Students create interactive timeline depicting communication history

Mass communication mass media timelineFrom ancient writings on the walls of South Africa’s Blombos Cave to today’s smart phone culture, mass media has a long and rich history. Linfield College students are trying to bring it to life with a new exhibit.

Students in the History of Mass Communication course, taught by Professor Michael Huntsberger, have spent the semester generating an interactive timeline, complete with more than 200 entries.

Students searched for key moments in mass media history and showcased them through multimedia, including text, video and photo. The project ties to this year’s Linfield PLACE theme – The Digital Self – and is intended to help students understand how the digitized world originated.

“Many students have discovered artifacts, events and historical figures that were new to me, so I know that as a group, the class has had to search deeply into the course topic,” said Huntsberger. “I’ve heard from several students who’ve told me how much they’ve enjoyed the ‘treasure hunt’ aspect of the project.”

Seniors Helen Lee and Sara Levering and junior Natalie Kelley served as project coordinators and editors.

Together, the three tracked their peers’ timeline entries, making sure there were no duplicates, factual errors and grammatical problems. They also added events they felt were pertinent.

Students, staff and faculty can watch videos and view photos on the timeline that show events ranging from the birth of televised sports to the first feature film and the invention of video games at Nicholson Library.

“It goes really nicely with the PLACE theme because I don’t think students wonder how we got modern technology and the apps we use all of the time,” said Levering. “The technology and media we use today came from those prior creations and ideas.”

The timeline is up for public viewing in the Nicholson Library through Friday, Dec. 16.