CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four years ago, when former Charleston Gazette and Gazette-Mail multimedia editor Mary Kay McFarland took a job teaching video and photography to West Virginia University journalism students, "I wanted to help them tell stories in several different ways -- print, video and photography," she said.As director of the West Virginia Uncovered project, she has helped students tell stories about West Virginians from Wheeling to Welch. In 2012, they linked with The Charleston Gazette/Gazette-Mail's "The Shape We're In" project. "The state's obesity epidemic was a natural fit for us," McFarland said.
"We talked about the fact that the Gazette was not just covering the negative part of the story, but also wanted stories about people who are finding their own answers. The students were really excited about that approach."Four advanced students met with "The Shape We're In" coordinator Kate Long to develop their ideas. Using high-definition cameras, each student spent many hours to produce a three-minute video.