Agency is a senior-level, capstone course that provides public relations and communications support to area organizations. During the semester students work together to create communication plans and campaigns based on the individual needs of the client. The fast-paced nature of the course and the demands of working with clients, encourages the the highest level of professionalism, performance, and strategic thinking. Each course is supervised by an account director who serves as both an instructor or record and client liaison. Director's guide student work, while monitoring progress and deliverables to the client. Agency concludes with a formal student presentation to the client, with all materials and rights to work passed to the client for use.
Capital News Service is a program in which journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites. Over the years, CNS staffers have won more than 45 national, regional and state awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program and the Virginia Press Association. In addition, CNS received the 2019 Good Government Award from the Richmond First Club, a 100-year-old civic organization. The club recognized the CNS students as “journalists covering Virginia politics with integrity and energy for over 20 years.”
CNS operates as a three-credit course (MASC 475) with a focus on the General Assembly when lawmakers are in session. Students’ bylined stories are published by news outlets across Virginia and, thanks to a partnership with The Associated Press, in USA Today, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and other leading news organizations. In the class, students develop portfolios that have helped them land jobs at newsrooms ranging from community dailies and weeklies to CNN.
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CreateAthon@VCU is a program where teams of students and professionals are matched with local nonprofits to create impactful advertising and communications that move the missions of the organizations forward during a 24-hour creative marathon. In 12 years, CreateAthon@VCU has mobilized 1,045 volunteers to serve 121 Richmond nonprofits with work valued at $2.3 million. Thirteen other universities or colleges have been taught by VCU to create their own CreateAthon programs at their institutions.
Known as "iPadJournos," students in this required journalism class, MASC 396 Mobile and Social Media Journalism, report on various news topics in Virginia every spring and fall semester. Student reporters receive iPad reporting kits for the semester and provide live news coverage on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as long form reporting for the WTVR-TV CBS 6 website. Our journalism professors run the course as a real-life mobile newsroom with breaking news reporting deadlines. Digital and broadcast journalism students earn various publications in the class and develop a social media portfolio for the job market.
The 30-minute student-produced TV news show that airs on Richmond PBS, WCVW-TV, a Community Idea Station. The news team comes from MASC 465 Newscasting, one of the capstone courses in the Robertson School's broadcast journalism concentration. The studio production team comes from MASC 466 Television Studio Production. News students are responsible for producing all show content, including pitching, reporting, shooting, writing, editing and voicing stories; rundown creation and show producing; live on-set interviews and anchoring.
VCU InSight won first place for "Best All-Around Television News Magazine" in the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Mark of Excellence” awards for Region 2 for 2018 and was named a national finalist that same year. The show has also won first place for “Best All-Around Television Newscast” for SPJ's Region 2 (covering Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.) in 2010, 2012 and 2015, and took third place in 2011.