Reid Hall, which houses the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, provides a high-tech environment that prepares students for careers as journalists and specialists in strategic communication.
The building houses faculty offices and classrooms equipped with touch-screen technology and laser projectors. Wireless internet is available throughout the building.
The third floor is the hub of the department's video production operation, featuring a 17-position lab equipped with iMacs, a 12-seat Windows-based newsroom, three dedicated high-end video editors, an audio booth for podcasting, and a television studio and control room.
Computer workstations in Reid Hall are equipped with the Adobe Creative Cloud for audio, video and still image editing, and magazine and website design. Journalism students use the software to tell stories and communicate with the public on social media. Strategic communication majors use the same tools to help local nonprofit groups polish their messages and reach their target audiences by producing brochures, websites and social media messages.
Students are taught to use Avid Media Composer to tell stories in a variety of formats, including news packages, documentaries and visual storytelling for the web. Students can also use Apple's Final Cut Pro.
The building features a studio that includes three cameras with teleprompters, a moveable interview set and news desk, as well as a green screen for chroma key work.
Students report, write and produce The Rockbridge Report, an online news site and television operation. On Tuesdays, students produce a live five-minute news update. On Thursdays, they create a 30-minute newscast. Students also serve as director and producer, and they operate the teleprompter, video and graphics playout, audio board, robotic cameras and video switcher.
Student-reporters go live from the scene using TVU Network's TVU One backpack transmitter. This allows high-quality video transmission directly from anywhere with a cellular signal back to Reid Hall's control room. The department has also begun to explore use of drones in newsgathering after purchasing a Dji Phantom 4 Pro+ 2.0 UAS in summer 2018.
The department supplies students with JVC GY-HM200U camera kits that include wireless stick and lavalier microphones, small LED lights and tripods. Students also have access to audio recorders and DSLR cameras.