Students complete journalism project despite obstacles presented by coronavirus

Students in journalism class When the spring 2020 semester started, feature writing students in Nan Fairley’s class were excited to write stories about economic and community development in Chambers County. Fairley, an associate professor of journalism in the School of Communication and Journalism, had her students participating in the Alabama Community Capacity Network (ACCN) - which is a coalition of faculty, students, and community organization, working across the state on varied projects. The students were eagerly looking forward to presenting their work at the scheduled ACCN conference in April. After the students had completed their first stories, the project faced unexpected challenges with the arrival of the COVID-19 crisis, which made in-person interviews impossible.

Working diligently to overcome the disruptions, students managed to complete a second round of stories from their homes scattered across the country through phone and social media interviews.

"Despite the challenges, these young journalists valued the time they spent learning about the amazing people and places in Chambers County," Fairley said. 

Their stories were published in the Valley-Times News 2020 Progress edition on April 29.

Fairly said that community partners Valerie Gray and Chris Busby, both with the Chambers County Development Authority, helped to provide valuable assisance and direction to the students. 

The ACCN is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University.

For more information, please contact: 

Nan Fairley


Last Updated: June 03, 2020