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Journalism students hit undeadline to cover USU zombie outbreak

October 8th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

LOGAN—A team of intrepid student journalists has been assembled in response to reports of yet another low-level zombie outbreak at Utah State University.

For the second year in a row, UnDeadline will cover the human-zombie war “without fear or prejudice,” said Professor Matthew D. LaPlante, who recruited his Introduction to News Writing students for an assignment that could lead to their undeath.

“It’s just so inspiring to see the next generation of journalists face this challenge with such gusto,” said LaPlante, who previously served as Transylvania correspondent for the Affiliated Press during the human-vampire wars of the early 2000s. “Really, it makes me sort of thirsty for action.”

Critics of LaPlante’s methods have argued that student journalists are not ready to face the dangers inherent in reporting on a war between the living and the living dead.

But Dale Nicholas, who worked with LaPlante during a 2011 zombie outbreak, said experience is the best teacher.

“Sometimes you have to put yourself in danger to get the great stories, the breaking stories,” Nicholas said.

And if some of LaPlante’s students wind up as mindless brain-hungry ghouls? “I guess that’s just a risk they’ll have to take,” Nicholas said

For safety and redundancy, the student reporters have been assembled into multiple news pods. Each pod will be responsible for at least one story each day about the humans v. zombies game, which involves hundreds of USU students. The journalism students will post their stories about the week-long game on their own class UnDeadline blog.

“Unless, of course, they all have their brains eaten,” LaPlante said. “Then I suppose we might have to stand down. Or maybe we could staff up with zombies. Even undead can follow AP style.”


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