Rockbridge Report Since 1985, the Rockbridge Report has showcased the work of journalism students who cover government, business and community issues in Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County. Students in up to a half-dozen classes combine forces to report, write and produce a weekly multimedia website and newscast that informs an underserved rural population.
In-Depth Reporting All journalism majors are required to take In-Depth Reporting, the department's capstone course. During Spring term, students work in teams to report, write and produce multimedia projects on issues affecting people and businesses in Virginia and beyond. Students have examined everything from environmental issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay to changes in Lexington's African-American community.
Multimedia Storytelling The Reider is a website that displays the work of students in Journalism 202, an Introduction to Digital Journalism, a course that focuses on powerful multimedia tools that can be used to tell compelling stories accessible on computers, cellphones and tablets. The site’s name is a play on Reid Hall, home of the journalism department and the building where majors spend the bulk of their time.
Poverty Journalism OnPoverty.org is the work of students from several disciplines at W&L. The site provides a meeting place for professional journalists throughout the nation who cover issues related to poverty, class and economic justice. By providing the forum, students aspire to start an informed discussion that allows journalists to sharpen ideas and improve coverage of the poor in the United States.
The Preliminary Hearing The Preliminary Hearing is a website reported and produced by students enrolled in Journalism 280, a course designed to introduce them to the U.S. court system, its players, language and impact on the public at large. Students have explored such crime-and-justice issues as underage drinking, abuse of prescription drugs and gaps in state laws governing protective orders in domestic violence cases.
A Sense of Place This class creates an opportunity for students to experience one of the more elusive but rewarding aspects of journalism: writing about a place. Interspersed with relevant readings in literary journalism and short exercises in nonfiction writing and multimedia storytelling, assignments take students out of Lexington and into the rural parts of Rockbridge County to focus their attention on a spot on the map.
Eye on Rockbridge: Foreclosures This website examines the impact of foreclosures on people in Rockbridge County. Through their reporting, Journalism 202 students discovered that one in every 51 Rockbridge County homes had been hit by foreclosure since 2008. The students gathered data to create an interactive map, and they told the stories of people who lost their homes.
Covering Crime & Justice Covering Crime & Justice is a Spring term course that provides students with the opportunity to cover “real” criminal and civil cases in “real” time in the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. The course focuses on how the news media cover the three branches of government as they act separately and in concert in dealing with crime and justice.