Last year communication students from Wichita State University did something few others get to experience during their course of study.
They got to experience real-life coverage of a disaster-ravaged community by immersing themselves in the area.
Under the direction of WSU professor Les Anderson, 17 Shockers went to Greensburg for two weeks to write stories and shoot photographs and videos for Kansas newspapers.
Arriving a year after the EF5 tornado decimated the town, the group wasn’t looking for the same stories that had already been done. The goal of the project was to find the stories that hadn’t been written and tell the tale of how the community was being reborn after the majority of the town was destroyed.
The project worked well.
So with such success, project Greensburg Rebirth is happening again, and this time more than 20 students and a whole host of media professionals are descending upon the town.
Last year several stories were covered, but there are so many more to be told.
And this year, the group will get to stay in Greensburg instead of in neighboring Haviland.
Of course, just going back to tell a few more stories wouldn’t be enough.
The whole project is getting ratcheted up a notch.
This time, a huge emphasis will be placed on multimedia story telling, and every student will be producing a podcast for nearly every story they write.
Some of these might be video productions, while others might be simple audio pieces. Either way, not only will the stories be told, but the voices will be heard.
Also, at the end of the project, members of the group will take the photos and stories written and produce a glossy magazine that will be available for purchase as a way to encapsulate the stories of town’s rebirth.
The group leaves at 8 a.m. Tuesday. They will return home for the weekend, but the project won’t end until June 5.
It is going to be an exciting time jam-packed with incredible stories of people rebuilding their homes and lives following the tragedy of May 4, 2007.