The Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, inaugurated in 2015, aims to apply the century-old “Missouri Method” approach to the hands-on teaching of journalism to the field of documentaries. Through coursework that focuses equally on the theory of documentaries and the practical application of the concrete skills of reporting and producing documentary work, the center prepares graduate and undergraduate students for careers as independent documentary filmmakers, as well as for work in the production and editorial teams who produce the finest in long-form journalism and programming.
Students work closely with the instructors, getting one-on-one attention for their documentary projects every step of the way. The expectation is always that the work they do will be at a professional level ready for public consumption, with the “publishing” of that work taking place online, via broadcast or through festivals around the country and the world. The center is equipped with the latest camera, audio, lighting and editing equipment, putting professional tools in the hands of students from day one.
The culmination of the program is a one-of-a-kind, yearlong documentary project that will be the final accomplishment for both graduate and undergraduate students. This extended time period allows students to dig deeply into their topics, makes time to get it right and leaves each student with his or her own documentary to take to the public.