Communications Students Visit Altoona News Outlets


Students and faculty in the Communications Program made field trips to WTAJ-TV and the “Altoona Mirror” newspaper in Altoona on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

The two groups of COMM students were given tours of each facility on the visits and were provided the opportunity to sit in on WTAJ’s noon newscasts. The students also had the opportunity to ask questions of various team members at each news outlet.

Communications faculty members Kelly Rhodes, Matt Hankinson and Pat Farabaugh accompanied the students on the trip.

“It was a great learning opportunity,” said Farabaugh.

The highlight for most of the students on the trip was sitting in on the noon newscasts at WTAJ, a CBS affiliate. Students interested in production viewed the newscast from WTAJ’s production room. Those interested in broadcast journalism were in the recording studio with news anchor Jordan Tracy and meteorologist Christy Shields during the live show.

At the “Altoona Mirror,” the students were given a tour of the newsroom as well as the printing presses, before sitting down for a question-and-answer session with Managing Editor Neil Rudel.

“All of the professionals at WTAJ and the ‘Altoona Mirror’ were fantastic,” said Rhodes. “They welcomed our students, answered questions and provided amazing behind-the-scenes experiences in the communications industry.

“Our students got to see lessons from the classroom brought to life in broadcasting, storytelling, production and design.”