SOJ Insider | Magazine Redesign

Magazine gets new look and online presence

By Keenan Cummings

This year, the School of Journalism alumni magazine has a new look and name, as well as an online presence. Two different classes in the School helped to redesign the magazine, now called SOJ Insider, and to create an online verison of the magazine.

Dean Maryanne Reed proposed the redesign last fall to reflect the look and feel of the School’s new recruitment materials.

Dr. Steve Urbanski, director of graduate studies and assistant professor, assigned his copy editing and design class to create a new look for the magazine.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the students involved, and it is a great experience for them,” said Urbanski. “This is the type of experience that will help them get jobs, and that’s the point of the School promoting a project like this.”

Each student was given the opportunity to design the layout of an assigned story. “I wanted to rely on the experience I’ve had and work collectively with the students to achieve something that looks sharp,” said Urbanski. “I’ve really tried to let the students take ownership to let them know that they’ve had a huge impact on this project.”

WVU’s Creative Services built upon the students’ work to create the final look in line with the University’s promotional and marketing materials.

Dean Reed also proposed putting the news magazine online for the first time.

“We wanted to create a new venue for students to produce multimedia stories for the Web,” said Reed. “We also want to reach additional people who want to learn more about our exciting programs, student projects and successful alumni.”

Visiting Assistant Professor Maria Ines Miro-Quesada, an online journalist from Peru, took on the challenge.

“Dean Reed presented the idea to me, and I thought it was a great way to engage students in learning about reporting and producing for the Web.”

Students in Miro-Quesada’s online production class produced infographics, video segments, photo slideshows and audio interviews for the website,

“The students are using the skills that they have learned from the School of Journalism and capitalizing on them,” said Miro-Quesada. “The most important part of the class is the idea that you not only have to use the software, but go beyond that. We wanted to exercise thinking in terms of multimedia and expose the students to trends in the industry.”

The School plans to incorporate additional interactive features on the website to encourage more alumni to reconnect with their alma mater and become more engaged with the students and life of the School.


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