Reid Hall, which houses the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, provides an environment that prepares students for becoming journalists in a multimedia world. The building was completely renovated in 2002 and its technology is updated regularly.
Reid Hall houses faculty offices and "smart" classrooms equipped with sophisticated touch-screen technology and projectors. Wireless internet is available on all three floors, allowing students to use mobile technology throughout the building.
The building's third floor is the hub of the department's news operations, featuring a 17-position Windows-based lab, a 12-seat newsroom, three dedicated high-end video edit bays, and an audio booth, a television studio and a control room.
Reid Hall's technology is modeled after what students would typically encounter in a professional environment. Computer workstations in Reid Hall use the Adobe Creative Suite for print, web, interactive, and mobile design work. Sony SoundForge is used for audio editing, mastering, and encoding. Avid Newscutter handles both short, cuts-only video editing for news, as well as documentary and longer form visual story telling.
All media files are searchable and available from any of the 15 video editing stations in Reid Hall. This allows students to easily collaborate with faculty and fellow students in crafting their work. The centralized storage of media files allows direct integration with iNews, the newsroom computer system, as well as the graphics and video playout servers. This creates a single unified live television production facility using the latest, most efficient workflows available in the market.
In 2009, FX Group, one of the leading broadcast set design and fabrication companies, installed a new three-camera multi-purpose video production space in Reid Hall that enables high-definition broadcast. The studio features an interchangeable interview set and news desk, as well as a green screen for chroma key work.
The student-run control room is designed to simulate the real-world live news experience. It includes positions for teleprompter, video playout, audio, camera operation, video switching, as well as a director and a producer. The department's weekly news operation, The Rockbridge Report, typically produces a 20-minute weekly live newscast along with 12-minute interviews with important local figures. These are streamed on the accompanying news web-site.
Students have access to numerous Electronic News Gathering (ENG) kits for covering stories as part of their course work. At the core of these kits is the JVC GY-HM100U professional solid-state camcorder. Also included are stick and lavalier microphones and a tripod. Students also have ready access to audio recorders and digital still cameras.