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Media College News

100 Days in Appalachia wins national Murrow Award

100 Days in Appalachia, the nonprofit digital news outlet incubated at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media Innovation Center, has been named a 2021 recipient of a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. The publication was honored in the hard news category for its coverage of the rise of domestic extremism in the region and beyond.

“On day 100 of our initial pop-up publication, we watched as the national media flocked to Pikeville, Kentucky, to report on the white nationalist groups who had gathered, months before the tragedy at Charlottesville,” said Dana Coester, a professor in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and editor in chief for 100 Days in Appalachia. “That day we decided to commit to covering this topic in our region and beyond through the important cultural and contextual lens that no one else could provide. This work is at the center of who we would become as a news outlet and we are proud it has sustained itself well beyond that initial commitment of 100 days.”

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Students gain career experience through enhancement fund

Kasey Lettrich and Chancellor Pickens, both rising seniors at the WVU Reed College of Media, are gaining valuable career experience this summer through internships. Lettrich, a journalism major, is interning with the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. Pickens, a sports and adventure media major, is a photography intern for the West Virginia Black Bears, a collegiate summer baseball team in the MLB Draft League.

Kasey Lettrich

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New faces in new leadership roles

The WVU Reed College of Media welcomes new faculty member Joseph Jones and announces the promotions of Gina Martino-Dahlia and Emily Corio into college leadership positions. Additionally, senior advisor Emily Roush will lead the College’s data acquisition and analysis around recruitment, retention and graduation.

Joseph Jones joins the College of Media as a visiting assistant professor after earning his Ph.D. this past spring from the Missouri School of Journalism. He’ll teach Media Ethics and Law this fall, while designing new courses in media history and culture. Jones’s research focuses on the Black press, journalism's potential relationship with an ethics of care, the obligations and implications of food and lifestyle journalism, and the role of pleasure in the constitution of people and societies. His work has been published in the Journal of Media Ethics.

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Third time's a charm

In December, Natalie Kraft expects to become the first graduate of West Virginia University’s new fully online bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, and the student from New Hartford, New York, is confident in her career choice.

Kraft came to WVU in 2017, as a freshman majoring in occupational therapy. She was in that program for nearly two years before changing gears and switching her major to design studies.

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2021 NewStart fellows diverse in experience and geography

Black by God newspapers

The 2021 NewStart fellows are journalists, designers, editors, authors, media owners, diversity leaders and innovators from around the country who will begin the Media Solutions and Innovation master’s degree program through the West Virginia University Reed College of Media this summer.

NewStart and the one-year online master’s degree program were developed last year in collaboration with the West Virginia Press Association to train the next generation of community media owners and publishers. Crystal Good, one of the inaugural NewStart fellows, recently launched Black by God The West Virginian, an emerging storytelling organization dedicated to providing Black West Virginians with relevant news.

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Q&A with Andy Stofleth: from the Marine Corps to WVU IMC to disaster recovery in the Bahamas

Andy Stofleth

Andy Stofleth’s path has been winding like a river, but one thing has remained constant – the current keeps pulling him toward a career in service.

Stofleth (M.S. IMC, 2017) is currently the executive director of SBP Bahamas and was recently recognized by Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis for contributions to retrofit the Rand Memorial Hospital and four clinics across the Bahamas with water purification systems following Hurricane Dorian. Stofleth joined SBP, a long-term disaster resilience and recovery nonprofit, in  2018 as the Director of Communications before transitioning to his current role in 2020. Stofleth and his team established a public-private partnership with the Bahamas Public Hospitals Authority, CDC Foundation and Water Mission to scope, design and build each system to not only produce enough clean water for each hospital and clinic, but the surrounding community in future emergencies. For the last 18 months, Stofleth and partners have invested their time, resources and passions to complete this long-term recovery program.

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West Virginia statehouse reporter and College of Media alum retires after 32 years

Phil Kabler

Phil Kabler (BSJ, 1981; MSJ 1984) recently covered his final West Virginia legislative session, after 32 years reporting on it for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

“The political climate has changed a lot, which is a reason I want to call it a day,” Kabler said. “Much less cooperation, collegiality among members, much more divisiveness and partisanship. It's like all the joy of a legislative session has been snuffed out. And yes, the media is targeted for trying to do our job.”

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