Every month, I go on a Zoom with Taylor Blatchford, engagement editor for the Seattle Times Investigative Team and editor of The Lead, Poynter’s newsletter for student journalists.
We’re sharing our plans for the coming months to make sure we meet the needs of the journalism education community while complementing everyone’s work (and also supplementing it frequently, because that’s what friends).
Recently, I told him that the Alma Matters survey, which several of you were kind enough to complete, clarified the desire for more outstanding work by academic journalists, both in classrooms and for academic media.
In other words, you seem to be hungry for examples of quality student journalism.
While we are still perfecting the means to collect such pieces, I wanted to draw your attention to the work of college journalists through last year’s Poynter College Media Project.
If you are looking for examples of meaningful and impactful work for your student media group or for a class assignment, here is a short list of ideas with links to their work.
- Texas A&M University San Antonio: El Espejo magazine students examined the impact of the pandemic on student groups at this relatively new campus, which is largely suburban and serves a primarily Hispanic student population. The PDF of their fall 2021 magazine is here.
- The University of Alabama: The Crimson White set out to create a COVID-19 dashboard that would track infection and vaccination rates for students, faculty, and staff. When the university was uncooperative with the records, the team pivoted to cover other COVID-19 stories on campus throughout the semester. Learn more here.
- The University of Miami: In 2020, the U made national news when it was accused of using facial recognition software on its students, which officials denied. Freelance journalism students from The Hurricane and UMTV thought otherwise and launched a three-part investigation into what constitutes facial recognition, how it’s used in Miami, and the implications for other campuses across the country.
- Penn State University: The Daily Collegian examined the lasting impact of Jerry Sandusky’s indictments a decade after they were handed down. The result was their “Sandusky’s Imprint” website and a special PDF printing section.
- The University of Montana: Kaimin students were prepped for a semester of open portage before a court stopped the action. They examined Montana’s gun culture and law and looked to the future to consider the possibility that guns might be a reality in the educational environment in which they studied and worked. The result was In the Crosshairs (website) and this special PDF section.
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison: Daily Cardinal students investigated the long-term implications of gentrification and the impact of rising student housing construction on the city of Madison. Their final projects were The Student Living Issue (PDF) and their Choose Your Impact website.
- Hofstra University: Students here wanted to create a nonprofit student media group that would examine the most pressing issues on campus. Their investigation for The Hofstra Clocktower specifically focused on educational disparities in Long Island public schools.
While the Poynter College Media Project is on hiatus pending more funding, we are always on the lookout for great work from college journalists. At any time during the semester, I hope you will send me links to your student work that you are most proud of.
Above all, keep up the good work to help and inspire the next generation of journalists.
Mark your calendars for Student Press Freedom Day, scheduled for February 24, with the theme “Reactivate”. Learn more at studentpressfreedom.org. Consider how you could work within student media to highlight the importance of press freedom.
NLGJA: The LGBTQ Journalists Association is hosting its second virtual student conference, February 25-26. Students will “learn from media experts, connect with other student journalists, and explore the intersections of the news industry and LGBTQ identities.” Registration is free for NLGJA student members or $25 for non-members.
Here are some insider scoops… Poynter is looking for an audience engagement editor. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree (or comparable journalism experience), experience managing social feeds, and excellent writing/editing skills, with a focus on social media writing. This is great work for new and recent graduates working directly with Poynter’s editorial team. Ideas and curiosity drive us, and we’re more impressed with someone willing to explore new ways of engaging with our audience of journalists and media aficionados than a lengthy CV. Do you think you have a recent graduate who could be the right fit for you? Send them to us!
This week, we’re featuring the Pulitzer Center, which has two internships open. The Campus Consortium Reporting Fellow Intern and Campus and Outreach Intern will work 10-20 hours per week for approximately one semester with the possibility of extension. Applications are due January 25.
See our full database here.
Last week, signatories to the International Fact-Checking Network, including PolitiFact, wrote an open letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki calling on YouTube to change its policies regarding misinformation proliferating on the site.
The letter reads in part: “Your company’s platform has so far framed disinformation discussions as a false dichotomy of removing or not removing content. In doing so, YouTube avoids the possibility of doing what has been proven to work: our experience as fact checkers, along with academic evidence, tells us that surface factual, fact-checked information is more effective than removing content. It also preserves freedom of expression while recognizing the need for additional information to mitigate risks to life, health, security and democratic processes.
The group made several suggestions for next steps, including committing YouTube to meaningful transparency on misinformation on the platform and focusing on providing context and offering debunks, clearly overlaid on videos or as content. additional video.
Following the conviction of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers, we examine a local reporter’s diligence and tenacity in investigating the true story behind Arbery’s shooting. You can read these and other case studies here in our Professor Press Card (subscription required).