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Media College eNews

27 Apr

The G2 computer lab will be open during the following times the week of finals (5/1-5/5).

Monday, 5/1, 8:30 am – 9 pm
Tuesday, 5/2, 8:30 am – 9 pm
Wednesday, 5/3, 9:30 am – 9 pm
Thursday, 5/4, 11 am – 6 pm
Friday, 5/5, NONE – Visit the main office if you need access to G2.

25 Apr

West Virginia University released the official list of 2017 May Commencement keynote speakers. Topping the list was WVU Reed College of Media Alumna Margie Mason (BSJ,1997) who will deliver the keynote address for her alma mater.

Mason delved into the unseemly world of Indonesian slavery and brought home a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and a Grammy winning Mountain State native whose music has been covered by legends of the industry and sung at presidential inaugurations top the ranks of speakers at the University’s commencement ceremonies this year.

Margie Mason, (‘97) was part of a four-member team of female Associated Press reporters who won more than 30 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer, for groundbreaking work that exposed a slave island in a remote part of Indonesia where migrant fishermen were being held in a cage and forced to work against their will for years. The series of stories used satellite technology, Customs data and shoe-leather journalism to meticulously trace seafood caught by the enslaved men from Indonesia to Thailand and all the way to the United States. The work revealed that supply chains at some of America’s largest grocery stores and pet food brands were tainted by the slave-caught fish. The stories led to laws being passed, companies shut down, perpetrators being jailed and more than 2,000 slaves freed and sent home.

Mason, who grew up in Daybrook, will speak at the Reed College of Media commencement at 9 a.m. May 12 at the Coliseum.

For the full story visit WVU Today.

20 Apr

Marshall University, in partnership with West Virginia University, will hold a “Career Kickoff” event designed for undergraduate students prior to our INTEGRATE West Virginia conference on Friday, June 2 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

The Career Kickoff will take place on Marshall’s campus in Huntington and feature mock interviews, resume reviews, networking opportunities, professional headshots and more. This event is free and open to all undergraduate students and their accompanying advisors/faculty, and includes a lunch directly following the event.

For questions, or to RSVP, please email Megan Bayles by Monday, May 15.

This pre-conference event will help kickoff INTEGRATE West Virginia, a weekend conference on June 2-3 for marketing communications students and professionals from across the state. INTEGRATE will feature speakers from brands such as Coca-Cola, Verizon, Cleveland Clinic, Google and more.

We are also extending a special $100 discount off the conference-only rate to undergraduate students who want to stay for the conference. By entering the code “UGINTWV” at checkout, students can attend the conference for half-price: $100 (this conference-only pass does not include the keynote dinner).

For more information visit the INTEGRATE West Virginia website. Register today! All INTEGRATE West Virginia discounts will end Monday, May 15.

13 Apr

Journalism students at West Virginia University Reed College of Media and Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication partnered to investigate the inequities in food access in both urban Baltimore and rural West Virginia.

The experimental class was part of the College of Media’s Knight-funded Innovator-in-Residence program, which is designed to bring in industry experts to work with students on experimental projects that push the boundaries of traditional journalism.

John Ketchum, a social media producer for CNN, and Tricia Fulks Kelley an independent journalist and College alumna were the Fall 2016 Innovators-in-Residence. In addition, WVU Food Justice Fellow and Ph.D. candidate Joshua Lohnes provided context and subject matter expertise for the course.

In collaboration with faculty from WVU and MSU, Ketchum and Kelley worked with students to cover systems of food distribution and access, and to investigate the roles that government, corporations, local communities and individuals play within the food ecosystem.

“Through storytelling work I was doing for an organization out of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, I was able to become more familiar with the potential threats food insecurity has on science and society,” said Kelley. “Shining a light on themes of food security, and other social justice issues is so important. I’m happy that these students at WVU and MSU took them on. These aren’t the easiest stories to tell, but their impact can be great.”

Students, faculty and innovators met via Google Hangout each week to hear from industry experts and to work with their teams on reporting projects. In addition, they met in person and conducted three shared immersion-reporting trips to Baltimore, Morgantown, and Charleston, West Virginia. As students dug deeper into each other’s communities, they discovered commonalities around issues of food justice.

