Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


School of Journalism and Broadcasting

Document Type



News organizations struggle to find the balance between audience and content, but there are large amounts of untapped research in a field that would not often be compared to journalism — museum exhibit design.

Museums specifically study how to best engage an audience, to make them willing to leave their homes, buy tickets and return multiple times to see exhibits. What journalism can learn from museum engagement design may alter how newsrooms plan interaction and even their content.

Western iMedia, a student news operation at Western Kentucky University, gathered and formatted content based on these lessons from museum design. The story, “Inside Confucius,” documents multiple aspects about the Confucius Institute and its branches around the world in large news panels designed for maximum engagement. In a mixture of technology, storytelling and engagement design, the project was turned into a museum exhibit to explore the lessons learned from research and interviews.

The first part of this thesis is an article intended for the journalistic community. The second describes the process and findings for an academic audience.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Kerry Northrup


Film and Media Studies