VisCom students attend Allegheny College photojournalism conference
Stan Alost, interim director, among visiting photojournalists
By Danielle Hale
ATHENS, Ohio (April 8, 2014)—While many students spent their spring break at home with their families or on a beach, nine Ohio University students traveled to Meadville, Pennsylvania to attend a two-day photojournalism conference. “The Story Next Door” conference was held at Allegheny College and explored community journalism in action.
More than 25 student photojournalism students were mentored by visiting photojournalists, including Ohio University School of Visual Communication Interim Director Stan Alost and three Pulitzer Prize winners: Allegheny College alumnus Richard Murphy, Preston Gannaway and Michael S. Williamson
“The Pulitzer Prize winners were very generous,” said Cheryl Hatch, visiting assistant professor of journalism in the public interest at Allegheny College, wanted to help bridge the gap between Allegheny’s campus community and the community of Meadville through the conference. “They did a great job of showing their work, giving students insight, and explaining that not everything always goes right.”
Hatch connected with Alost with an opportunity allowing Ohio University students to showcase their skills. While at the conference, students aided Hatch’s mission by exploring the Meadville community and finding stories that they then produced.
“We are so proud of these students, their images, their coaching of Allegheny College students and their representation of photojournalism to the community,” Alost said.
Students worked in an open newsroom, which had been converted from the lobby of the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts. This allowed students to experience what a real newsroom would be like under deadline. It also allowed community members to see the project in progress.
Elizabeth Held, a senior visual communications major at Ohio University, found that she learned not only from her peers and the Pulitzer Prize winners while at the conference, but she learned about herself as well.
“I learned that my multimedia skills have extreme potential, and that I want to do more in the future,” Held said.
Alost said he was proud of Ohio University students for connecting to Allegheny College students and the community by working side-by-side over a short time.
“Not only did the students win the hearts of the community and the other program participants, but they demonstrated to the industry and the Pulitzer Prize-winning speakers at the conference that they are some of the best around,” Alost said.