Media College eNews

West Virginia Public Broadcasting Highlights Journalism Student’s Pandemic Coverage

Kayla Starcher in Podcast Studio

Even though COVID-19 closed WVU's campus in early March, students in the Reed College of Media continued with their hands-on, project-based coursework from afar. They explored new ways to interview, report and produce stories, leading to publication for two students in a statewide media outlet.

Journalism students Kayla Starcher and Maxwell Shavers produced stories as part of a podcasting class with teaching associate professor Emily Corio. Students transitioned to cover the impact of coronavirus on their hometowns for the final episode of High Street Beat , the class’s three-part, 20-minute collaborative show.

“Having my story picked up by West Virginia Public Broadcasting validated my own talent,” said Starcher, a journalism junior from Rainelle, West Virginia. “Media work went from being something I enjoy to something I could genuinely see myself doing for a living.” Starcher’s piece was published on West Virginia Morning and explores the creative ways religious organizations are continuing services after being deemed “non-essential” by state officials.

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100 Days in Appalachia awarded Facebook Journalism grant to support pandemic coverage

100 Days Graphic

100 Days in Appalachia, a media outlet incubated at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Media Innovation Center, was the only newsroom in West Virginia selected for a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) to support local coverage of COVID-19.

Launched in January 2017 to combat Appalachian stereotypes depicted during 2016 election coverage, 100 Days is a nonprofit digital newsroom that has an open-source, co-publishing model and shares content from Appalachia’s diverse communities with regional, national and international media organizations. Its news is reported by journalists and community members living in Appalachia, and it also serves as a teaching platform that experiments with new community engagement and storytelling techniques.

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WVU and College of Media celebrate commencement virtually

Graduation Graphic

The COVID-19 global pandemic forced universities across the nation to rethink commencement ceremonies and move celebrations online. West Virginia University held its first virtual commencement ceremony, and the College of Media recognized graduates, including the first from the Sports and Adventure Media major, through social media and a new online yearbook.

On May 16, WVU held Mountaineer Graduation Day, an online commencement experience for May 2020 graduates. While the ceremony was unlike any in the history of the University, it still featured key elements of the traditional May ceremony. Provost Maryanne Reed congratulated graduates, President E. Gordon Gee gave a keynote address and conferred degrees, and students moved their tassels to the left before singing “Country Roads” from their homes all over the world.

“As you continue traveling toward your dreams in the years ahead, you will understand better than any class before that journeys can make shocking and unexpected detours,” said Gee. “Grit and determination have always fueled Mountaineers. That spirit empowered your quest for a degree and it will continue to sustain you during this very difficult time. But as the word commencement implies, your real journey is only beginning.”

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