“In Baltimore, there is a whole bunch of people in one area with no food, and in West Virginia, ?everyone lives in separate areas, and there is one place for food,” said Morgan State senior Synclaire Cruel. “It’s the complete opposite, but we have the same issues.”

The project also harnessed the power of emerging social media platforms—using them as both a reporting and audience engagement tool.

The class produced a mobile app in partnership with the WVU Food Justice Lab to enable community members across the nation to provide data about their food access strategies and food security status.

“We wanted to use the class to experiment with different ways creators can connect with their audiences,” said Ketchum. “In order to do that, we pulled knowledge from other industry experts and tried some stuff on our own. I think right now as an industry, we need to think about what we’re making and who we’re serving when it comes to the content we produce.”

This is the second time West Virginia University has partnered with Morgan State University. In 2015, students and faculty collaborated to create Bridging Selma, a unique social justice reporting project to promote conversation about race in America.

Media professionals, researchers and community members interested in a behind the scenes look at this innovative investigative project are encouraged to attend a free public workshop on April 28 at the WVU Media Innovation Center.

Participants will receive hands-on training in audience engagement, community data sourcing, and use of social media video by industry leaders from ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, NowThis and NPR.

The workshop is sponsored by Morgan State University School of Global Journalism, The Knight Foundation, The West Virginia Community Development Hub and the WVU Media Innovation Center.

Register online to reserve your spot today.

12 Apr

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media recently received a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation that will help students gain valuable media skills while sharing the stories of Appalachia.

The grant, worth $97,000, will support a media enterprise that experiments in new distribution models for digital publishing while offering a solutions-based approach for reporting and cultural analysis of the region.

Students enrolled in the fall 2017 course will get hands-on experience in content curation, monetization, audience development and distribution, and in-depth reporting.

In addition to being a teaching tool, the project will strengthen collaborative publishing opportunities connecting national and regional media with community organizations and the College of Media.

“There is a need in West Virginia communities to create new narratives about their reality and their future,” said Dana Coester, creative director of the WVU Media Innovation Center. “With this project, we hope to provide an outlet, and an audience, for those stories.”

The project will also meet the need for a growing national and international audience for rural content, insights and analysis in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.

The media enterprise will build on “100 Days in Appalachia,” which was launched in January 2017 and narrates President Trump’s first 100 Days in office from a unique Appalachian point of view and how policy decisions may impact Appalachia’s communities.

The College partnered with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Daily Yonder on “100 Days in Appalachia.” They plan to continue the partnership into the fall.

The grant was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, which runs through December 31.

4 Apr

Two West Virginia University faculty members who embody WVU’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and service are the recipients of WVU’s 2017 Heebink Awards for Distinguished Service to the state of West Virginia.

Daniel McNeil is a Distinguished Eberly Family Professor of Public Service, a professor in the Department of Psychology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and a clinical professor of dental practice and rural health in the School of Dentistry. His service activities in West Virginia span multiple disciplines—and decades.

Geah Pressgrove, assistant professor of Strategic Communications in the Reed College of Media, incorporates elements of community service and outreach into every aspect of her teaching at WVU.

“The Heebink Awards recognize members of our campus community who have truly made service to the citizens of our state a priority in their professional and personal lives,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “Both of this year’s recipients clearly live—and love—to serve, and they have positively impacted the lives of thousands of others through their work. We are very proud to honor them with the Heebink Awards.”

In all of his roles at WVU and throughout his career, McNeil, the recipient of the Heebink Award for Extended Service, has demonstrated a commitment to public health across the state. From numerous initiatives in the field of oral health to a statewide program promoting health in pregnant women and their children, his work focuses on groups who experience great health disparities, particularly underserved populations and those in rural areas

A state-licensed psychologist, McNeil blends his service activities with research and teaching, involving undergraduate, doctoral, and professional students in his Anxiety, Psychophysiology, and Pain Research Laboratory. He has also served as the faculty advisor to WVU’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international psychology student honor society, for more than 10 years and received the international Psi Chi Outstanding Advisor Award in 2015.

