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HTC journalism students work to share information in four Ohio communities

Published: December 8, 2021 Author: Olivia Mayernik

Where can people who need food, accessible Internet and reasonable transportation go to find it? That’s what Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College journalism students mapped, designed and sent to the libraries in Athens, Albany, The Plains and Nelsonville.  

A class of eight first-year journalism students in the Honors Tutorial College (HTC) worked on the project for five weeks, conducting original interviews to illustrate resources in these four communities.

“The journalism HTC freshman class serves to acclimate students to journalism, to the Honors program, to the university and to the surrounding communities,” said Victoria LaPoe, Ph.D., director of studies for journalism in the Honors Tutorial College and associate professor in E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “We worked together as a collaborative group to utilize journalism skills to help support those on and off campus. We felt strongly we should focus on more than one community and use journalism skills – interviewing, research, writing, storytelling, data visualization, audio recording/editing, online content creation and public relations – that are used in both our news and strategic communication courses.” 

The class created an infographic mapping the Ohio University and Athens establishments that provide free Wi-Fi to the public, as well as locations and details about food banks and similar establishments. They also included maps and information about public transportation options.

“I enjoyed collaborating with my HTC journalism peers because I felt like I hadn’t gotten the opportunity yet to see how we all work as a group,” Mimi Calhoun, a first-year student in the HTC journalism program, said. “It was nice to see how everyone’s different styles and work ethic fit together. Being able to make even a small impact in the surrounding community is very important to me and my peers.”

The class sent printed copies of the information to all the libraries, so those interested didn’t have to have a cell phone to access it. For those who did have cell access, the placemat included QR codes to SoundCloud interviews, which also linked to these resources.