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The 2019 West Virginia University – George Washington University Collaborative Reporting Project brought together journalism students from two distinctly different places: rural West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Students crossed the so-called “rural/urban divide” to work together, reporting on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia. 

WVU Teaching Associate Professor Emily Corio and former George Washington University Assistant Professor Debbie Cenziper led the project,  which began in January 2019 with independent study courses at both universities. Students and faculty began in-the-field reporting late in the semester. Then students spent the month of May working as full-time journalists, doing field reporting in some of the hardest-hit communities in West Virginia. WVU Teaching Assistant Professor Mary Kay McFarland was a subject-matter expert for the students and also helped with their fieldwork and production. 

The goals of the project included increasing students’ journalism experience, utilizing collaboration to foster more in-depth and inclusive reporting on West Virginia and exposing students to diverse points of view and experiences. 

Students also contributed to a story published in  The Washington Post