcast studio and other tools to provide students “with the very best there is to offer.”

The news is bright for UR journalism students. The journalism lab — a media and production space where they learn to produce news in a variety of formats — got a major upgrade funded by a recent graduate’s parents.

This is the lab’s first renovation since its creation in 2003. Back then, “[t]here was a new website called Facebook, which was pretty exciting,” said Shahan Mufti, associate professor and chair of the journalism department. “We had no idea how the world of journalism was going to change.”

The renovation, which took place over the summer, included the addition of cutting-edge tools and technology to transform the lab from a print-focused classroom into a multimedia production and editing space. The facility also features a brand-new studio outfitted with advanced audio podcasting equipment and video streaming cameras.

“This facility ensures that we are providing students with the very best there is to offer,” Mufti said.

The donors, who prefer to remain anonymous, committed $100,000 to fund a total facility upgrade and renovation. “The journalism department was our daughter’s home away from home while at UR,” they said. “It provides a rich academic environment that cultivates passion and fosters a sense of community. ... We are grateful to have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, with tangible impact.”

Mufti and his colleagues were deeply touched by the family’s generosity. “I can’t overstate how wonderful it is to know that this gift came from a journalism student’s parents,” he said. “Knowing that they were so moved by their child’s experience that they decided to give in such a meaningful way — it’s a vote of confidence like no other.”