• Building a future for local news through strong student reporting.

More than 14 million views: The impact of student reporting

Over 1300 colleges and universities are located in or near counties defined as news deserts by  Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. What is the relationship of news deserts to college campuses?  Explore our new maps to learn more about how universities can support local news.

Read stories of news-academic partnership impact

Visualizing the Power of Universities: Maps & News Desert Solutions

CCN research found that 2,000 student reporters in university-led programs published more than 10,000 stories in local news outlets last year.

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In communities across the U.S., student journalists now provide millions of people with trustworthy, professional local news coverage. Our mission is to grow and support partnerships between college reporting programs and local news outlets.

Start or Strengthen a News-Academic Partnership

Latest Research

Building Synergy: Public Radio and Universities

With this study, CCN sought to understand how public media stations are working with their local universities today, and what the obstacles are to creating stronger collaborations.

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Faculty Profile

Deborah Howlett

“It is faculty with the experience and creativity that it takes to make these programs happen,” said Richard Watts, CCN’s director. “From the beginning Deb was determined to give students this opportunity and give legislators a little added scrutiny.”

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What's New

Auburn professor starts community news program

 Professor Hilary Gamble launched her university’s community news program in the fall of 2023. Determined to start something at the 5,000 student public university in Montgomery, Gamble started a pilot program, paying an editor to ensure the student's work matched the quality of the local newspapers.

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Claflin University launches student journalism pilot program

Claflin University launched their first community news program last fall with the help of a Center for Community News grant. Student journalists learn from Claflin courses in journalism and publish their work in a professional news outlet and help sustain Orangeburg’s historic paper. 

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SUNY starts Institute for Local News

The State University System of New York launched the first ever system-wide local news program this spring to inform rural communities and provide rich learning experiences for students. The new Institute for Local News at SUNY will support and encourage more university-led local reporting programs across the system’s 64 campuses and 350,000 students.

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