The WTJU Virginia News began in in the fall of 1998, when Liza Douglass approached WTJU general manager and program director Chuck Taylor about starting a student-run newscast on the station. WTJU had featured news programs before, but not in the same vein as the Virginia News: a five-minute long daily show focusing on local and statewide issues relevant to Charlottesville, Albemarle County, the University of Virginia and the surrounding area.
During the 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 academic years, the Virginia News operated in the cramped station quarters in the basement of Peabody Hall. The staff was very small, but very dedicated; many members often devoted in excess of ten hours per week to the news. The 1999-2000 news director was Katie Rothery.
In the summer of 2000, WTJU moved to brand new studios in the Lambeth Field residence area, just north of Central Grounds. The new complex includes three studios: a production studio, where the news is broadcast every day; the main air studio; and a studio for live music performances.
With the larger studios came a larger news staff. 2000-2001 News Director Vinay Jain (now a graduate student in journalism at Columbia University), Allen Robinson recruited and trained new reporters, announcers, and editors that fall. At the end of the spring 2001 semester, fourteen students were involved with WTJU News---the most in the station's history.
Also new for the 2000-2001 school year was "A Closer Look," a five-minute weekly program taking an in-depth focus on a single issue of interest to the community. ACL was halted in the spring 2002 semester due to limited resources.
From 2006 to 2007, Nikki Melton became the director of the show with a staff of 16. The Virginia News continued coverage of University, Charlottesville, and Central Virginia news.
In 2008, the Virginia News came under the direction of Emma Potter. After a short break, the Virginia News team came back in 2009 with higher numbers. Today, the Virginia News is still under the direction of Emma Potter, and as of January 2010, has added co-director Kristin Twiford to the team. The dedication of students at the University continues to make the Virginia News an opportunity for students to gain hands-on radio, writing, and producing experience.
The Virginia News is a student-led news program that runs every weekday at 5pm.
WTJU, the oldest FM station licensed to Charlottesville, first went on the air in 1957. The call letters stand for "Thomas Jefferson's University." WTJU is owned by the Board of Visitors
of the University of Virginia and is a department with the Office of Public Affairs
If you're a student at the University of Virginia and would like to join
the WTJU News staff, please email
us or call 434-243-8832.