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For Spring 2012, CNS enrolled 19 students. They wrote nearly 200 articles and distributed them to more than 70 news outlets that subscribe to the service. Most stories were published by multiple outlets — so students amassed a total of about 600 bylined “clips.”
Students covered the “top of the news” — high-profile stories such as the arrest of women’s rights protesters at the Capitol, demonstrations against bills some said would suppress the voting rights of minorities, and visits to Richmond by President Barrack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Moreover, CNS correspondents provided exclusive coverage of issues — especially local concerns — that other members of the statehouse press corps did not tackle. These stories included a bill that would have affected development in James City County and legislation to help volunteer fire departments. Indeed, one CNS article explained why such local issues crop up at the General Assembly.
CNS, which was established in 1994, also provided hundreds of photos, slideshows, videos and other multimedia — on serious issues such protecting students against food allergy reactions and lighter topics like an Easter egg hunt on the Capitol lawn.
Thanks to WVCW, VCU’s student radio station, the top stories were recapped each week and broadcast in English and Spanish as CNS Radio.
If you are a student interested in taking CNS in Spring 2013, contact Associate Professor Jeff South. News organizations may also contact South to subscribe to the service.