Media College eNews

Students learn from investigative reporting pros

West Virginia University Reed College of Media students spent the fall semester taking a deep dive into West Virginia issues with the help of two investigative reporting pros, Derek Willis and Ken Ward.

Willis, a news application developer at ProPublica, and Ward (BSJ, 1990), an award-winning reporter at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, co-taught the upper level investigative reporting course, which introduced students to the techniques and tools of the trade.

“Everybody is an investigative reporter – or can be – or should be. It’s just reporting,” Willis said to the class of 11 students during the first meeting in August. “You have to be able to ask really good questions and figure out how to answer them.”

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100 Days in Appalachia awarded Report for America position

100 Days Graphic

100 Days in Appalachia, an independent, nonprofit news outlet and learning lab for students in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, is among 164 organizations nationally to be named a 2020 Report for America (RFA) newsroom. RFA employs and embeds talented, emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues and communities.

100 Days was founded in 2016 and has garnered a national reputation as a go-to source for real stories coming out of Appalachia told by the journalists and community members living and working there. It is an ongoing, evolving project that aims to change the national perception of Appalachia, but it’s also an innovative platform that experiments with new digital storytelling and community engagement techniques.

“This is a great opportunity for 100 Days and an important investment in our region,” said Editor in Chief Dana Coester . “This will strengthen our investigative work in Appalachia and help us build new collaborations across the region with other RFA reporters.”

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