By Hannah Kirkpatrick
Some student media advisors and student editors are building partnerships with local media organizations to give the students broader audiences 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.
“They are not just pitching it to a student editor, they're pitching it to a professional editor, getting approval and going through that whole process,” said Day, who teaches journalism classes at the 14,000 student university and advises student media.
LINK nky is a community news organization for the Northern Kentucky Metro area, including Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties with a reach as far as Cincinnati, Ohio, which lies just across the Ohio river. Students work with the editors of LINK to pitch stories and share projects they are currently working on.
“My students really take The Northerner seriously,” says Day. “But I think you take it even more seriously when it's going to go out to this different audience.”
Audience is key, Day said. If a piece gets picked up by LINK, students have a bigger impact, higher readership and have to craft their stories to speak to that audience.
The partnership allows both sides to share stories of interest. Writing by students can be published by LINK, like this article written by student Emily Sisk about housing changes at NKU. LINK stories have also been picked up and published in the Northerner when audience interest overlaps, such as this piece about the Brent Spence Bridge on the Ohio River written by LINK nky reporter Mark Payne.
Day also teaches news media workshop classes where students can create content that may get picked up by LINK. After taking intro-level news media classes, students can take Day’s classes where they fine-tune their writing and reporting skills and publish pieces in the Northerner or LINK.
However, getting published is not a requirement for passing the class. Day sees her classes as an opportunity for students to get additional feedback. The editing and publication processes at the Northerner and LINK is separate from the grading and feedback process in class.
What’s next for NKU students and the Northerner? Day sees potential for bigger student projects and deeper dives into stories.
“It's hard for students to get out of their comfort zone at NKU and say, ‘Okay, let's go find stories beyond this campus.’ Helping develop that is one of my big goals for the Northerner,” says Day.
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