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 https://beaweb.org/festival/.
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 roleresearch, 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.
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 .
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.
SPACE IS LIMITED CONTACT ERIC MINOR ASAP TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT!
See attached flyer for additional information.
David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas, College of Media to co-sponsor panel discussion on fake news
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, Snopes.com
Mickkelson founded Snopes.com 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. Snopes.com 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, 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
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 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, 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
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.
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.
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.
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 Libraries’ Art 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College of Media will be hosting a integrated marketing communications study abroad experience in China from June 2-23. The trip gives students the opportunity to have an international internship within an advertising or public relations agency. In addition, students will be taking an IMC course at Guang Dong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) for 3 elective credits (400 level). The trip will spend 4 days in Hong Kong, 13 days in Guangzhou, and 5 days in Beijing. For additional information contact Dr. Sammy Lee or Professor David Smith.
See the attached flyer for details.
The national media dubbed the region “Trump Nation” as they searched to find the answers behind what many considered to be a surprise victory for Donald Trump.
But much like America, Appalachia is a melting pot of people representing a variety of social, economic and political perspectives. In an effort to provide a more nuanced understanding of the region to a national audience, West Virginia University Reed College of Media, in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and The Daily Yonder, is launching the reporting project,”100 Days in Appalachia.”
The project is designed to burst the filter bubble of social news and to candidly narrate the first 100 days of the new Presidential administration from within the heart of our region.
“We’ll listen, and ask the world to listen with us, as people respond to cabinet picks, policies and promises made, said Dana Coester, project editor and creative director. “While we’re at it, we’ll do some soul searching on the role media plays at building, or eroding, peoples’ trust in journalism.”
The project will include a mix of content news stories, multimedia features, opinion pieces produced by faculty, professionals, and thought leaders from across the region. Students from several classes will be tasked with editing and curating stories in a social feed.
Dean Maryanne Reed says the project offers students a unique opportunity to work alongside professionals in a real newsroom environment.
“This project will give students the in-demand skills they need to work in a digital newsroom,” Reed said. “Students will learn how to build an audience for compelling content across multiple media platforms. That’s something you don’t see in most traditional journalism classes.”
One item already on the storyboard is a piece that demonstrates how cultural identity and political identity are aligning in new and unexpected ways. The 360° series, “Muslim in Appalachia” will provide a window into what it means to navigate both Muslim and Appalachian identity, while challenging stereotypes of both.
“The voices you hear from this region are usually from very expected sources, they’re very routine,” said Dave Mistich, project managing editor and digital editor/coordinator for WVPB. “What we’re trying to do is reach people who can narrate the first 100 days that aren’t the expected voices.”
Subscribe to the “100 Days in Appalachia” mailing list by visiting 100daysinappalachia.com and follow the project’s progress on Facebook and Twitter.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) (May 30-July 28, 2017) is now accepting applications from undergraduates who are interested in graduate school and research/creative work within their discipline as well as their faculty research mentors. Selected students complete 8-weeks of full-time research at West Virginia University (WVU) under the direction of a WVU faculty research mentor and a graduate or post-doctoral mentor. Undergraduate participant benefit includes $3,700 stipend. The application works best if the student has a faculty mentor in mind (or vice versa), and they both apply separately, requesting that they each work with the other. Review of completed applications will begin March 1, 2017. For more information and link to the online applications (for undergraduates and faculty research mentor), visit the SURE website .
Spring Symposium: The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Honors College in conjunction with Undergraduate Admissions are organizing a campus-wide, culminating spring poster event to celebrate undergraduate scholarly activity (research/creative endeavors) whilst encouraging prospective students to decide on attending WVU. We are now accepting abstracts for this event that is set to take place on Saturday April 8, 2017 (1-3 p.m.) in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. To submit an abstract, go to https://honorswvu.wufoo.com/forms/z4gxmu205qkhkx/. The poster event will coincide with prospective student and family attendance at the April 8 Decide WVU Day at the Mountainlair. Please encourage your undergraduate students to submit abstracts for consideration by the February 15, 2017 deadline. More info? Contact email@example.com
A journalism alumna who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged $700,000 to the College through a planned estate gift. The bequest is part of “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.”
