Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Government & Climate reporter Charlotte Rene Woods and Jake Burns from CBS6 in Richmond spoke to Virginia Commonwealth University students about political reporting at the local and state level. They shared tips from their experiences, and answered students’ questions.

The course they spoke to was VCU’s Capital News Service, which is a wire service run from the university where students provide news and government coverage stemming from Richmond that can be picked up by media outlets around the state.

“Though I did not take Capital News Service as a course when I was a grad student at VCU, I submitted several stories I worked on in my master’s degree through it,” Woods said.

Topics they discussed ranged from how to build a network of sources, various ways to approach interviews, resources to monitor progress of legislation, along with anecdotes from experiences or lessons Woods and Burns gathered while working as journalists.

“As CNS has a heavy focus on General Assembly once it’s in session and with this being a huge election year, I’m glad Jake and I were able to impart some wisdom and advice ahead of all the experience these students will gain in the coming months,” Woods said. “Jake also guest spoke when I was a student at VCU. His insights into different camera angles were helpful when I made my capstone documentary!”

VCU CNS 2

Woods and CBS6 reporter Jake Burns explain Virginia's Legislative Information System and how to track bill status to VCU's Capitol News Service.

Credit: Dr. Karen McIntyre