McNeil’s service extends beyond his professional role; he is the coordinator of WVU’s Merit Badge University, a cooperative effort with the Boy Scouts of America’s Mountaineer Area Council and the Girl Scouts that brings more than 300 middle and high school students to WVU for a day-long series of activities across the three Morgantown campuses.

Pressgrove, recipient of the Heebink Award for Beginning Service, has used a community-focused approach to create a network of partners across the state that has allowed her to secure funding for her students to conceptualize and execute more than a dozen service-learning and civic-engagement projects.

In her introductory and advanced courses in strategic communications, Pressgrove has guided students to the completion of public education campaigns, community branding projects and fundraising events. She has also leveraged student talent to develop marketing materials for nonprofit organizations in Monongalia and Preston counties.

In each of these endeavors, Pressgrove has worked to achieve both maximum results for the community partners and an optimal learning experience for the students, specifically about the importance of civic engagement.

Pressgrove also advises the award-winning WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, volunteers extensively for the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties and is a published researcher in the area of nonprofit public relations.

The Heebink Award for Extended Service, given annually, was established by David Heebink in 1982 in memory of his parents, Ethel and Gerry Heebink, two former employees (Department of English and Extension Services) of the university. The Heebink Award for Beginning Service, given biennially, was established in 1992. The awards are given to faculty or staff members who have “used the unique resources of the university” and their own professional expertise to provide an educational or public service activity to the citizens of the state.

Both McNeil and Pressgrove will receive honoraria in professional development support ($3000 for extended service and $2000 for beginning service) and be recognized by President Gordon Gee and Provost McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House later this month.

30 Mar

Join us for “Engage! Using Audience Engagement to Report on Social Justice Issues” on April 28 from 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m at the WVU Media Innovation Center. This daylong workshop on audience engagement will try to answer some of these tough questions facing our industry. A ground-breaking partnership between the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media experimented with these concepts last fall in an immersive food justice reporting project that paired students and faculty from both programs to collaborate on an in-depth food access reporting project that will be screened at this event. Through the Knight Innovator-in-Residence program, the project also created an audience listening tool that collects data on how people across America access food. Participants in the program will walk guests through the process of creating an application that puts audiences at the forefront storytelling.

This free and open workshop takes participants behind the scenes of an innovative investigative reporting project with hands-on training in audience engagement, community data sourcing, and use of social media video by industry leaders. Professionals from newsrooms across the country, including ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, NowThis, NPR and others will walk guests through how they utilize different audience engagement strategies every day to reach consumers of their content. Experts will also share strategies for using data resources, data visualization, community-based resources for covering food insecurity, as well as insights for effective community engagement in social justice reporting.

Reserve Your Space Now, Space is Limited

28 Mar

Students and faculty at West Virginia University aren’t waiting for internet giants like Google and Facebook to provide solutions to fake news.

The WVU Reed College of Media, in collaboration with computer science students and faculty at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, is hosting an artificial intelligence course at its Media Innovation Center that includes two projects focused on using AI to detect and combat fake news articles.

Students in the senior-level computer science elective course are working in teams to develop and implement their own AI programs under the instruction of Don McLaughlin, research associate and retired faculty member of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Stephen Woerner, a computer science senior, is on one of the teams charged with creating a system that detects fake news articles. His team’s approach utilizes a machine learning system to analyze text and generate a score that represents each article’s likeliness that it is fake news. Woerner added that this score is accompanied by a breakdown that explains the rating and provides transparency.

“Artificial intelligence can have all the same information as people, but it can address the volume of news and decipher validity without getting tired,” Woerner said. “People tend to get political or emotional, but AI doesn’t. It just addresses the problem it’s trained to combat.”

This collaboration with the computer science course serves as an example of the Media Innovation Center’s mission to support initiatives, projects, research and curriculum innovations that intersect its work in technology, media and information networks.

“Fake news isn’t just a media problem,” said Dana Coester, the Media Innovation Center’s Creative Director. “It’s also a social and political problem with roots in technology. Solving that problem requires collaborating across disciplines.”

McLaughlin says working at the Center has helped his students this semester, as it suggests a more creative atmosphere than classrooms he’s used in the past.

