BOONE, N.C. — The on-campus studios and newspaper offices may be empty, but Appalachian State University students continue to produce and report the news from remote locations.
“Student-run media are serving as a critical source of breaking news related to COVID-19 developments and other topics, both on our campus and throughout the Greater High Country community,” said Dr. Janice Pope, interim dean of Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts.
“Our student news staff has gone above and beyond, adding a Spanish translation of our news to serve the Hispanic population in our community,” she added.
With studios and other campus facilities closed until further notice, newspaper and broadcast staff — many of whom have returned home — have made some of the following adjustments:
- The Appalachian newspaper and broadcast staff have transitioned to an all-online format, temporarily discontinuing the printed paper. Spanish translations are offered for relevant news articles.
- The App (WASU-FM 90.5) radio station has moved to its summer format, with 24-hour music managed remotely by students. The station’s live DJ and specialty programs are on hold until the fall 2020 semester.
- AppTV continues to produce “The Appalachian Weekly News” — with Spanish translations — and several other programs, with students using their personal gear to produce content remotely in their homes.
“The sudden transition to remote journalism was tough at first, but our team of editors and reporters have really responded. At our first virtual staff meeting, almost all of our 60 reporters were on the call,” said Moss Brennan, a junior communication, journalism major from Durham and editor-in-chief of The Appalachian.
Approximately five of the reporters are currently in Boone, Brennan said. With most of the staff now working from their homes, news reports are covering how Appalachian students across the state are impacted and how they are adjusting to all-online classes and restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The experience of reporting on a pandemic is like no other,” Brennan said. “It has caused us to rework what is most important to cover at this time and how we report to make sure we are staying safe while keeping our community informed.”
The Appalachian, The App (WASU-FM 90.5) and AppTV — all of which are administered through the university’s Department of Communication — were recognized for excellence in communication at the 80th annual Intercollegiate Broadcast System International Media Conference held March 6–8 in New York City.
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About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at https://communication.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.