Student Work

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.

Editing for Print and Online Media

Journalism and strategic communication students must understand the importance of editing in any setting—online, in print, in public relations, and in news. In the course, students develop an ear for language, an eye for design, and the talent to spot factual holes and clumsy organization in writing. As part of their coursework, they also engage in the creative process of designing a magazine during the 12-week term.

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 gaps in mental health and women’s health care to the challenges facing young people who want to be farmers.

Covering Courts and the Law

Journalism 280 is a course that examines the American criminal justice system, its strengths and its weaknesses, and the roles that police, prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and journalists play in explaining the law to citizens. Students report and produce stories about issues confronting the legal system, particularly in Rockbridge County and the surrounding area.


Podcasting is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing formats in the contemporary media environment. In this course, students get hands-on experience producing their own podcast, learning the process of developing one from forming an idea, strategic planning, and information gathering to recording, editing, and delivery. Along the way, we’ll learn about the contours of the podcasting industry, listen to exemplary podcasts across genres, and talk to expert podcasters about their work.

Cross-Cultural Documentary Filmmaking

Majors, minors and non-majors work in teams during spring term to research, shoot, write, voice and edit 10-minute documentaries on people in a hidden or lesser known culture in Rockbridge County.

Multimedia Storytelling Design: How’d They Do That?

The course is geared toward students who wonder how The New York Times and The Guardian put together their Pulitzer Prize-winning interactive stories, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek and NSA Files Decoded: What the Revelations Mean for You. Students go “behind the curtain” and learn basic web design and programming skills through HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and use other digital tools to imagine, design and create powerful, compelling interactive features with audio, video, graphics—and words—that are on the cutting edge of journalism and mass communications.

Sports Journalism

Why do people love sports? This course provides students with hands-on experience in covering local high school and college sports. Students report, write and produce stories that capture the public’s support of athletics that often transcends age, racial and class barriers. Their work is showcased weekly on the Rockbridge Report newscast and website. Students also have reported, written and designed a sports magazine.

The Magazine: Past, Present, Future

Magazines are probably the most resilient mass medium we have, which is good news in the digital age. Even though the magazine business was hit hard in recent years, a look at its past and future is far more cheering. Students of this generation sense it: A love of magazines runs strong for many mass communications students even for those who aren’t pursing journalism in its traditional forms. In this class, you will learn how to investigate a magazine from the past as a way of doing history and of understanding the magazine business from the inside. You will also learn from current magazine editors, writers and publishers what it takes to create, produce and sustain a magazine.

AIM Insider

AIM Insider is a broadcast news magazine reported, edited and produced by four incoming first-year students during the summer of 2019. The students learned about journalism, including interviewing, news writing, and shooting and editing video during the five-week program. W&L created AIM (Academic Immersion and Mentoring) to address diversity and inclusion at the university.

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.

Generals in Jo'burg

This study abroad course provided students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in South Africa, a country with stark contrasts in its politics, its long history of oppression, and its people’s persistent hope for the future. Based in Johannesburg during Spring Term 2016, students on the journalism track reported and produced a multimedia story about growing disenchantment among South African university students. W&L students pursuing the strategic communications track worked with two non-governmental organizations, Jo’burg Child Welfare and the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development, helping them refine their messages.