Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports the five fellowships,
and although the fellowships are no longer available, applications for the master’s
degree program are still being accepted.
Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures are in place all over the United
States in an effort to protect the physical health of millions of Americans, but
the COVID-19 pandemic is also taking its toll on mental health.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans
live with a mental health condition, and with the current global crisis, they face
additional challenges, making communicating about mental health more important
Shortly after spring break in March, students at West Virginia University were
notified that they would not return to campus and would finish the semester online.
Amid this chaos,
The Daily Athenaeum and
U92, WVU’s student-run newspaper and radio station, have continued to provide
valuable content for their audiences.
While this might be surprising for some, journalists are considered essential employees
because of their role in providing crucial information to the public, particularly
during major world events like the current Coronavirus pandemic. While most of
the student journalists have returned to their homes around the country, they’re
still reporting on issues affecting WVU.
Life-altering events, including the current global pandemic, often give people new
perspectives that change their relationships, careers and hobbies. For Pamela Holstein-Wallace
(M.S. IMC, 2007), the 9/11 terrorist attack was that event.
Holstein-Wallace began her career as the community relations and development director
at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, West Virginia, where she was working
during 9/11. She acted as the official spokesperson for the hospital, communicating
with local, state and national news organizations, in addition to managing the
advertising and marketing efforts.
As the COVID-19 global pandemic settles into the United States, people are relying
even more heavily on news and the media for information. Faculty in the WVU Reed
College of Media are not only using this unprecedented circumstance to teach
important lessons in the classroom, but they are also sharing their expertise
with the public.
Dana Coester, an associate professor and the executive editor for the collaborative
media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia, and Bob Britten, a teaching associate professor
whose class partners with PolitiFact to fact-check the accuracy of claims by elected
officials, have shared tips on how to differentiate fact from fiction online.