“I’ve taught this course before, but the students seem to be more enthused this time. We appreciate the space and the breakout areas available for team collaboration here at the center,” McLaughlin said. “Those amenities are valuable in a university environment.”

Each team will demonstrate their completed AI project during the last week of classes at the Media Innovation Center located in the Evansdale Crossing building.

20 Mar

The Mountaineer Health Initiative is hosting a multidisciplinary panel on Appalachian poverty and its impact on health outcomes on Wednesday March 29 4:00-6:00 p.m. at The Erickson Alumni Center A-B. The panel will be moderated by WVU Provost Joyce McConnell.
Objectives are to examine the issue from different perspectives and determine the role WVU can play in providing meaningful solutions. Panelists include:

•Valarie Blake, J.D., WVU College of Law
• Rita Colistra, Ph.D., WVU Reed College of Media
• Lynne Cossman, Ph.D., WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (Sociology)
• John Deskins, Ph.D., WVU College of Business and Economics
• Clay Marsh, M.D., WVU School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center
• Travis Stimeling, Ph.D., WVU College of Creative Arts (Music)
• David Weissman, M.D., WVU School of Medicine and National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Time for Q&A and networking will follow the panel presentation.

Please RSVP to Rick Remish at by March 20. See the attached flyer for details.

14 Mar

West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media and Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communication are partnering to present INTEGRATE West Virginia, a two-day conference for marketing communications students and professionals.


INTEGRATE WV will be held June 2-3 at Marshall University’s new Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington. Conference attendees will learn valuable techniques and strategies they can apply immediately to jobs in the marketing communications industry.

“We are thrilled to partner with our Marshall colleagues this year to bring INTEGRATE to Huntington,” said WVU Reed College of Media Assistant Dean Chad Mezera. “Together we have attracted an impressive lineup of industry experts and we look forward to bringing marketing communications students and professionals from across the state together to learn, network and share.”

The conference will feature networking opportunities, general sessions, breakout sessions and a keynote dinner featuring award-winning advertising executive Andy Azula.

Azula, executive creative director of The Martin Agency, is best known for developing and starring in UPS’s Whiteboard campaign. During his career, Azula has won several major awards including Cannes, Communication Arts, The One Show and Clios. In addition, he has served on the board of The One Club and worked with numerous clients such as BMW, Nikon, Miller, Timex, HP and Microsoft.

During his keynote presentation, Azula will share “life lessons from an advertising executive” and discuss best practices for rebranding products, services, brands and categories.

“The adage ‘you are only as good as your last campaign’ has never been truer,’” said Azula. “It’s either the best or worst time to be involved in marketing, and that’s what I love so much about this business.”

Additional speakers at INTEGRATE West Virginia include:

• Scott Cuppari, global director of marketing at Coca-Cola Freestyle
• Tony Dobies, social media director at West Virginia University
• Jonathan Lorenzini, brand insights and measurement lead at Google
• Bill Oechsler, chief marketing officer at Furniture Row Companies
• Steve Radick, VP, director of public relations and content integration at BRUNNER
• Jennifer Sangid, head of client solutions – USA & CA at
• Lauren Tilstra, senior executive communications manager at Verizon
• Amanda Todorovich, director, content marketing at the Cleveland Clinic
• Sebastian Webber, music industry executive and creative director of TIDAL

“Marshall University’s world class Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington is the perfect venue for this conference as the interactive space encourages creativity and collaboration,” said Associate Dean of Marshall’s College of Arts and Media Janet Dooley. “We are pleased to work with the WVU IMC program and host this unique industry event.”

The conference and keynote dinner are open to registered conference participants. Register online. Early bird rates are available through March 31.

13 Mar
1432041590_md Recognized for her innovative leadership in journalism and media education, West Virginia University Reed College of Media Maryanne Reed, has been named the 2016 Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year.

Co-sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, The Scripps Howard Administrator of the Year award recognizes an administrator who has provided vision and leadership for the discipline through creativity and excellence. It is the only award offered to administrators of journalism and mass communications programs.

Since Reed was first appointed dean 13 years ago, The College of Media has achieved record student enrollment, gained a reputation for excellence in online education and cultivated a number of award-winning programs and projects.

