Media College eNews

Student reporter covers West Virginia flood

On June 23, a devastating flood hit West Virginia. The powerful storms caused 23 deaths and left 44 counties in a state of emergency. Journalism senior Jennifer Gardner, a native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, is a reporting intern at the Charleston Gazette-Mail this summer. 
Gardner has spent the past few weeks covering the tragedy. Although the stories have been emotionally challenging for her, the experience has given Gardner an opportunity to practice her craft through traditional news reporting and new forms of storytelling.
She spoke with communications assistant Kayla Kuntz about her work.

Kayla Kuntz: How did you get involved with the flood coverage?
Jennifer Gardner: Lecturer David Smith messaged me and suggested that we do a 360° video of the flood and pitch it to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The Gazette-Mail had never done 360° video, and I was nervous about suggesting the idea, but Co-Editor-in-Chief Rob Byers approved it. He thought it was a cool concept.

KK: What was it like going into the flood-ravaged areas?
JG: The flood damage was massive — unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was intrigued by everything that was happening around me and the stories that people were telling me. 
In that moment, I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help them [the flood victims] because there was so much damage. Those people have lost everything — their homes, their family members, their friends. It was an eerie feeling.

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Beeson finalist for CINE Golden Eagle Award

Beeson’s work, Fractured Tour: An Immersive Tour of Selma’s Divides, is a finalist for the CINE Golden Eagle Award the Virtual Reality/Documentary Short category.

CINE, which stands for Council on International Non-Theatrical Events, is a non-profit organization that honors and champions the creators of exceptional media content. Former winners include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Fred Rogers, Diane Sawyer, Kevin Costner, Barbra Streisand and William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

“Fractured Tour” is a self-guided, immersive “tour” of the economic, racial and ideological divides in Selma, Alabama.

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Mickey Furfari passes away at 92

On July 11, 2016, West Virginia lost a legend — sportswriter Mickey Furfari. Known as the “dean” of West Virginia sportswriters, Furfari died at the age of 92 after covering his alma mater, West Virginia University, for 70 seasons.

Furfari graduated from the School of Journalism in 1948. Dean Emeritus Guy Stewart and Furfari were classmates. Stewart says Furfari was a great friend of the School and will be missed.

“When I was dean, Mickey taught a course or two at the School. I put him in as a pinch hitter because he was a good one,” said Stewart. “His influence on the young people he taught was important. I’m sure they learned a lot just from hearing his stories.”

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