JOURNALISM ON THE FRONTLINES: COVERING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
In partnership with the WVU Festival of Ideas and funded by the Ogden Newspaper Seminar Series, the College of Media hosted a panel discussion in September featuring White House correspondents who described first-hand what it’s been like to cover the new Presidential administration. The panel included Mark Landler, The New York Times; Tara McKelvey, BBC; Katherine Skiba, the Chicago Tribune; and Sarah Westwood, the Washington Examiner, and was moderated by alumnus Hoppy Kercheval (BSJ, 1977; MSJ, 2005)
NEW MEDIA LITERACY COURSE TACKLES FAKE NEWS
We heard a lot about “fake news” during and after the 2016 presidential election. Teaching Associate Professor Bob Britten developed a new Media Literacy course that teaches students how to critically analyze news and information across media platforms. Students learn how to distinguish real news from fabricated information, how to identify reporters’ biases and how to recognize the various ways race, class, gender and sexual orientation are represented in the media.
ALUMNI AND DONOR RECOGNITION CEREMONY
The College of Media recognized its outstanding alumni and supporters at an October reception held at the Media Innovation Center. Awardees included Joe W. Gollehon (BSJ, 1973), Lifetime Achievement Award; Karen Snyder Duke (BS, 2009), Young Alumna Award; Louise Crumrine Seals (BS, 1966), Friend of the College Award; and Chuck Harman (BSJ, 1981, MSJ, 1984), Commitment to Service Award.
WVU AND GW PARTNER FOR ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE REPORTING PROJECT
In a unique effort to burst long-standing “media bubbles,” students and faculty from the WVU Reed College of Media and the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs have teamed up for an in-depth reporting project to assess the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s impact in West Virginia. The project, which culminated with a four-week intensive collaboration, was funded by Scott Widmeyer (BSJ, 1975), founding managing partner and chief strategy officer of Finn Partners in Washington, D.C. The WVU-GW team took a deep dive into the West Virginia natural gas industry from several perspectives including those of policy makers, environmental advocates and people who live in communities near the pipeline. insidethepipeline.org
PATH TO THE PULITZER: JOURNALISM AND THE INFORMED CITIZEN
The West Virginia Humanities Council and WVU Reed College of Media co-hosted a panel in April featuring two award-winning journalists: 2017 Pulitzer winner Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Eric Newhouse of Charleston who received a 2000 Pulitzer while with the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune. Eyre and Newhouse discussed the role journalism plays in fostering an informed citizenry and talked about their Pulitzer-winning works and the importance of pursuing complex stories. The program was a part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils.
HACK THE GENDER GAP: A WOMEN’S HACKATHON ON DIVERSIFYING AI
In November, the College of Media and MediaShift co-hosted “Hack the Gender Gap: A Women’s Hackathon on Diversifying Artificial Intelligence.” The event brought together women from across the University and the country to envision an inclusive AI market responsive to the needs of a diverse society. During the three-day event, high school and college-aged women teamed up to develop their own media-related startup ideas to use AI to bridge a diversity gap. The students were mentored by industry professionals from companies like Troll-Busters.com, Altimeter and Frenzy. The winning team’s concept, “Context,” creates a personalized reading experience through AI for individuals with learning disabilities.
NEW GRANT SUPPORTS BRANDJRNY PROGRAM
College of Media students will work with local communities to tell and “sell” their stories thanks to a grant from the American Electric Power Foundation. The $250,000 grant supports WVU’s Community Branding Initiative, BrandJRNY. Students enrolled in specialized upper-level strategic communications courses will develop integrated communications campaigns for selected West Virginia communities within AEP’s Appalachian Power service area. Students will hone skills in campaign research, strategy, community engagement, budgeting, innovative storytelling and creating promotional materials, while they discover and decide how best to brand each community.
STUDENTS STUDY ABROAD IN CHINA AND SOUTH KOREA
Associate Professor Sammy Lee and Senior Lecturer David Smith lead College of Media students through Hong Kong, mainland China and Seoul, South Korea, each summer as part of a study abroad course designed to help students hone their marketing communications skills in a global context. The College partners with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China, to allow students to collaborate with their Chinese cohort inside and outside of the classroom. They complete high-profile internships, visit international agencies in each city and experience three extremely different and diverse cultures.
This year’s Reed College of Media May Commencement ceremony featured keynote speaker Nzinga Shaw, the senior vice president of community and the chief diversity and inclusion officer for the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Philips Arena. Shaw addressed more than 270 College of Media graduates earning bachelor’s degrees in Journalism, Strategic Communications and Multidisciplinary Studies, and master’s degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Journalism. Additionally, the College graduated the first group of master degree students in Data Marketing Communications, the nation’s first degree program focused on the impact of data on marketing communications.
Prior to the ceremony, the College of Media recognized top graduates including more than 50 bachelor degree candidates receiving Latin Honors (grade point average of 3.4 and higher). Amy Pratt (BSJ, 2018), Nicholas Eckman (BSJ, 2018; MSJ, 2018) and Shannon Cunningham (BSJ, 2018; MSJ, 2018) were named the top overall scholars for earning the highest grade point average of the May 2018 class.
$150,000 GRANT EXPANDS COMMUNITY-BASED REPORTING AIMED AT BRIDGING AMERICA’S DIVIDES
The Democracy Fund awarded the College of Media $150,000 to combine and advance three of its successful programs: the Innovator-in-Residence program, the digital publication “100 Days in Appalachia,” and the social justice reporting collaboration between the College of Media and Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation created to help strengthen our democracy and improve our political system. The goal of the grant is to help the College continue to share the stories of Appalachian communities and to help bridge America’s political and cultural divides.