Inside Indiana Business

MUNCIE, Ind.— A national media communications company is seeking the opinions of several Ball State University students on how media technologies are impacting their lives.

Starting in January, students from various areas of study will regularly write blogs for MediaPost, a New York-based integrated publishing and content company, providing insights on how they interact with media technologies on a daily basis.

“This is important from MediaPost’s point of view because we think it will give our readers — mainly advertising execs and media planners and buyers — a practical view about how new media technologies are impacting college students, who are their next most important consumer segment,” said Joe Mandese, MediaPost’s editor in chief. “It is an opportunity to hear it not from some prepackaged consumer research, but straight from the horses’ mouths.”

The student blogs will be important to the media industry executives because of Ball State’s reputation for creating a student-centered digital culture as well as its in-depth research into media consumption, said Mike Bloxham, director of research and insight for Ball State’s Center for Media Design (CMD).

He said Ball State was a natural fit for MediaPost, pointing out that a recent feature story in USA Today labeled the university home to “digital natives,” a term used to describe millennials, the first generation who grew up in a world filled with computers, cell phones and cable television.

“The media industry is clamoring for information and thoughts from young people immersed in new media technologies,” Bloxham said. “We are putting together a diverse group of students from a variety of majors who will give a new perspective on media technologies. We think this is a tremendous extension of our dialogue with the media industry.”

The opportunity for student blogging is a result of a relationship between MediaPost and the CMD, the university’s research and development facility focused on the creation, testing and practical application of digital technologies for business, classroom, home and community.

Intrigued by CMD’s research and collaboration with the private sector, Mandese first visited Ball State in 2004 to tour the campus, interview faculty and meet with university officials, sparking the relationship between the company and Ball State.

Mandese has been instrumental in bringing CMD researchers to New York to speak at the annual Forecast conferences, MediaPost’s annual media conference on the future of media held in New York during Advertising Week.

CMD research on media consumption as well as other digital-based projects has been regularly featured in Media magazine, MediaPost’s monthly print publication, as well as the company’s daily and weekly e-mail newsletters.

In one of his first columns, Mandese said Ball State “is beginning to rival such ivory media towers as Syracuse’s Newhouse School, NYU’s Tisch School and MIT’s Media Lab as an academic authority about media.”

Source: Ball State University