April 16, 2008

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Media Information and Guidelines


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The Virginia Tech community prepares to observe the passage of one year since the tragedy in which 32 students, faculty, and staff lost their lives on campus. April 16, 2008 will be a respectful and solemn day when the university comes together to remember the impact and achievements those lives had while they were with us.

On that day, Virginia Tech will focus its energies on supporting and helping the families of those who died on April 16, 2007; the students (and their families) who were injured that day; and an entire university and extended community which continues to heal in the aftermath of this tragedy.

In that spirit, the needs of news organizations covering events on our campus that day will be secondary, however, every effort will be made to reasonably assist you in your jobs. We have developed protocols and guidelines that we believe will help you accomplish your job while ensuring the dignity and respect that must be afforded to all the students, families, and guest who will participate in the ceremonies.

We remind all journalists to be respectful to the needs of the Virginia Tech community as they proceed through a very difficult day. Your cooperation and understanding is most appreciated.


General Guidelines

  • Norris Hall will be closed to the general public and the press. There will be no access to the interior of the building.
  • To ensure the university community can fully focus on and participate in various ceremonies, we ask you to refrain from interviewing participants during the ceremonies and avoid up-close contact with them. Should a person decline your invitation to be interviewed, we ask you respect that response the first time it is given.
  • Pool broadcast coverage (three cameras) will be available for the university commemoration event at 10:30 a.m. and the candlelight vigil at sundown. Satellite coordinates and other pertinent information will be available at a later date.
  • Media work space (with internet access, phone lines, etc) will be provided. Location to be announced.
  • General questions may be directed to Mark Owczarski (cell: 540-357-0126).

Other guidelines will be announced as April 16, 2008 draws closer.

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Media Credentials

  • All media representatives will be required to obtain media credentials. To obtain credentials, news organizations must pre-register using the online request form.
  • Credentials may be picked up on Tuesday, April 15, from noon to 8 p.m. and again on Wednesday, April 16, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Parking Services Building located on Tech Center Drive.
  • Credentials must be worn and clearly displayed at all times.
  • All university events will be staffed by Virginia Tech public information officers (PIOs) who will be credentialed with large white badges. They may assist you during the day.

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Directions and Parking

  • Directions to the Parking Services Building:
    • From the 460 Bypass, enter campus at Southgate Drive.
    • At the second traffic light, turn right on to Tech Center Drive.
    • The Parking Services Building is located approximate one-tenth of a mile on your left.
  • Parking for all media vehicles, including satellite trucks will be available in the Health and Safety Parking Lot, adjacent to the Parking Services Building on Tech Center Drive. No exceptions.
  • NO press vehicles or satellite trucks may be parked on the Drillfield or other major campus roadways the week of April 13-20.
  • All media vehicles must display a media parking pass made available when you check in during credentialing.

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Policy On Videography Or Photography In University Spaces

Virginia Tech is a public university and all sidewalks, roadways, and exterior spaces are open to the public and, therefore, the media, for free expression. You may photograph or interview anywhere outside throughout the university campus. (See the General Guidelines section above for restrictions for satellite trucks or large gatherings.) Indoor spaces, such as dormitories, dining halls, classrooms, or student lounges are not public spaces. Media access inside campus buildings is permissible if given permission by the ‘space custodian.’

University sponsored remembrance events will take place outdoors. (See the Schedule of Events for details.) Coverage of indoor events related to April 16 will be determined by the custodian and access policy will be posted on this website. We will make every effort to media provide access to campus events, but space may be limited and restrictions may be imposed given the nature of the event.

Various video clips from April 16-related ceremonies and events are available to broadcast media organizations. Please use the online form to submit a request.

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Satellite Coordinates

April 16 events will be available via satellite:

University Commemoration (10:30 a.m.)

Start Date/Time: 4/16/2008 10:00:00 EASTERN
End Date/Time: 4/16/2008 12:00:00 APPROX OUT: 30

Galaxy 26, Transponder 17

Candlelight Vigil (8:15 p.m.)

Start Date/Time: 4/16/2008 19:45:00 EASTERN
End Date/Time: 4/16/2008 20:45:00 APPROX OUT: 15

Galaxy 26, Transponder 17

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Getting Interviews

We know that you are interested in speaking with students, faculty, or administrators. We know that you will be respectful to our community. Should a person decline your offer to be interviewed, we ask you immediately accept that response. We believe that we have a good story about the resiliency of the human spirit. But please be advised that many on this campus have been inspected and interviewed far more in the last ten months than one would expect in a lifetime. There is a general weariness about media interaction that we hope you will take into consideration. A group of students and faculty will be available to speak to members of the press on Wednesday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in the Schott Media Center. Reporters must have Virginia Tech media credentials to participate in this media availability. Please contact us if you need assistance.

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