At the time the money becomes available, it will be used to support major journalism initiatives that provide students with both foundational skills in writing, reporting and research and new skills in emerging journalistic practice.
“We are very appreciative of the generosity of our donor whose gift will have a transformative impact on the College,” said Dean Maryanne Reed. “Private giving is essential to support the good work of our students and faculty and the continued growth and success of our academic programs. “We still have a year to go in the campaign, and we hope to end 2017 on a high note.”
The College of Media’s fundraising efforts are part of a comprehensive campaign to raise money for WVU and its regional campuses. “A State of Minds” was launched by the WVU Foundation in 2012 and runs through the end of this year.
Proceeds raised during the campaign will be used for a variety of funding priorities including scholarships and enhancement funds, faculty research support, student projects and capital improvements.
What type of legacy will you leave? Planned gifts are one of the best ways to support WVU and benefit yourself and your loved ones at the same time. With thoughtful planning you can:
Make a gift that costs nothing during your lifetime
Give stock and realize larger tax savings
Get quarterly income for life in return for you gift
Donate your house, continue to live there, and get a tax break at the same time
It’s never too early to get started, check out the WVU Foundation’s interactive Legacy Planner for ideas. You can also connect with the College of Media directly by contacting Director of Development Tiffany Samuels at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.293.6775.
Legendary West Virginia sportswriter Mickey Furfari, his wife Betty, a columnist at The Dominion News, now The Dominion Post and beloved journalism professor Paul
Atkins left such an impression on Smith that she is creating endowed scholarships in their names.
Smith’s planned gift of $155,000 will establish the Mickey and Betty Furfari Endowed Fund and the Professor Paul A. Atkins Endowed Fund. The money will provide scholarships to undergraduate students studying journalism at the College of Media.
As a student writer, Smith worked with the Furfaris during a summer at The Dominion News. She was able to observe Mickey in the newsroom and get hands-on experience with Betty as a contributor to her society column. She became friends with the Furfaris and remained in contact with them throughout her career.
As for Atkins, she says having him as a professor helped her become a stickler for spelling and editing.
“If I see a typo I will point it out,” said Smith. “When I do, people always ask if I’m a teacher. I respond: ‘No, I’m a journalist.’”
A first generation college graduate, Smith recognizes the importance of giving since she was able to attend WVU with the help of scholarships. Smith wants to give budding journalists the same opportunity.
“When I get the alumni magazine, I am very interested to read about the students going places and helping people,” said Smith. “I support what the College and its students are doing, and it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.”
Smith a native of West Virginia spent 50 years as a journalist including 30 years as a staff member of the Providence Journal. She has received several honors including New England Magazine Journalist of the Year and an induction into the Rhode Island Press Association Hall of Fame. She is the author of two books, her most recent, “Me and Mr. Zane Grey,” was released this year and is available nationally.
Betty Furfari was a 1947 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mickey graduated from the School in 1948. The couple met while working together at The Daily Athenaeum.
Betty passed away in 2004, just shy of the couple’s 56th wedding anniversary. Mickey referred to her as his “best friend, editor and confidant.”
Mickey passed away last July at the age of 92. He began covering WVU sports for the Times West Virginia in 1989, and he continued his column until his passing. Furfari was a five-time winner of the West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year award and a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Known as the “Flying-A,” Paul Atkins taught at the School of Journalism for 33 years before retiring in 1986. In addition to being a full-time professor, Atkins served as the faculty adviser of The Daily Athenaeum for 12 years, holding the position longer than anyone else.
What type of legacy do you want to leave? Join other Mountaineers who are making a difference and connect with us by visiting https://goo.gl/Jw03Sy or email Director of Development Tiffany Samuels at email@example.com.
The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University which runs through December.
