• Coverage of the Center for Community News

Student journalists partner with local news

American Press Institute, July 12, 2024

As many local newsrooms struggle with resources, student journalists continue to fill in the gaps. This fall, high school and college students in Mississippi will be deployed to cover 10 counties in southeastern Mississippi, reports Mississippi Today, one of the program’s partners. The project, run out of The University of Southern Mississippi, will be segmented by education level, with high school students focusing on reporting, college students writing and interning, and graduate students providing teaching assistance and research.

And this week, University of Vermont’s Center for Community News announced it will receive $7 million in funding to expand its program, which allows college students to write for news outlets in exchange for college credit, reports the Boston Globe.

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UVM student reporting program receives funding for national effort to support local newsrooms

WMAC Northeast Public Radio, July 11, 2024

In 2019, UVM created an internship program for students to learn local news reporting Vermont. It has now expanded and the Center for Community News’ new goal is to enhance local reporting in areas across the country lacking local news.

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UVM's Center for Community News Awarded $7 Million to Expand

Seven Days, July 9, 2024

The University of Vermont’s Center for Community News has been awarded $7 million to expand its journalism training for college students in Vermont and around the country. The Burlington-based student news outlet plans to triple the number of Vermont student reporters who are working in local newspapers over the next five years to around 135, managing director Meg Little Reilly said.

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UVM launches nationwide effort to grow local news reporting at colleges across the U.S.

VermontBiz, July 9, 2024

Powered by a $7M investment from Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and others, UVM’s new Center for Community News seeks to re-energize local coverage in underserved news regions.

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University of Vermont Launches ‘Grow Local News Reporting’ Effort

Diverse Education, July 9, 2024

The center plans to use the investment — $5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and other funds from Vermont’s College of Arts and Sciences and donors — to increase research, programming, education, and advocacy for student reporting programs.

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Southern Miss to deploy students in 10-county region to confront ‘intense news desert’

Mississippi Today, July 9, 2024

Starting next fall, The University of Southern Mississippi will roll out an expansive community journalism project to supply a major news desert with people-centric stories.

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University of Vermont local news center receives $7 million to expand student reporting nationwide

Boston Globe, July 9, 2024

News-academic partnerships received a major boost Tuesday, with the announcement of $7 million in new funding for the University of Vermont’s Center for Community News, which describes itself as the only organization in the country devoted to expanding the programs between colleges and local news outlets nationwide.

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UVM Launches Nationwide Effort to Grow Local News Reporting at Colleges Across the U.S.

UVM Today, July 8, 2024

Powered by a $7M investment from Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and others, UVM’s new Center for Community News seeks to re-energize local coverage in underserved news regions.

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Bill Schubart: Good news at the 14th Vermont Journalism Conference

VT Digger, July 7, 2024

UVM’s Center for Community News began to attract and train students in the ethos and practice of journalism and, in so doing, began to replenish local news access around the state. Young journalists-in-training are getting internship opportunities to work in and for local and regional news organizations, boosting the economic viability of both. In recognition of their importance in training new journalists and supporting startups and existing news organizations, CCN just was awarded a $7 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

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New funding headed to UVM's Community News Service

WCAX 3, June 26, 2024

New funding is on the way to help local college students tell Vermont stories.

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Illinois Is The Latest State To Boost Local News With Fiscal Policy

Forbes, May 31, 2024

The Illinois Legislature has passed a series of measures that would help support local news using tax credits, scholarships and a required notification period for selling news outlets.

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Investigative journalism is not dying, it’s adapting

Tampa Bay Times, April 23, 2024

As digital media changes how we consume information, and newsrooms scramble for resources, we need to train the next generation of reporters to keep journalism accountable. In the spirit of joining forces to support investigative journalism, the University of Vermont leads the way, documenting and supporting university-led initiatives to address the local news crisis. Their Center for Community News has become a hub for research and collaboration, bringing together journalism programs from across the country to share best practices and innovative models for sustaining local journalism.

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These Are The Words That Do (And Do Not) Persuade Americans, Study Shows

Forbes, April 10, 2024

Americans are mostly united in their love of the words freedom, liberty and community according to the latest data from the PACE Civic Language Perceptions Project. They like citizen and belonging more today than they did two years ago, but diversity has fallen in favorability. Overall, Americans have a more favorable opinion of words that describe democracy than they do about words that describe civic engagement or racial equity.

