Stories of Programs Around the U.S. (full list here).

Cold Case class takes on unsolved racially motivated crimes

By Lauren Milideo

In 2009, students and faculty at Louisiana State University joined a local newspaper editor in investigating racist and unsolved crimes from the state’s troubled past. The LSU Cold Case Project is now offered as a class every fall semester, under the direction of former New York Times reporter Christopher Drew. Read more

Ability media student reporters step in to fill a news gap

By Lauren Milideo

People with disabilities account for 26% of the American population, according to the CDC,  yet news stories rarely cover the community, said Christopher Roush, Dean of the Quinnipiac University School of Communications. In 2020, Roush decided to change that, launching Ability Media and hiring seven-time Emmy winner and former ESPN editor Dave Stevens to lead the team as a professional-in-residence. Read more

Students exchange content with community news organization

By Hannah Kirkpatrick
Some student media advisors and student editors are building partnerships with local media organizations to give student reporters a broader audience and contribute local news. And that is what student media advisor Michelle Day started two years ago, building a collaboration between the student media organization, The Northerner, and a regional media organization with a public service mission, LINK nky. Read more

The teaching hospital approach to journalism

By Carolyn Shapiro

Most months of the year, the Columbia Missourian newspaper operates with about 75 reporters and 11 editors. Other publications large and small can only dream of a staff of that size – or even a quarter of it.The reporters are journalism students at the University of Missouri, and the editors are faculty of the school, professional journalists who teach classes. By the time the journalism majors reach their junior year, they work regular shifts in the Missourian newsroom, which is considered one of the university’s “news labs” for hands-on experience. Read more

Partnering the student paper with the local daily

By Lauren Milideo
Like many college towns, West Virginia University has a large footprint in Morgantown, where the campus of 28,000 is based.  Employees, alumni, sports fans and students follow the news from WVU. And the student paper, the Daily Athenaeum, is well read, according to the paper’s faculty advisor, Madison Cook – with a 94% pick up rate from 84 bins distributed across campus and the city. And the reach goes even further on Fridays, when the Daily Athenaeum and the local newspaper, the Dominion Post, join forces, Cook said. Every Friday the student paper is printed, in full, in the family-owned Dominion Post. Read more

Running a public radio station with students

By Carolyn Shapiro
Missouri University journalism students start their shifts in the KBIA public radio newsroom at 8 a.m. Within eight hours, they produce 45-second-long news stories to air in the local evening newscasts during National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” or “Morning Edition” the next day. It’s an immersive, hands-on experience for the students in the Missouri School of Journalism. The “Missouri Method” of learning by doing takes place in multiple “labs” of working newsrooms that deliver coverage of the community. KBIA is one of those labs, available to journalism students who choose a concentration in audio reporting for their junior and senior years. Read more

Providing legislative coverage to Montana

By Emily Sheftman

In the rural state of Montana, providing legislative news to the states’ rural counties and small community papers can be a challenge. And over time, as statehouse reporter numbers have declined, legislative coverage has dropped. Student reporters in the University of Montana Legislative News are one part of the solution, according to Courtney Cowgill, a professor at the University of Montana and the director of the student staffed, faculty directed Legislative News Program. Read more

Class builds critical understanding of reporting

By Lauren Milideo

At the University of Washington, journalism students are required to take Media Responsibility in a Diverse Society, taught by Andrea Otáñez, Associate Teaching Professor in the University’s Department of Communication. The course is designed to “help students get outside the processes of journalism and examine them and think about them critically,” Otáñez said. And the course has a service focus, partnering with local non-profits. Read more

Student reporting shared through news franchise network

By Hannah Kirkpatrick

St. Bonaventure University journalism professors Rich and Anne Lee have always believed in giving their students a broader audience to provide real-world experience and added level of responsibility. “In most classes, two people read what you write: you and your professor. Here, potentially hundreds or more people can read it. That's good and it's bad. It means if you make a mistake, somebody is going to call you out on it,” said Rich Lee. Read more

Training graduate students in public affairs reporting - Illinois

Moyo Adelou, PAR Class of 2021, interned at the Illinois state Capitol with Champaign-based WCIA-TV. (Clay Stalter, UIS)

By Emily Sheftman

In the 1970s newspaper publisher Paul Simon decided Illinois needed better trained public policy reporters. Simon, then the state’s lieutenant governor, had some time on his hands after losing the March 1972 race for the Democratic nomination for governor. So, as a faculty member at Sangamon State University in Illinois’ capital city of Springfield, he started the Public Affairs Reporting program in the fall of 1972. Read more about PAR.

