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Our Media Innovation Center provides space, technology, curriculum and culture for building a highly collaborative community of entrepreneurs and problem solvers. Our programs are designed to work closely with industry and community partners to tackle the challenges presented in Our Driving Question and to incubate a next generation of media change agents.

The Media Innovation Center builds on the existing spirit of invention, risk-taking and resourcefulness embedded in the culture of our college and celebrates our rural landscape as a metaphor for agile invention and resiliency.

Rural is a metaphor.

Rural on a global scale is the most important emerging market right now. Accelerating access to technology will enable the emergence of a new creative class, new economic activity, entrepreneurship and innovation on a global, local scale.

Our grassroots efforts represent longstanding work in digitally disadvantaged settings, and we employ catalytic innovation theory — disruptive innovation for social change — in our research, projects and curriculum. We are recognized for exhibiting a bold spirit and willingness to challenge traditional practice while holding true to our core pursuit of media that matters.

It has been our experience that some of the very characteristics attributed to those who benefit in a disruptive landscape uniquely describe attributes of distressed communities:

  • A lack of commitment to status quo
  • A lack of structural complexity and scale
  • A lack of economic comfort and complacency
  • Able to evolve through trial and error on a small scale

Disruption requires that a system must stand to gain more than it loses. This asymmetry between potential gains and potential losses is our unique advantage, and we propose a new perspective for how — and where — innovation happens.

This is the authentic and hard-earned spirit of our center. We are redefining rural as a metaphor… not about geography... but about a larger landscape and pioneering culture adept at navigating steep challenges and divides.

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media is a student-centered school that has been graduating journalists and strategic communicators since 1939.