May 19-25, 2000
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Sullivan Award winners show deep commitment to caring
Here's the youngest 'Hoo
Wagner exemplifies value of mentoring

Rector unearths love for human evolution

Dyslexia forced graduate to create own path for success
Boiler passes a special test
Already a pioneering online journalist, graduate plans to take on TV reporting
Student's mentoring program takes root
Medical student with passion for public health earns second master's degree
Groundskeeper has watched U.Va. and its landscape grow
Help wanted: not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too
BUCKS' vision to give back to community will continue
Watson discovers teaching and takes history to the Web
Seeing double
Heard's degree painted with broad strokes
May graduate's dream shows how education transforms lives
Stephanie Gross
Anna Robertson

Already a pioneering online journalist, graduate plans to take on TV reporting

By Ida Lee Wootten

Anna Robertson is determined to change the way Americans consume the news. Given the legacy she leaves the University, she is on her way.

In December 1998 Robertson created an online news magazine called (located at Affiliated with, the online version of the Washington Post, the presents news packaged with interactive discussion, photo galleries, animation and graphics. Although just over a year old, was one of three finalists in the "Best Online College Newspaper" category in the national Editor and Publisher online awards competition this February.

With an all-volunteer staff, the -- which began as a monthly publication and now appears biweekly during the academic year -- looks much like an electronic version of a newspaper, but seeks to probe issues in more depth than newspapers usually do. A recent issue, for example, focused on the "Take Back the Night" campaign to end sexual assault, offering a selection of photos tracking the event, as well as resources to help assault victims.

Robertson's teachers have little doubt that she is making a mark in journalism. "We're looking at the future of journalism," predicted William H. Fishback, a senior lecturer who teaches news writing. "Anna has led the way here in using technology to bring in a new generation of news readers."

Robertson, who will earn a B.A. in English and history through U.Va.'s American studies program, will head to New York City after graduation to work in television news. She hopes to link online news sources more closely with television.

"I love the potential of powerful images on television," Robertson said. "I think TV news has strong potential to be of service to people. It can enrich their lives."

She also will continue working with as a consultant helping to develop its education and children's sections.

"Anna is one of the most talented young journalists I've worked with in years," said Jim Sheppard, Washington deputy editor. "She blends traditional journalism skills with solid thinking about how to present factual, balanced news in the fast-paced, interactive medium of the Web."

Robertson's work at U.Va. has benefited many students. Frustrated by the lack of a journalism department at U.Va., Robertson created the Journalism Information Network, an electronic source that provides information on internships, speakers, seminars and jobs.

Part of it will live on in U.Va.'s new media studies program -- the symposium series with prominent journalists. Representatives of will also serve on the program's student advisory board.

Reflecting on her experiences at the University, Robertson said, "I've learned that if a need is not being met, you can rise to the occasion to meet that need. I've also learned that there is much support here for students who take their own initiative."

See press release on Already A Pioneer in Online Journalism, May Graduate Plans on Making Positive Impact on Television Reporting


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