“I’m thrilled about the award, not just for me, but for the College and the University,” said Reed. “This award recognizes the hard work and success of our entire faculty and administrative team.”

Over the past several years, the College has repositioned itself as a leader in modern media education. It has transformed the curriculum to have a digital-first approach, created the nation’s first Data Marketing Communications master’s degree program and launched a new state-of-the-art Media Innovation Center on the Evansdale Campus.

In addition, the College created an Innovator-In-Residence funded by the James L. Knight Foundation that engages high-level journalists and newsroom “change-agents” in virtual residencies that result in real-world projects and curricula at the intersection of media, technology and audience.

“This award honors Maryanne for the very traits and skills we at West Virginia University recognized long ago,” said President E. Gordon Gee. “She has led the Reed College of Media in a transformation that is preparing the journalists we need for the digital age. We are so very proud of her and her accomplishments.”

As further recognition of her accomplishments, Reed just completed her second successful five-year review as dean.

“My office received overwhelmingly positive input from students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “Her energy, her vision and her nuanced understanding of the profession—all things that this award recognizes—are in evidence every day on our campus. We are very fortunate to have Dean Reed in her role.”

Reed has served on the faculty of the College of Media (formerly WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism) since 1993. Prior to coming to WVU, Reed was a broadcast reporter and producer, and she has produced several award-winning documentaries and long-form stories for regional and national television.

13 Mar
Peter Essick Head Shot-800x1200

For the past twenty-five years, freelance photojournalist Peter Essick has traveled across all seven continents exploring some of the earth’s most beautiful and captivating landscapes. Essick has earned a spot as one of the forty most influential nature photographers in the world.

Essick will give his presentation, “Can Photographs Help Guide Us Through Environmental Crisis?” at West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Innovation Center on March 28 at 7:00 p.m. During this event, he will speak to students about visually illustrating environmental topics such as climate change, nuclear waste and ecosystem restoration. Also, he will discuss his career as an environmental photojournalist for National Geographic.

He started at National Geographic as a summer intern while attending graduate school at the University of Missouri. Since then, he has published over thirty stories for the magazine.

In a recent interview, Essick revealed how his love of environmental photojournalism emerged.”The assignment I did for a National Geographic special issue on water in 1993 was my first exposure to photographing an important environmental issue,” said Essick “I found I liked the intellectual challenge and the work seemed worthwhile beyond just the artistic value.”

His photographs have been showcased in other publications such as Time magazine’s article “Great Images of the 20th Century,” and shown on popular television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In addition, the photojournalist has also authored two books featuring his work titled, “Our Beautiful Fragile World” and “The Ansel Adams Wilderness.”

He currently lives in Stonewall, Georgia with his wife, Jackie, and son, Jalen. More information and copies of his work can be found online.

The event “Can Photographs Help Guide Us Through Environmental Crisis?” is free and open to the public. The Media Innovation Center is located on the fourth floor of the Evansdale Crossing building.

21 Feb
wvunews Television viewers can now watch the number one college newscast in the country right here in the Mountain State.

This month, the Broadcast Education Association awarded “WVU News” first place in the Television Newscast (airing three days per week or less) category in the 2017 Festival of Media Arts competition. “WVU News” won the top honor out of more than 1,500 entries.

The winning entry, “Special Edition Heroin and Opioids: When Addiction Hits Home,” was produced by students at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and focuses on the Mountain State’s rising heroin and opioid addiction.

WVU students involved with the award-winning project include Executive Producer Megan Saporito and Anchors Hannah Goetz and Kristen Tuell.

This is the second time “WVU News” has received the top award under the leadership of teaching associate professor Gina Martino Dahlia. The newscast also won a national Emmy Award in 2015.

“I am extremely proud of the continued success of ‘WVU News,’” Dahlia said. “Winning these high caliber awards is a testament to the quality of our students, faculty and our program.”

In addition to the first-place win, the news team brought home an “Award of Excellence” in the Television News Magazine category for their entry “WVU News-Special Edition: We Remember. Fifteen Years After 9/11.”

