No longer just training students for careers in traditional media, West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism is preparing students to be leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in a constantly changing and increasingly young industry.

To inspire students to become the next generation of game-changers and decision makers, the School’s ””Journalism Week 2011: Game Changers Under 40””: will bring to campus young professionals who are helping to redefine journalism and strategic communications in the digital age.

The four-day event runs from Monday, April 4, through Thursday, April 7, and will feature public presentations and classroom discussions led by prominent media professionals ranging from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to a public relations specialist who is rallying a nation through social media to help rebuild Japan.

• Wendy Harman, Director of Social Media for the American Red Cross, will present her class lecture, “Mobilizing Your Audience Through Social Media,” on Monday, April 4, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in 205 Martin Hall. When a devastating earthquake hit Haiti last January, the Red Cross raised $3-million for relief efforts, largely helped by 2.3 million Twitter messages posted by supporters. Now, Harman is leading similar efforts to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that recently devastated Japan.

• Talia Mark, Manager of Diversity Affairs for NASCAR, will present her class lecture, “Promoting Diversity: Changing the Face of NASCAR,” on Tuesday, April 5, at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in 205 Martin Hall. Mark is responsible for all of NASCAR’s major multicultural marketing programs with a focus on youth, African Americans and Hispanics. Her overall goal is to grow the sport by gaining new fans and increase the awareness of opportunities within the sport for diverse individuals.

• David “DigiDave” Cohn, an online journalist and blogger, will present his public lecture, “Spot.Us: An Experiment in Citizen-Funded Journalism,” on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in 205 Martin Hall. Cohn has written for Wired, Seed, Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times, among other publications. While working toward his master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Cohn worked as the editor at the groundbreaking in 2006, which focused on citizen journalism and ways news organizations could explore the social web. Cohn also worked with Jeff Jarvis from to organize the first Networked Journalism Summits, which brought together the best practices of collaborative journalism three years in a row (2007-2009). Cohn has been a contributing editor at and a founding editor of Most recently, he created Spot.Us, a nonprofit that is pioneering “community funded reporting.” Cohn is currently a fellow at the Reynolds Institute of Journalism and is a frequent speaker on topics related to new media and beyond. This presentation is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Daniel Gilbert, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, will present his public lecture, “Small Papers. Big Stories: Investigative Reporting in Rural Areas,” on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in 205 Martin Hall. Gilbert is a Wall Street Journal reporter covering the energy industry. Previously, he was a staff writer at the Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his series exposing flaws in Virginia’s administration of natural gas royalties. Gilbert, 28, is the founding donor of the Fund for Rural Computer-Assisted Reporting (R-CAR), in partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and Investigative Reporters and Editors. The fund provides fellowships to rural journalists at small news organizations to get training in data analysis. This event is sponsored by the Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series and is open to the public.

• Andrew Scritchfield, a cameraman for NBC News, will present his class lecture, “Reinventing TV News: Multimedia Journalist Covers the World,” on Thursday, April 7, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in 201 Martin Hall. Scritchfield is a Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist working for NBC News. He was born and raised in north central West Virginia and attended WVU, earning a degree in broadcast news with a minor in music. Upon graduation, Scritchfield moved to the nation’s capitol and began working for WUSA TV 9, Washington D.C.’s CBS affiliate. After a brief hiatus from journalism, Scritchfield co-founded a video production and photography house, [re]volve solutions LLC. In his career at NBC, Scritchfield has covered stories in Iraq, Afghanistan, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Haiti and Kenya.

Details for Journalism Week are available at Follow student tweeting at #jweek.



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CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism