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UNLV Journalism Mobilizes After the Shooting

Students, faculty, and graduates quickly gather unique accounts of the Las Vegas Strip shooting.

Campus News  |  Oct 9, 2017  |  By UNLV News Center
Editor's Note: 

The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies faculty compiled this summary of stories.


Students, alumni, and instructors of UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies mobilized in the wake of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. They covered the event for local and national publications alike.

Storytelling is the way communities make sense of tragedies, said Robert R. Ulmer, dean of the College of Urban Affairs. "During these events communities have a lot of different communication needs," he said. "They need to grieve. They need to be able to come together. They need to be able to heal and renew."

Through their work interviewing people affected by the shooting, school's students, faculty, and staff helped the campus and larger community "make sense and meaning out of a very emotional and difficult time for Las Vegas. Moving forward our faculty, students, and staff will continue to provide context for our community and help our community make informed decisions on how to move forward together."

Student reporters at the UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free press covered the shooting from a variety of angles:

  • Blaze Lovell wrote about Nevada representatives signing onto a bill to ban bump stocks, UNLV president Len Jessup’s response to the shooting, and UNLV medical school assisting the community after the shooting,
  • Bianca Cseke wrote about the shooter’s stay at the Ogden Hotel during Life Is Beautiful, another Vegas music festival popular with students; shooting victim and former UNLV student Quinton Robbins; a local funeral service covering funeral costs for victims; and updates and clarifications from metro PD.
  • Jacob Lasky covered President Donald Trump’s speech from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s headquarters.
  • Terrel Emmerson relayed the account of a Mandalay Bay guest staying five floors below the shooter.
  • Annabel Rocha took readers inside Mandalay Bay the day after the shooting.
  • Aron Csiki wrote about Karessa Royce, a UNLV student injured in the shooting, and the community’s rush to donate blood to help victims.

Students in UNLV’s Studio G, a live newscast, mobilized to keep the community informed about the shooting, while also highlighting its impact on the UNLV community. Students interviewed people tied to the shooting and UNLV experts, who offered advice to viewers about how to help victims. “The telecast was one of the best we've ever done in Studio G and I was proud of each (student),” says Gary Larson, associate professor and director of the studio.

The Rebel Report, a sports and entertainment show produced by faculty member Jon Castagnino and journalism students, reported live on social media from donation and blood drive locations. Castganino is a co-host of a local show called Sports Adrenaline where he provided commentary on the week’s events. The students also covered how the Las Vegas sports community from UNLV to the Vegas Golden Knights rallied to help the victims, survivors and families. Students covered how the UNLV Rebel Hockey team coped after one of the team's assistant coaches was shot at the concert. Castagnino and students covered a tribute to first responders at the game between UNLV Football and San Diego State on Saturday, Oct. 7. The first broadcast of The Rebel Report will air on Oct. 12 and will be dedicated to the victims and survivors.

KUNV Radio students, faculty and staff reported from the Las Vegas Strip providing updates on air throughout the week and have continued coverage on last week's shooting. KUNV's hosts continue to provide information on both how to help and how to get help.

  • KUNV's Kim Trejo worked through a KUNV partnership with The Nevada Independent to provide up-to-date stories as events continued to develop. She also arranged and conducted an interview with Dr. Carissa D'Aniello of UNLV's Couple and Family Therapy Program which discussed how to help children and young adults understand and cope with the tragedy.
  • Bruce Gil and journalism student Rey Verteramo took live remote equipment to the Nevada Broadcasters Association headquarters where they had set up a media hub for both media and organizations to gather and distribute information. They conducted a live on-air interview with NVBA Executive Director Eric Bonnici.
  • Journalism student Sebastian Ross arranged for a live interview with three counselors from UNLV's Center for Individual, Couple and Family Counseling to help inform the public about free counseling services available on campus. He also arranged a live interview with the regional director of the American Red Cross to discuss opportunities to donate blood as well as how people could get help.
  • KUNV's Vanessa McConnell provided afternoon coverage from the media staging area on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip and continued to look for updates from police and other first responders.
  • KUNV's student news producers cover this weekend's Las Vegas prayer walk with Vice President Mike Pence.

Soni Brown, a UNLV senior, traveled to Mesquite to report about the shooter, and later reported on the Wynn Las Vegas casino’s newly heightened security. Both pieces appeared in the New York Daily News.

Chase Stevens, a UNLV journalism alumni and staff photographer with the Las Vegas Review Journal, responded to the shooting immediately. His photographs are featured in stories aggregated on his Twitter feed. Time Magazine later interviewed him about his coverage of the shooting.

Yasmina Chavez, a UNLV journalism alumni and staff photographer with the Las Vegas Sun, also quickly responded to the shooting. Her work is aggregated here.

Amanda Fortini, a visiting lecturer, spent three days interviewing witnesses of the tragedy. The resulting narrative focuses on the accounts of three survivors and appeared in The New Yorker.

Michael Easter, a visiting lecturer, wrote about the psychological impacts of surviving a mass-shooting, and how Las Vegas may be uniquely underprepared to deal with the tragedy’s mental health fallout. The story appeared in New York Magazine.