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From ‘nice’ to ‘necessary’: How to make a case for your university station

Current, April 8, 2024

In this column, public media veteran Scott Finn taps into the wisdom of the system to find answers. This time, he helps university licensees make the case to university officials. Future columns will look at state and community licensees.

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Daily Iowan buys two small Iowa weekly newspapers

The Gazette, April 5, 2024

With hundreds of U.S. newspaper closings leaving legions with little access to local news, a college newspaper in Iowa has stepped up to buy two struggling weekly publications.

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College newspaper sweeps up 2 tiny publications in a volley against growing news deserts

Associated Press, April 2, 2024

With hundreds of U.S. newspaper closings leaving legions with little access to local news, a college newspaper in Iowa has stepped up to buy two struggling weekly publications.

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2 small Iowa towns faced losing their local newspaper. Student journalists stepped in

CNN, March 24, 2024

After a more than a decade of devastating news for journalism, with local papers shutting down and mass layoffs across national newsrooms, a few small towns in Iowa have stumbled upon a new solution: transferring ownership to a student newspaper.

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As News Deserts Expand, Student Journalists Step Up

Reasons to be Cheerful, March 22, 2024

From student-staffed statehouse bureaus to papers run by journalism schools, academic-media partnerships are bolstering local coverage.

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The College Solution to Rural News Deserts

The Daily Yonder, Feburary 12, 2024

Nearly 600 rural colleges are in or near a local news desert. They are in the perfect location to help communities fill the news gap and restore the flow of information that feeds civic participation and economic success.

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Former Vermont Public CEO Scott Finn Takes Role at UVM's Community News Service

Seven Days, February 8, 2024

Scott Finn, the former president and CEO of Vermont Public, has been hired to help the University of Vermont’s Center for Community News increase the number of college students who are reporting local news through public media stations around the country.

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Institute for Local News at SUNY looks to connect young journalists with struggling newsrooms

WAMC Northeast Public Radio, February 7, 2024

The State University of New York has launched a system-wide effort to have college students produce local news.

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A College Newspaper Bought Two Local Weeklies And Raised Staff Pay

Forbes, February 3, 2024

Beginning in February 2024, The Daily Iowan, which is owned by the Iowa City-based non-profit corporation Student Publications, Inc., is responsible for all aspects of the two local weeklies. It’s believed to the be the first-of-its-kind deal as an acquisition of commercial news outlets by a college paper.

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What The NH Primaries Reveal About The Future Of Political Journalism

Forbes, January 26, 2024

The 2024 New Hampshire primary was covered by not only seasoned political reporters from national news outlets but also college students reporting for their campus newspapers and community news outlets. Students from Syracuse, Boston University, Dartmouth and other schools spread out across the state to hear directly from voters and the candidates vying for their attention.

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New SUNY Initiative bridges gaps in local news coverage

The Statesman, January 24, 2024

“It’s really convenient for us as a local paper … papers don’t have the huge budgets that we used to, so being able to work with quality journalists, even quality learning journalists, is nice to be able to get them in print while also benefiting our local paper by covering more things that we might not have been able to get to otherwise,” Nicole Fuentes, executive editor for The Long Island Advance, said.

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These Universities Are Crafting A Plan To Revitalize News In The South

Forbes, January 9, 2024

News-academic partnerships have emerged in recent years as one of the viable solutions to help sustain local news and their potential for their growth is immense, as the Center for Community News at UVM illustrated in its latest maps report.

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Student journalism becoming more relevant in 2024, SPLC lawyer predicts

The Nutgraf, January 8, 2024

Student journalists will continue to fill the local news void this year, the Student Press Law Center predicted while urging them to inform their peers about the “threat to our continued existence as a democracy.” Anticipating further decline, SPLC Senior Legal Counsel Mike Hiestand envisioned more programs from journalism schools to cover public affairs beyond their campuses. That’s already happening in some states like Vermont where the University of Vermont created “Community News Service” to pair students with local media, Missouri where 51% of statehouse reporters are students and Georgia where a local newspaper is entirely staffed by students.

