Media College eNews

College of Media partners with PolitiFact

The 24-hour news cycle, coupled with a high-stakes political climate, has made for a ripe environment for “fake news.” In response, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media is partnering with PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization, to help train student journalists how to properly fact-check politicians.

Bob Britten, a teaching associate professor in the College of Media, is leading a class that has been working with Lou Jacobson, senior correspondent at PolitiFact, to cover events like Donald Trump’s rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on August 21. The students researched and investigated Trump’s claims and, depending on their findings, recommended a “Truth-O-Meter” ruling of “True”, “Mostly True,” “Half True,” “Mostly False,” "False” or “Pants on Fire,” in line with PolitiFact’s standards.

The students will continue to closely follow West Virginia politicians and government officials leading up to, and following, the mid-term elections on November 6. Once stories are approved by the editors at PolitiFact, the fact-checks will be published on PolitiFact’s website .

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WVU Reed College of Media honors outstanding alumni

An Academy-Award nominated filmmaker, an award-winning veteran journalist, a former corporate communications executive, and a nonprofit marketing communications professional were all recently honored by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media at its annual Alumni and Donor Recognition Ceremony. Originated by the College’s local alumni chapter, the outstanding alumni awards acknowledge exceptional professional achievements as well as commitment and service to the College of Media.  

Dean Maryanne Reed welcomed alumni, donors and guests to the ceremony and reception, which was held at the Media Innovation Center on September 21. 

The 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award winners included:

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College of Media alumna inducted into West Virginia Business Hall of Fame

Author, speaker and syndicated columnist Linda Arnold (BSJ, 1976) was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame on August 28. She was honored at a ceremony and reception at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, along with fellow honorees Andrew J. Paterno, CEO of Centurion Insurance Services, LLC and Brad Smith, chairman and CEO of Intuit.

Arnold is the founder and former chairman and CEO of The Arnold Agency, a multi-state agency with offices in West Virginia, Montana and Washington, D.C., specializing in healthcare marketing, telecommunications, banking, energy and franchised business. Prior to founding her agency, Arnold was the director of communications and press secretary for John D. Rockefeller IV during his time as governor.

“I’m deeply honored by this recognition. Being inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame - and joining the esteemed group of former recipients and business leaders - is truly humbling. I credit the support of our state, great employees and partners, and a lot of blood, sweat, tears, heart and soul along the way as we followed our passion," said Arnold. "The education I got at the Reed College of Media - and my continued involvement - has been invaluable.I remain grateful, and I look forward to channeling my energy, ambition and drive into opportunities to make a difference!”

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WVU launches new Interactive Design for Media major

The WVU Reed College of Media and the WVU College of Creative Arts have developed a new major that combines journalism and communication with art and media design.

The Interactive Design for Media major, which launched in fall 2018, will teach students how to tell compelling stories through graphics, animation, video, audio, mobile apps and other forms of emerging media. The program will provide students with fundamental journalism skills, such as writing, media ethics, and audience-development and give them hands-on training in creative subjects, such as animation, coding and web design.

The curriculum was developed in response to a growing market demand for professionals who can think strategically about the best ways to reach an audience and then implement those ideas across several mediums. Graduates of the Interactive Design for Media program may serve as multimedia artists, animators or web designers. They may also work as program managers who coordinate graphic designers, programmers and developers to share a client’s message in a cohesive way on a variety of platforms.

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WVU College of Media selects Pineville for Community Branding

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media is launching the next phase of its community branding initiative with the naming of Pineville, West Virginia, as its latest community partner.

In January, the American Electric Power Foundation awarded the College of Media a $250,000 educational grant to support and sustain “ BrandJRNY,” a community branding initiative launched by the College of Media in 2015 with a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The initiative is designed to help revitalize West Virginia communities by identifying and promoting their unique qualities to encourage economic development, boost tourism and increase community pride. College of Media faculty and students work with stakeholders to develop a research-based brand campaign for each community, and communications and creative deliverables. Past community partners included Matewan, Grafton and Whitesville.

The grant from the AEP Foundation will allow BrandJRNY to continue for two more years and focus on West Virginia communities within Appalachian Power’s service area, which includes most of southern West Virginia and two northern panhandle counties.

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WVU and OU partner for women’s incarceration investigative journalism project

Women's Incarceration Project

Big 12 rivals West Virginia University and the University of Oklahoma may compete on the football field, but they’re collaborating in the classroom to help solve a national problem impacting both of their states disproportionately. 

West Virginia and Oklahoma have the highest percentage of women behind bars, outranking every other state and every other country in the world, according to the Prison Policy Institute’s 2015 Report.

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College of Media hosts camp for high school students

Students attend sports and adventure media camp

Seventeen high school students from six states joined the College of Media for a three-day Sports and Adventure Media Camp at the end of June.  

Campers participated in workshops to enhance their communication, photography, video and journalism skills, as well as improve their understanding of media in the modern world. 

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Q&A with alumna Eleina Elachkar

Eleina Elachkar (BSJ, 2014) discovered her dream career as a publicist not long after graduating from the College of Media. She currently works for Cinetic Media, a film-focused PR and marketing firm in New York City, specializing in Indie films and documentaries such as “I, Tonya,” “Moonlight,” “Boyhood” and “Icarus.” Elachkar assists with film campaigns by pitching to the press, creating and organizing press materials, running press screenings and press days with talent, representing films at festivals and managing red carpets. Previously, she worked as a publicist at the Tribeca Film Festival and FRANK PR.

Ally Kennedy: Why did you choose the College of Media?

Eleina Elachkar: I have always loved Journalism, particularly writing, and I have always been a people person. When touring WVU, I was most excited when touring the College of Media. After a conversation with my Dad and learning about what PR was specifically, it sounded fascinating! 

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College of Media student hits LA

Rising senior Meg Weissend came to the College of Media with an interest in print media, but she’s leaving with a passion for producing. And with a summer internship at the center of the nation’s film and television industry, she’s gaining the real-world experience that will help her achieve her ultimate goal — producing and writing for a major-network television show.

In high school, Weissend was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and envisioned becoming the next ground-breaking New York Times reporter. She always knew she wanted to write, so she specifically chose the College of Media for its reputation in journalism. She didn’t expect to find her calling in behind-the-scenes broadcast work, but through courses like Video Editing and Adventure Travel and Writing, she discovered this hidden passion.

“Meg had unmatched enthusiasm and was always asking questions,” said David Smith, senior lecturer for the College of Media. “If she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, she was always willing to do the research and work to figure it out.”

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