Media College eNews

WVU and GW partner for Atlantic Coast Pipeline reporting project

In a unique effort to burst long-standing “media bubbles,” students and faculty from the  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media and the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs are teaming up for an in-depth reporting project to assess the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s impact in West Virginia. 

The project, which culminates with a four-week intensive collaboration, is being funded by Scott Widmeyer who has played a senior role over the past three decades in strengthening public affairs communications and supporting a wide range of journalistic endeavors. The founder of Washington-based Widmeyer Communications, his firm is now part of Finn Partners, a growing global communications firm where Scott serves as founding managing partner and chief strategy officer in Washington, D.C. 

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a large, 42-inch diameter, gas pipeline that will originate in Harrison County, West Virginia, and travel through Virginia before reaching North Carolina and decreasing in size. The pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in fall 2017 and construction will continue into 2019. 

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"Path to the Pulitzer" on April 4

Eric Eyre

Eric Newhouse

The West Virginia Humanities Council and WVU Reed College of Media will present “Path to the Pulitzer: Journalism and the Informed Citizen” on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at Ming Hsieh Hall. The panel presentation features two award-winning journalists: 2017 Pulitzer winner Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Eric Newhouse of Charleston who received a 2000 Pulitzer while with the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune.

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College of Media professor's work featured by Google for Black History Month

WVU associate professor Joel Beeson helps a student examine and document the helmet of Monroe Cox, an African American WWI veteran.

A worldwide audience can view a West Virginia University researcher’s work on Appalachia’s African American history on his virtual exhibit “Soldiers of the Coalfields: The Hidden Stories of Black Appalachians in WWI,” one of 100 stories highlighted by the Google Cultural Institute in celebration of Black History Month.

Joel Beeson, an associate professor at the WVU Reed College of Media, created the online gallery that chronicles the stories of African Amercians who migrated to McDowell County in the early 1900s to work in the coal mines and then went on to serve in the U.S. military. The town of Kimball is home to one of the nation’s earliest World War I memorials honoring black soldiers.

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WVU Reed College of Media alumna nominated for an Academy Award

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

An Oscar nomination won’t entice Elaine McMillion Sheldon and her husband, Kerrin, away from their passion: telling the stories of their home state of West Virginia in hopes of bringing attention, and solutions, to its problems – especially opioid addiction. 

The couple has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject for their film, “Heroin(e),” which follows three women in Huntington as they fight the opioid epidemic and try to make a change in their community.

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WVU Reed College of Media receives $250,000 AEP Foundation grant to expand community branding initiative

West Virginia University  Reed College of Media students will work with local communities to tell and “sell” their stories thanks to a grant from the American Electric Power Foundation.

The $250,000 grant supports WVU’s Community Branding Initiative,  BrandJRNY. Students enrolled in specialized upper-level strategic communications courses will develop integrated communications campaigns for selected West Virginia communities within AEP’s Appalachian Power service area. Students will hone skills in campaign research, strategy, community engagement, budgeting, innovative storytelling and creating promotional materials, while they discover and decide how best to brand each community.

”The AEP Foundation is proud to support the WVU Reed College of Media to help communities promote unique regional qualities,” said Dale Heydlauff, president of the AEP Foundation and senior vice president of AEP Corporate Communications. “The Community Branding Initiative is a rare opportunity for college students to not only learn the art and science of building a positive image but also to execute it. The project is truly a win-win for communities and students.” 

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WVU Reed College of Media among the best in MediaShift rankings

The  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media has topped two different “best of” lists for innovation.

MediaShift, the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology, recently announced its top picks for media innovation in several areas. Dean Maryanne Reed was recognized in  “EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators.” College of Media faculty Dana Coester and Gina Martino Dahlia were listed in  “MediaShift20: Recognizing Digital Media’s Top Innovators” for their work on “100 Days in Appalachia,” which was also recognized in  “Top 6 Journalism Collaborations of 2017” by MediaShift contributor Stefanie Murray.

Since her appointment as dean in 2004, Reed has been working with faculty like Coester and Dahlia to establish the College of Media as a national leader in modern media education. “100 Days in Appalachia” is an example of an innovative journalism project that has received national and even international attention. 

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Report for America: Seeking 'ground truth' in Appalachia

Join us for a conversation with top, local journalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter  Eric EyreDana Coester of WVU and 100 Days in Appalachia, and  Roxy Todd of WVPB and Inside Appalachia, led by  Charles Sennott, head of The GroundTruth Project which is launching its new Report for America initiative here in West Virginia and in Eastern Kentucky, part of a national effort to place emerging journalists in local newsrooms to revitalize American journalism.

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December graduation includes first DMC grads

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media celebrated its December graduates at the University’s ceremony on Friday, December 15, at the WVU Coliseum. Keynote speaker Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman Corp., a leader in global security, offered advice and words of encouragement to graduates.

“Never stop learning, never stop striving and never stop dreaming,” Bush said. “When you see change on the horizon, don’t flinch. Rejoice that you can see it. Don’t hide from it – turn toward it, and charge, but do so with your feet firmly planted on the bedrock of your own moral and ethical code. I believe the result of doing so will be what I wish for each of you today – health, happiness, prosperity and lifelong innovation and creativity.”

More than 125 College of Media students graduated this month, earning bachelor’s degrees in journalism, strategic communications and multidisciplinary studies, and master’s degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Data Marketing Communications (DMC). The College also recognized Nancy Gonzalez and Kathryn Jones, two of the first six graduates of the new DMC online graduate degree program.

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College of Media Alumna produces Netflix Original Documentary


The national media has covered the opioid crisis in West Virginia extensively, but College of Media alumna and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (BSJ, 2009) takes on the story through a new lens—one of hope.

She is the director of “Heroin(e),” a Netflix Original documentary that follows three women in Huntington, West Virginia, as they fight the opioid epidemic and try to make a change in their community. The film features Huntington Fire Chief Jan Radar; Judge Patricia Keller, who runs the local drug court; and Necia Freeman, who works with Brown Bag and Backpacks Ministry delivering food and Bible passages to prostitutes and addicts.

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