On Friday, December 16, graduates from the WVU Reed College of Media celebrated the culmination of their college careers at the University’s December Commencement ceremony held at the WVU Coliseum. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Sean McWilliams, an assistant professor in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Each December, The College of Media recognizes its Top Overall Graduate. This year the honor goes to Hannah Booth. Booth is a native of Buffalo, West Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations. After graduation, Booth will join the College of Media staff as the social media and marketing coordinator for the Media Innovation Center. Her parents are LuAnn Wiseman, stepfather Chris Wiseman and the late J.L. Toney.
During her college career, Booth interned with Fahlgren Mortine of Charleston, West Virginia, and the WVU School of Nursing. She was an active member of the WVU PRSSA chapter and served as chapter president during the 2015-2016 academic year.
The College also wants to recognize its students who achieved Latin Honors. In an academic institution, Latin Honors indicates the level of academic distinction with which an academic degree is earned. There are three levels of Latin Honors:
Summa Cum Laude, which means “with highest honor”a student must have an overall GPA of 3.80 or higher
Magna Cum Laude, which means “with great honor”a student must have an overall GPA of 3.60 to 3.79
Cum Laude, which means “with honor”a student must have an overall GPA of 3.40 to 3.59
Three students received summa cum laude including Hannah Booth, Lindsay Terlikowski and Whitney Norris. Magna cum laude recipients include Darian Seese, Merill Tebay and Megan Saporito. Students who received cum laude include Nathaniel Temple, Jaden Hardesty, Maleea Martin, Morgan Mularski, Elena Paige, Angela Sparachane, Natalie Lorenze and Liam Frawley.
Congratulations to all of our December graduates!
More than 2,800 students participated in WVU’s December Commencement ceremony.
The Larry Whiteside Scholarship offers an undergraduate or graduate student the opportunity to attend 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair. The scholarship winner will receive an award of $5,000 covering the trip to the 2017 NABJ Convention & Career Fair in New Orleans, LA. Registration, lodging, a round-trip flight and a meals stipend will be provided. He/She will be acknowledged during the Sports Task Force events and required to write a post-convention account of the experience.
Specific Application Requirements:
- Must major in journalism with an interest in pursuing a career in sports journalism
- Must be an undergraduate or graduate student with at least one year left in school.
- G.P.A. requirement: 2.5 or higher in journalism major and at least a 2.0 cumulative
- Essay topic: “Write a profile essay on a sports journalist (alive or deceased) you admire and explain why this person has inspired you to pursue a career in sports journalism.” (1,000 – 2,000 words)
General Application Requirements:
- Resume, cover letter, official college transcript, five work samples and three references.
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in the field of sports journalism, was the first African-American beat sports writer for The Boston Globe. His achievements earned him many prestigious honors including induction into NABJ’s 2009 Hall of Fame (posthumous); NABJ’s 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award; induction into the 2008 National Baseball Hall of Fame (posthumous); and the 2008 J. G. Taylor Spink Award posthumously given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Mr. Whiteside passed away in 2007 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. NABJ’s Sports Task Force established this scholarship in Mr. Whiteside’s honor to provide financial assistance to journalism students interested in sport journalism.
Each month, the Newseum in Washington, D.C., features the best in virtual reality. This month, the WVU Reed College of Media and the Charleston Gazette-Mail made the top 10.
The 360° video, “West Virginia Flood Recovery,” is featured on Newseum’s Top 10 VR Videos of the Month for November. College of Media Senior Lecturer David Smith and journalism senior Jennifer Gardner of Charleston, West Virginia, shot and produced the video, which was highlighted on wvgazettemail.com.
The video gives viewers an immersive look at cleanup efforts following the June 23 floods that devastated parts of southern West Virginia.
Gardner, a former student of Smith’s, was working for the Gazette-Mail as a summer intern when he came to her with the idea of covering the floods using 360° video cameras.
“The 360° video of the flood is powerful because people can understand the damage from a unique perspective,” said Gardner “Viewers can interact with the scenery because they are immersed within it and can explore the flood zones for themselves through their mobile devices.”
The video can be viewed with a phone or computer on Facebook and Youtube, or viewed in a VR headset such as a Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift.
