The headline at the top of the front-page reads:
WVU Touts Standing As Research Institution
The sub-heading tells us the specifics:
University receives R1 ranking
Is this news? Not if recency is part of your definition -- the announcement of continued R1 standing happened 100 days ago. Here's the title on the WVU press release dated December 19, 2018:
WVU maintains R1 status, ranking alongside most prestigious research universities
The Intelligencer article is mostly PR and, like its R1 announcement, it presents nothing that is new; the story also includes when the university was established, student population, various programs, and the amount of research dollars from outside sources that the university receives.
Accompanying the article on today’s front page is a feature article about WVU researchers and their study of forest health. This one does present some new information on red spruce trees and like the preceding article, it's good PR. Toss in pictures and the two WVU articles combine to take up around 80% of the available space for news.
Why the front-page treatment for these articles? Beyond positive coverage for WVU (always a consideration), Ogden committed two reporters to WVU’s Academic Media Day event. If its history is any predictor, Ogden needs to get its money’s worth even if there is no news. I don’t think that we are done with the media day stories -- last year’s event was good for four front-page articles that spanned three days (see here). It was also featured in an editorial about WVU’s president.
For contrast, I decided to check the Morgantown Dominion Post’s website to see how they handled yesterday’s WVU public relations event. I could not view today’s actual paper but there were no stories about the media day on its website.