WVU graduates Shishira Sreenivas and Colleen Good were awarded second-place in the Educational Program category of the Student Audio competition for their entry, “WVU Student-Journalists Use DIY Sensors to Investigate Water Quality.”

On the research side of the BEA conference, Associate Professor Rita Colistra and alumna Chelsea Betts Johnson won a first-place award in the Gender and Sexuality Division’s debut category for their peer-reviewed paper, “News Framing of Marriage for Same-sex Couples: An Examination of Broadcast and Print News Coverage Surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision to Legalize Same-sex Marriage.”

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.

More than 175 colleges and universities are represented at the festival. Competition categories include audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports, two-year/small colleges and video.

Award-winners will be recognized at the 15th Annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Awards Ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, April 24, 2017, as part of BEA’s annual convention.

A full list of 2017 BEA Festival of Media Arts winners can be found at

21 Feb
rita-1 Rita Colistra, professor of public relations in the Reed College of Media, has been named the recipient of the 2016 James and Karen Caveney Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award.

The award, established in 2014, is intended for a “highly-productive” faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching and research alongside a demonstrated “commitment to the people of West Virginia.”

Dr. James and Karen Caveney, the alumni sponsors of the award, boast 19 WVU degrees, including eight at the doctoral level, in their immediate family. They are deeply committed to supporting the world-class research and teaching at WVU.

“The Caveneys love to hear about all the successes of Dr. Rita Colistra. She has really made a great impact on the state of West Virginia,” James Caveney said. “WVU is the ‘crown jewel’ of the state. Dr. Colistra and her students are making a big difference in small cities of our state. Great professors change lives forever.”

A national-award-winning professor and scholar, Colistra has been the recipient of a state Public Relations Educator of the Year Award, a national Promising Professor Award, a national PR SuPRstar Award and a Faculty Excellence in Civic Engagement Award, among others.

She has obtained nearly $200,000 in both grant and client funding for her students to implement more than 15 strategic communications campaigns for communities and organizations. In the most recent example of this work, Colistra served as principal investigator and project director for the Community Branding Initiative, funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Through the CBI, WVU Strategic Communications faculty and students worked to revitalize three West Virginia communities through integrated branding efforts and creative strategies.

“Dr. Colistra’s work is exciting because it truly encompasses all three areas of a faculty member’s role—research, teaching and service,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “Moreover, by engaging our students in local communities, she is demonstrating to the next generation the power we all have to make a difference in our world.”

Colistra and her students have won 18 Crystal Awards and eight Honorable Mentions from the West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for their client campaign work serving West Virginia communities and organizations.

As the recipient of the 2016 Caveney Award, Colistra will receive professional development funds from the Caveney Fund and be recognized by WVU President Gordon Gee and McConnell at the annual faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House this spring.

17 Feb

The AP Broadcast Scholarship awards $1,000 through the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters.

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2017. The student must be enrolled in a broadcast journalism program at a Virginia or West Virginia college or university. The scholarship winner will be recognized at the 2017 Virginias AP Broadcasters Awards Luncheon on Sat., April 1, at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Va. They are invited and encouraged to attend this event, 12pm-3:30pm! The VAPB is a professional organization whose members include working broadcast journalists representing all types of jobs in the field—from news directors to sportscasters to videographers to web managers and general managers.

For additional information see attached application .

13 Feb

Join us for a Multimedia Journalism: Networking and Careers Info Session on Friday February 17 from 1-2:30 in the Media Innovation Center. WVU graduate RJ Jewell has more than a decade of experience in the web, film and television business – as a Webmaster, Production Assistant, Director of Photography, Producer and Editor. In his current role as a Video Producer for Bloomberg, RJ works with the various news desks to identify important topics and breaking events that will be covered through multimedia.

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia, RJ started his video production career as a production assistant in Washington, D.C. working with networks such as: Discovery Channel, A&E, MTV, O Network, PBS, Fox Business and Food Network.
RJ wants to share his insight into video jobs that you may have never considered and share the tips and tricks that took him on a path to a career in global broadcasting.


See attached flyer for additional information.

10 Feb

Fake news is nothing new, but the anonymity of the social web has allowed it to spread faster and farther than ever before.