The College of Media has been an early adopter of immersive media technology, incorporating experimental techniques into the curriculum since 2013.
Smith, who has taught two experimental journalism classes at WVU, says being featured in the Newseum shows the College is moving in the right direction when it comes to media and innovation.
“Google, GoPro, Huffington Post, NY Times and National Geographic are all showcased within the Newseum,” said Smith, “Our College and the Charleston Gazette-Mail being featured alongside these names validates our emphasis on new ways of storytelling. Right now viewers see 360° video as a novelty but soon it will be mainstream.”
“West Virginia Flood Recovery” was selected based on a submission process and will be featured in the Newseums’ Top 10 VR Videos through the first part of December.
The Newseum, headquartered in Washington, D.C., promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. The Newseum offers seven levels of interactive exhibits include 15 galleries and 15 theaters. View their video online.
Numbers can tell a story, but they can also be misleading. And as we now know, pre-election polls in the 2016 Presidential Election predicted the wrong outcome with Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton in the Electoral vote.
Wall Street Journal Data Reporter Paul Overberg shared his insights about the role data played in the historic election in his presentation, “By the Numbers: Data, Journalism and the 2016 Election,” at the College’s Media Innovation Center on November 28.
Overberg addressed problems in polling, such as outdated data-gathering methods and the “shy voter” phenomenon, in which voters aren’t always truthful about their choices. He also discussed the possible impact of both candidates’ historically high unfavorability ratings leading up to the election.
“There was a lot of trying to figure out this year who was going to show up to voteno one really knew,” said Overberg. “There has never been an election where both candidates were so underwater in terms of favorability.”
Overberg suggested that the large amount of money spent on polling could be better spent on funding data reporting before and after elections. And he demonstrated how demographic and economic data can be used to better explain what happens in elections and why. For example, through data analysis, he was able to show the connection between immigration patterns and voting in specific regions of the country.
Overberg said data journalism is only going to grow in importance over time, and he encouraged students to take more math classes, learn coding skills and use easy tools that enable journalists to analyze and “interrogate” data, such as Structure Query Language.
“All journalists will have to know how to use data,” he said “If you learn a little bit of data while you’re in school, you’ll be ahead of many professional journalists.
This professional opportunity, sponsored by the College’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, allowed 14 strategic communications juniors and seniors to tour agency facilities, speak with upper-level management, engage in professional development and discuss entry-level positions.
At BrunnerWorks, students enjoyed a facilities tour, meeting multiple partners and employees. The group had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the day-to-day functions of each agency department.
BrunnerWorks Vice President and Director of Public Relations Steve Radick says that the agency tours are mutually beneficial and provide a renewed sense of energy at the agency.
“You can always tell when there’s a group of students at the agency that day. There’s more energy, more laughter, more excitement,” said Radick of the WVU tour. “By hosting students, we do more than deepen our recruiting pipeline; we draft off their energy and personalities and learn about ourselves and our jobs. I think we benefit from their presence just as much as they do. I’m looking forward to working with them all in the near future.”
Gatesman+Dave provided the group with an hour-and-a-half conversation with seven different employees, ranging from new hires to senior account managers, to ask questions and learn about the agency experience. Employees were brought in one or two at a time, based on their experience, and had a candid discussion with the group about the ins and outs of agency life.
WVU’s chapter of PRSSA organizes and attends agency visits every semester, along with a variety of other professional development opportunities such as national & regional conferences, peer mentorship programs, community service ventures and published writing opportunities.
To learn more about WVU’s PRSSA chapter, visit http://prssa.orgs.wvu.edu/, or attend one of the bi-weekly Monday meetings at 5 p.m. in Martin Hall 205.
The “Law School Information Session” will be held on Tuesday November 29 at 3:30 p.m. in Martin Hall Room 201. We will be hosting Elissa Momen, Assistant Director of Admissions at WVU College of Law, for an information session on applying to law school, career opportunities, and answering questions you may have about the process.
View the attached flyer for additional information.
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