For VCU’s Capital News Service, student journalists cover massive gun rights rally

Young man writes on notepad in the midst of two protestors.
VCU Capital News Service reporter Conor Lobb interviews attendees at the Second Amendment rights rally Monday. Contributed photo.

Three Virginia Commonwealth University Capital News Service student journalists — Conor Lobb, Chip Lauterbach and Jeffrey Knight — volunteered to cover the massive rally on Monday that brought 22,000 gun rights advocates to the State Capitol in Richmond.

“Students braved temperatures in the 20s, rumors of potential violence, crowded streets and a hectic pace while documenting the thousands of armed Second Amendment supporters that converged on Richmond to protest proposed gun control measures and lobby lawmakers,” said instructor Alix Bryan, who accompanied the students covering the rally.

With the help of instructor Veronica Garabelli, the team posted social media updates, took photos and filed the following two reports and a slideshow that were published throughout Virginia that same evening.

Virginia gun rights advocates take Second Amendment stand

What’s next for gun rights advocates after massive rally

Thousands of armed gun rights advocates flood Richmond streets (photo gallery)

“It was an opportunity for students to put their classroom knowledge to the test and thrive under deadline pressure,” Garabelli said.

Capital News Service is a flagship program of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

Group of people walking down the street, some holding flags or guns.
Supporters of gun rights march on Main Street next to the Capitol. Photo by Jeffrey Knight, VCU Capital News Service.

Capital News Service student reporters already have had a busy semester with 20 articles filed to more than 100 news organization clients, including several articles that were picked up by The Associated Press and distributed across the nation.

“Congratulations to our student reporters for their excellent work and to our professors for their outstanding leadership of our Capital News Service team,” said Marcus Messner, Ph.D., interim director of the Robertson School. “They make it very real in this capstone course and all of us in the Robertson School are immensely proud.”

To follow more of the student reporters’ work, visit the Capital News Service website.

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