At the same time, people are seeking and sharing information that reinforces their political views, aided by algorithms that target stories directly to them. The end result is a public that is finding it harder to discern fabrication from fiction, and a nation further divided.

To explore these topics, The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media will co-host, “Truth and Consequences: Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Democracy.” The panel discussion will be led by journalists and thought leaders who will address the impact of fake news and filter bubbles on our society and offer strategies on how to fight fake news and be better informed.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the WVU Mountainlair Ballrooms located on the University’s Downtown Campus. It is free and open to the public.


David Mikkelson, Founder, Mikkelson
Mickkelson founded in 1995, based on his interest in researching urban legends. Today, the site is widely regarded by folklorists, journalists and laypersons alike as one of the web’s essential resources. is routinely included in annual “Best of the Web” lists and has been the recipient of two Webby awards. Mikkelson has appeared on 20/20, ABC World News, CNN Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Paige Lavender
Paige Lavender, Senior politics editor, The Huffington Post
Lavender is a West Virginia native and a 2011 graduate of the WVU Reed College of Media. As senior politics editor, she covers congress, the president and political news around the nation. Lavender earned her master’s degree in interactive journalism at American University in May 2016.

Errin Haines Whack, Urban affairs reporter, The Associated Press Paige Lavender
Whack is an award-winning reporter based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on the intersection of race, politics and culture, including civil and voting rights, the African-American electorate, and issues of inequality and injustice. She has previously worked at The Washington Post, The Orlando Sentinel and The Los Angeles Times.

Zach-Headshot 2
Zach Graves, Technology policy program director, R Street Institute
Graves manages development efforts, and coordinates campaigns on intellectual property, cybersecurity, surveillance, cryptocurrency, privacy, the sharing economy, transparency and open data. He previously worked at the Cato Institute and the America’s Future Foundation. He holds a master’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a bachelor’s from the University of California at Davis.

Elizabeth Cohen 2 Elizabeth Cohen, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies, WVU Cohen conducts research on the psychological motivations and effects of social media use, specializing in the cognitive and emotional reasons why people share things on social network sites. Her research has appeared in Mass Communication and Society, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, and Psychology of Popular Media Culture. She has also been featured as a guest blogger for Scientific American. Cohen earned her PhD from Georgia State University.

About the Moderator

Paige Lavender

Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Corio teaches courses in video and multimedia reporting. Before joining the College of Media in August 2011, Corio spent a decade working in journalism. She was assistant news director for the statewide public television and radio network in West Virginia. There she reported and produced stories for radio, television and the web, including award-winning pieces on environmental issues and breaking news.

The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas was created in 1995 by former WVU president David C. Hardesty Jr. and is produced by University Events. It was inspired by events he organized as WVU’s student body president in the 1960s. Today, the lecture series spans the academic year and engages a diverse group of newsmakers, public figures, thought leaders and WVU’s own superstars.

This event is funded in part by the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series and the WVU Libraries.

6 Feb
1c3a491f-7fb3-4bdd-b7c2-277105e3e20a Imagine walking into a small, dark tent. To the left are trash bags full of personal items; to the right, sleeping bags bundled on the ground. For some people in southern West Virginia, this is what home still looks like seven months after floods ravaged their communities.

This spring, students in a strategic communications capstone course at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media are using virtual reality and 360 video to create empathy for flood victims and inspire action to help them.

The project is being led by the College of Media’s first Harrison/Omnicom Innovator-in-Residence, Ben Roffee. Roffee is digital director at RYOT, an immersive storytelling affiliate of The Huffington Post.

“VR is a great way to immerse people within your story, even if the context is far from their own reality,” said Roffee. “Immersive storytelling gives strategic communicators the ability to leave an emotional impact that may not have been achieved through other storytelling means.”

Students in the course will focus on assignments to promote donations and volunteer efforts in communities still affected by the floods. They will help produce the virtual reality stories and integrate them into their strategic communications campaigns to target audiences.

“I was really drawn to the advocacy aspect of the (capstone) course,” said Hollie Greene, strategic communications junior. “I love that we’re going to have the opportunity to experiment with innovative forms of storytelling while also helping flood victims.”

