Virginia Commonwealth University Partners with University of Maryland to Expand Capital News Service

News Services from both universities to collaborate for a broader reach

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The Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications’ Capital News Service and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s Capital News Service at the University of Maryland have created a collaborative, regional news service bringing together several dozen reporters across multiple platforms in bureaus in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

This week, the two student-run, professionally edited news organizations, with bureaus in Richmond, Va., Washington, D.C., Annapolis, Md., and College Park, Md., will begin sharing and distributing each other’s stories and multimedia. The two news organizations also plan to work together on issues of importance to Maryland, Virginia and D.C., including the Chesapeake Bay, transportation, economic development, immigration and education.

Jeffrey South, director of VCU Capital News Service
Jeffrey South, director of VCU Capital News Service

This unique, collaborative effort between student-staffed news organizations will deliver public policy news and analysis to the residents of Maryland and Virginia in multiple formats via partner news organizations, destination websites, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.

“This will provide an opportunity for students from VCU to work with students from the University of Maryland on reporting projects of mutual interests of both students and the two states,” said Jeffrey South, associate professor of journalism and director of VCU Capital News Service. “There are lots of things that we can do that will make both programs stronger, and the stories coming out of both will be better.”

The CNS at VCU was founded in 1994, and is overseen by the School of Mass Communications in the College of Humanities and Sciences. It serves more than 90 newspapers and news websites across Virginia, ranging from metro dailies like the Daily Press of Newport News to online start-ups such as the Patch community sites in Northern Virginia.  The program also uses various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr, and it produces a weekly radio program in conjunction with VCU’s student radio station, WVCW. CNS at VCU has won several awards in college journalism competitions, such as the Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence contest.

Founded in 1990, the CNS at the University of Maryland covers public policy news throughout Maryland. CNS reporters have won numerous awards for their reporting, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards, the Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program and student Emmys. They’ve covered national political conventions, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and other national stories. CNS clients include The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, WTOP Radio and many of the daily, weekly and monthly newspapers in Maryland.