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University of New England Hosts Community News Conference

The Bolt, November 22, 2023

UNE, a predominantly medical and science-focused university, continuously works to expand its College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

As part of the expansion effort, UNE began working with the Center for Community News, a program run through The University of Vermont that “connect[s] student journalists at every stage of life with local news organizations to help build a world in which every community has access to reliable information by and for the people who live there."

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Local Edition with Kristen Hare

Poynter: Local Edition with Kristen Hare, November 15, 2023

“Universities have resources that they can bring to the local news crisis, and should,” Watts said. Resources don’t just mean students, he added, “but it’s also our space and our faculty and our access to actual alumni dollars. We have resources and we need to be engaged with this.”

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Student Journalists Are Under Attack. Here’s How Philanthropy Can Help

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, November 6, 2023

University-based reporters are critical to reversing the decline in local news, but budget cuts and political battles increasingly threaten their work, demanding greater donor support.

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More stations and universities should partner to realize ‘win-win-win’ potential, report says

Center for Community News, November 6, 2023

Partnerships between public radio stations and their university licensees are an underutilized resource in the effort to address the local news crisis, a new report argues. The report, “Building Synergy: Public Radio and Universities,” makes a case for greater coordination between stations and licensees, looks at the challenges standing in the way of such partnerships, and offers examples of strategies that stations and universities could adopt.

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The rebirth of local news depends on all of us

Washington Post, October 6, 2023

You’ve heard local news is dying. In fact, it might just be evolving.

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Journalists face news industry turbulence

Spartan Newsroom, September 26, 2023

A new national report from the Center for Community News at the University of Vermont found that up to 1,997 students in university-managed reporting programs such as MSU’s Capital News Service produced over 7,500 news stories in 2022 in partnership with up to 977 news media outlets.

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UVM Center for Community News wraps up first year of research

WCAX CBS 3,September 12, 2023

The University of Vermont’s Center for Community News is wrapping up the first year of a pilot program surveying college-led reporting programs nationwide. At UVM and other schools, the programs facilitate internships with students at local newspapers and news outlets. The students get professional experience and the papers receive quality work that often fills staffing and content gaps.

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The Daily Tar Heel’s shooting coverage is just the latest example of college newspapers taking on a local reporting role

Neiman Lab, August 30, 2023

As local papers continue to vanish, student journalists are stepping up to fill an important community role. Around 10% of capital statehouse reporters in 2022 were students, Pew found last year. The trend was underscored Wednesday by the new data from the Center for Community News (CCN), a nonprofit organization run out of the University of Vermont that aims to increase student-led reporting nationwide — and to make existing efforts more visible.

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Student Reporters Produced More Than 7500 News Stories Last Year

Center for Community News, August 29, 2023

“Students at colleges and universities are significant contributors to our local news ecosystem,”said Center for Community News Director Richard Watts. “It may come as a surprise to many Americans that much of the professional reporting that keeps our communities informed is now the work of students, in coordination with professional editors and faculty.”

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Q&A: Richard Watts on the power of students collaborating with journalists

Medium, August 2, 2023

"Universities have resources. Students want to do real things. More colleges and universities need to step up and do programs like this."

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Could colleges and universities save America's newspapers?

Scripps News, July 17, 2023

In the last 15 years,an estimated 360 newspapers have shut down across the country. But in the last 12 months, the Center for Community News has found more than 120 partnerships between local media and colleges. Many are bolstering news in rural areas where larger media companies have pulled the plug on local news organizations.

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Colleges and Students Are Stepping Up to Help Rural Newspapers

The Daily Yonder, June 20, 2023

Journalism programs provide students with a unique opportunity to engage in rural reporting. Students are given the experience of a newsroom with the support that’s often lacking in commercial internships.

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How student journalists are filling the void to help save local news

Poynter, April 12, 2023

More than 120 programs pair college students with seasoned editors to provide meaningful local news for communities that lack it.

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Student reporters fill crucial gap in state government coverage

The Conversation, April 6, 2023

Statehouse reporting programs are part of a larger commitment by universities to connect student education with local news needs. Through classes, newsrooms and media collaborations, these programs give students essential opportunities to use skills they have learned in classrooms – and provide badly needed local news coverage.

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To fix democracy, start with colleges

Times Higher Education, September 20, 2021

All students, regardless of subject, need meaningful opportunities to engage with the democratic process, say Meg Little Reilly and Richard Watts.

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