45 Years of Covering the Statehouse –SUNY New Paltz

By Emily Sheftman

The largest group of reporters covering New York’s capitol city is a team of students from New Paltz – a campus of the State University system. Learning about reporting and politics and legislative policy, the 20-something students work along-side seasoned reporters from the New York Times, New York Post, Albany Times Union and a score of other outlets. Read more about SUNY New Paltz and their program.

Small school delivers big results -- Franklin College

The Statehouse File group in the Indiana state capitol building.

By Emily Sheftman

As regular reporters have disappeared from covering the Indiana Statehouse, Franklin College’s Statehouse File has taken on increased importance.

Every semester around three to seven students join veteran reporter and faculty leader Colleen Steffen for an immersive experience in the Statehouse news room. Students produce work year-round, Steffen said, with 35 news outlets around the state taking the copy. Read more about the Indiana program.

PHOTO:The Statehouse File group in the Indiana state capitol building.

Statehouse Reporting & Enterprise Stories -- LSU

By Richard Watts

 Former New York Times investigate reporter Chris Drew moved back to his native state to start teaching at Louisiana State University in 2015. And from the beginning Drew decided to engage his students in reporting projects.

“I didn't want a job where the students are doing stories to just turn in to class. Students know the stories are never going to see the light of day. So they're not, you know, necessarily motivated to do everything they need to do,” Drew said. Read more about LSU's Manship Program.

University of Idaho students cover the Capitol

Logan Finney makes his first on-camera appearance on Idaho Reports, the weekly public affairs show on Idaho Public Television where he worked while interning as a statehouse reporter and now works full-time as an associate producer.

By Jack Rooney

The annual Idaho legislative session traditionally begins in January with the State of the State and budget addresses on the first Monday of the term. 

Since 2015, student journalists from the University of Idaho have been there to cover these tone-setting speeches, the start of their semester-long experience reporting from the state Capitol in Boise.  Read more about these student journalists.

PHOTO: Logan Finney makes his first on-camera appearance on Idaho Reports, the weekly public affairs show on Idaho Public Television where he worked while interning as a statehouse reporter and now works full-time as an associate producer.

Mizzou Statehouse Reporting Bureau

Missouri state house

By Carolyn Shapiro

News reporters once roamed the corridors of their state capitols in droves, covering their leaders’ and legislators’ activities for the state’s residents. About a decade ago, those statehouse journalists started to go extinct. Find out how one University worked to reverse that.

Student news team delivers for Illinois Public Radio

By Richard Watts

Last year, Illinois public radio broadcast more than 350 student stories – generated and mentored through the student news room at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The partnership dates back many decades but took a leap forward when the University hired it’s first “clinical” teaching professor, Chris Evans in the fall of 2020.

Read more about this partnership.

Engaging high school students in local reporting

By Lauren Milideo

A new program at North Texas University funds high school students writing stories for their local papers. The brainchild of Professor Dorothy Bland and colleagues at the Mayborn School of Journalism – the program builds on Bland’s experience as a reporter and a former intern. 

“We don't do it for the money,” Bland said. “We do it because it's important to invest in the next generation of talent. It really is a labor of love.” Find out more about Dorothy, her students and her program.

University program focuses on civic reporting

Faculty advisor working with students in the news room

By Lauren Milideo

A new curriculum starts students working with local media from day one at Chapman University in southern California.

“The concept is predicated on the teaching hospital model of journalism education. We’re building MASH units on the frontlines of democracy,” said Professor Susan Paterno, Journalism Program Director at California’s Chapman University. Called the Collegiate News Service – the program collaborates with the local nonprofit news organization the Voice of OC, serving Orange County, California – in almost every class, filling local news gaps.

Find out more about this inovative service.

Covering the State House in Virginia

student journalists interviewing a subject

By Emily Sheftman

News coverage declines have decimated state house reporting staffs. Into those gaps student reporters, faculty and universities have stepped, providing students essential reporting skills and needed coverage of state legislatures.

“The opportunities are incredible,” said Alix Bryan-Campos, co-director of the Capital News Service course coordinated through Virginia Commonwealth University. “There are newsrooms who can't send a dedicated reporter to the state Capitol to cover the General Assembly, so students provide a community service. Students also learn about politics, and become more invested by the end of the semester. And the best opportunity is that they understand the pressure and responsibility of a newsroom and are prepared for that environment when graduating.”