Advertising CEO Dr. Tom Harrison founded the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship, which will now fund the visiting innovator program. Harrison says he is excited about this new direction.

“The Innovator-in-Residence program will draw uniquely talented and creative collaborators to the College to develop cutting-edge curricula and prepare students to own and embrace the world,” Harrison said. “I am thrilled that the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship can underpin this brilliant effort.”

Assistant Professor Geah Pressgrove is the on-site professor assigned to the class. She says that content creation and storytelling have become essential tools for strategic communications professionals.

“At the College of Media, it is our responsibility to teach foundational principles and apply them in an area where change is constant,” said Pressgrove. “In strategic communications, storytelling is an important way to engage audiences and build affinity for a product, brand or cause.”

The College of Media launched its first Innovator-in-Residence program in 2014 with a grant from the Knight Foundation. That program brought innovators to campus with a journalism focus to lead students in experimental projects and help cultivate a culture of innovation at the College. The program is a cornerstone of the College’s Media Innovation Center located in the new Evansdale Crossing building.

2 Feb
mainanchor The Spring 2017 WVU News anchors have been announced! The main “WVU News” anchors for spring 2017 are CJ Harvey of Charleston, West Virginia and Briana Parks of Atlanta, Georgia.

The social square anchors are Alexa Ciattarelli of Princeton, New Jersey and Tessa Iglesias of Annandale, Virginia

The ESPNU sports reporters are Hannah Goetz of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Andrew Caridi of Morgantown, West Virginia.

View a full list of anchors, reporters and producers here .

“WVU News” won a platinum and gold award from the 2016 AVA Digital Awards. The “WVU News’” Go Green episode won a platinum award, and “The Many Dimensions of Diversity” episode won a gold award.
In spring 2015, “WVU News” won a first place national Emmy Award for “Best College Newscast” in the Country. Also, “WVU News,” was recognized in 2011 by the Broadcast Education Association as the “Best Student-Produced Newscast” in the country.

The television newscasts are produced by journalism students at the WVU Reed College of Media. “WVU News” reporters cover events on the University campus, and in the Morgantown community.
Students report, write, shoot and edit television news stories for the program. They also serve as on-air anchors, producers, directors and technical crew during newscast tapings at WVU’s professional television studio.

The award-winning program provides students with hands-on experience and access to professional, state-of-the-art digital equipment.
Students who enroll in the “WVU News” course are well prepared for careers in television journalism after they graduate.

“WVU News” airs statewide on West Virginia PBS as part of “Campus Connection” and on Time Warner Cable in North Central West Virginia.
The production is available on YouTube. You can also follow “WVU News” on Twitter or visit the team’s website.

2 Feb
1485969407_md A panel of West Virginia University faculty from journalism to public health will discuss how images in the media affect the nation’s perceptions of Appalachia during a forum Feb. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104.

The program is inspired by Looking at Appalachia, a juried collection of images by amateur and professional photographers, currently on display at the DCL as part of the WVU LibrariesArt in the Libraries series. West Virginia native Roger May directs the ongoing Looking at Appalachia project that chronicles life in the 13-state region more than 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

“This forum is a great opportunity to use the Looking at Appalachia exhibit to spark conversations about how images in the media can affect a range of issues facing the region,” said Alyssa Wright, chair of the Art in the Libraries Committee.

Panelists will include Emily Corio, Reed College of Media, Dr. Ken Fones-Wolf, History, Dr. Rosemary Hathaway, English, Mary Kay McFarland, Reed College of Media, and Dr. Michael McCawley, Public Health. Dr. Brandi Slider Weekly, Education, will moderate the event.

The Looking at Appalachia project seeks to expand the image and description of people in Appalachia beyond impoverished.

Discussions will delve into how the War on Poverty and an accompanying photo project made poverty a dominant narrative concerning the people and region of Appalachia.

Panelists will address how this narrative has shaped their respective fields and their own work. They will also share aspects of their work that speak to the need to address overgeneralizations that stereotypically depict the region and people.

There will be time for questions from the audience.

The event is open to the public. The Looking at Appalachia exhibit will remain on display until June. For more information, contact Wright at 304.293.0337 or

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