Potomac State Journalism Students to Utilize Advanced Technology for Immersive Reporting

Journalism Students to Utilize Advanced Technology  for Immersive Reporting

Students enrolled in Potomac State College of WVU’s journalism program will get the opportunity to work with 360° cameras as they cover and report news and information for the print and on-line versions of the Pasquino, the student-produced College newspaper, as well as other social media platforms. The cameras have special round lens that see a much wider field of view than regular cameras.  Individuals watching a video can pan around inside the image and see all around them or they can wear special goggles for a more immersive experience. Checking out the new equipment with Amber Butcher, center, visiting journalism instructor, are Megan Ellifritz, left, a sophomore from Keyser, W.Va., and Rebecca Ack, a sophomore from Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 

Journalism students at Potomac State College of West Virginia University will acquire new skill sets by using advanced technology for reporting campus news this academic school year, thanks to a WVU Teaching and Learning Commons Technology Integration Grant that was recently awarded to Visiting Journalism Instructor Amber Butcher and Staff Librarian Virginia Kline.

This grant enabled the Journalism Department to purchase three 360fly™ Panoramic 360° Action Cameras.  The 360fly™ 360° action camera is a compact, economical and durable solution for capturing high-definition 360° video in a range of environments.

“Immersive journalism is the future of reporting and 360° cameras are the new frontier in virtual reality storytelling,” said Butcher.  “We believe in giving our students every chance to be on the forefront of journalism and these cameras will empower them with the experience of telling engaging news stories from unique points of view.”

Journalism students will be provided hands-on opportunities by learning real-life applications through the print and on-line version of the Pasquino, the student-produced College newspaper, as well as other social media platforms.

Students will learn how to use the cameras in Journalism 225 (Tools and Applications); they will then apply that knowledge to a campus news assignment.  Students in Journalism 318 and 319 will progressively improve their skills while using the cameras to report the news for the Pasquino.

The 360° cameras will provide exceptional opportunities for journalism students to learn about various media technology during the 2016-17 academic year.  “Early experience with this technology can open doors for journalism students and impact career decisions for years to come,” added Butcher.  The cameras will be available to checkout exclusively to journalism students for the 2016-2017 academic year and to all students in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Other library staff involved Library Technical Assistant Nicholas Gardner and Associate University Librarian Charles Julian who collaborated with Butcher and Kline in writing the grant. Multimedia Specialist David Miller provided technical feedback and support. Kline and Miller had received a WVU Teaching and Learning Commons Technology Integration Grant last year for the purchase of GoPro cameras to be used in an ePortfolio class which was taught in the Fall 2015 semester.

To learn more about Potomac State’s Journalism Program, contact Enrollment Services at 304-788-6820 or go2psc@mail.wvu.edu