Read more about how students are making a difference in journalism and state politics.

PHOTO:Capital News Service students start most semesters with a tour of the Virginia State Capitol and pick up press credentials. Photo by Alix Bryan-Campos.

Black on Campus: AU Professor partners class with national media outlets

By Lauren Milideo

American University Professor Sherri Williams partners with national media outlets in a course she teaches each spring called Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting which includes graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Communication.

Read more about Dr. William’s partnerships with the Nation and Teen Vogue.

PHOTO: The Black on Campus student writers cohort at The Nation's national student journalism conference in New York City, June 2018.

Capstone Class Covers the Hawaii Statehouse

Blaze standing with arms crossed

By Emily Sheftman

In the early 2000s, the two major news outlets in Honolulu merged, leaving residents with a single major news source. The consolidation inspired billionaire Hawaii resident Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and longtime philanthropist, to help fund an alternative: Civil Beat, a government and policy–focused news site created in 2010. Twelve years later, the online outlet is innovating again partnering with the University of Hawaii to help journalism students with professional reporting experience AND provide more statehouse news coverage.  Read more about student coverage of the Hawaii Statehouse

PHOTO: Blaze Lovell, a reporter at Civil Beat, mentored the students.

Miami faculty create a local news source when the local paper closes

black and white snapshot of the observer homepage

Within the small city of Oxford, Ohio, students in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University had few opportunities for hands-on news reporting experience. They could travel about an hour in either direction, to newspapers in Cincinnati or Dayton, but their community had limited local news coverage. So, in fall 2018, the journalism department started its own publication, the Oxford Observer, to provide not only a training ground for its students but also a crucial community news source for neighboring residents.

Read more about how a college brought news back to a local community

SCREENSHOT: Student run Oxford Observer brings news back to Oxford

Student media club partners with local digital news outlet

headshot from professional website

By Hannah Kirkpatrick

Professor Adrienne Garvey started a student media club at Southeastern University in 2020 to offer her journalism students more real-world experience. While there is no student newspaper, the NextGen Journalism Club works with local and online news outlets to publish students’ stories on local news. 

“I was trying to figure out how we could best serve our students and serve our community as well,” said Garvey. Garvey is an associate professor of broadcasting and journalism in Southeastern’s Department of Communication.

Read more about how a student club provides local news

UVM brings local news back to Vermont's most diverse community

students sitting on the exterior stairs leading to the Royall Tyler Theatre

By Richard Watts

Winooski is Vermont’s youngest and most diverse community. Next door to the state’s largest city, Burlington, the city of 8,000 has lacked a local news source for more than a decade. In the summer of 2020, UVM’s Community News Service launched the Winooski News, a bi-monthly newsletter and website to cover the events and people of Winooski. Read the details about this joint effort on the Community News site.

Kent State starts the Ohio NewsLab to connect students reporters with local news outlets

young people at a picnic table

By Richard Watts

Editors note: Two journalism professors at Kent State, Jacqueline Marino, and Susan Kirkman Zake, have been the driving force behind several initiatives that provide student-generated content directly to local media outlets.

Read Richard's interview with Kent State's Susan Zake to find out more about the project.

The University of Georgia buys (and staffs) the Oglethorpe Echo to keep local news alive

group of people gathered in front of a white building with a tree in the background

By Carolyn Shapiro

Dink NeSmith wrote a column for The Oglethorpe Echo for about a decade after he and his wife moved to a farm in the Georgia county that the weekly newspaper had served for 148 years. One day in late September, the Echo’s owner told NeSmith he planned to shut the paper down. Ralph Maxwell, whose family founded the Echo, had exhausted his energy and resources to keep it going, NeSmith said.

Read how the lifelong newspaperman and community newspaper co-owner created a place for journalism students to thrive

SAU professor expands student media to community reporting


Collegedale, Tennessee, a town of almost 12,000 people no longer has consistent news coverage.  City government, schools and Southern Adventist University , a college of nearly 3,000 students, goes mostly uncovered. The closest paper, The Chattanoogan Times Free Press, now has one reporter covering most of East Tennessee, including Collegedale and the nearby communities of Apison and Ooltewah.

Find out how a small initiative grew into something much bigger and more meaningful for the University and the State. 


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