ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (May 27, 2020) — The Poynter Institute today announces the 10 student media organizations selected for the third round of its College Media Project. The free, yearlong initiative provides participants with custom in-newsroom training, regular online seminars and support for a reporting project.
Since its inception in 2017, Poynter’s College Media Project has served a total of 12 student media groups. This year, the program expanded to coach 10 diverse and impressive publications. Barbara Allen, the new director of college programming at Poynter, now oversees the project.
“I’m proud to lead the expansion of the College Media Project during this crucial moment for college campuses. Many don’t know when or if they will reopen in the fall, creating an immense challenge for student editors new to their leadership role and student reporters learning on the job,” Allen said. “My hope is to help students use this crisis as an opportunity to approach reporting and engagement in new and creative ways.”
Poynter received nearly 100 applications, and after careful review selected the following as participants of the 2020-21 Poynter College Media Project:
- Colorado State University — The Rocky Mountain Collegian (Fort Collins, Colorado)
- Duquesne University — The Duquesne Duke (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Hillsborough Community College/Ybor City — The HawkEye (Tampa, Florida)
- Johns Hopkins University — The Johns Hopkins News-Letter (Baltimore)
- Morgan State University — The MSU Spokesman (Baltimore)
- Texas State University — The University Star (San Marcos, Texas)
- University of Kansas —The University Daily Kansan (Lawrence, Kansas)
- University of Richmond — The Collegian (Richmond, Virginia)
- University of South Florida at St. Petersburg — The Crow’s Nest (St. Petersburg, Florida)
- University of Southern California — Annenberg Media Center (Los Angeles)
Applications were screened for potential, need, commitment, diversity in student population, school size and type. The selected student media organizations will receive $1,500 to spend on a reporting project or event that advances civil discourse on campus; customized training for the entire staff during a newsroom visit; and online training with fellow participants throughout the academic year focused on watchdog reporting and civic dialogue. Poynter’s College Media Project is tuition-free, thanks to support from the Charles Koch Institute.
The infusion of resources is critical for many participants facing increased budget cuts in the upcoming academic year, and Poynter’s customized training will provide tools to approach issues unique to their campuses. Some desire to amplify voices of underrepresented student communities and build back trust with diverse communities. Some struggle to cover racial discord and immigration, while others are gearing up for massive investigations about housing, food insecurity, consolidation and private police forces.
Of course, dealing with the coronavirus will be the major theme of the 2020-21 College Media Project. Student media publications will need to conduct business as largely virtual news operations while also serving as the main source of independent news about how the administration is handling the pandemic.
Beyond expanding the College Media Project, Poynter has strengthened its commitment to student journalism in 2020 with additional resources, including:
- Dropping tuition on virtual courses for student and educators through May 2020
- Publishing The Lead, a weekly newsletter that surfaces opportunities and tools for student journalists in high school and college
- Publishing Alma Matters, a regular feature on poynter.org that starts a conversation about trends in college classrooms
- Partnering with MediaWise Voter Project Campus Correspondents to teach first-time voters how to tell fact from fiction online
- Offering drop-in teaching from Poynter faculty in virtual college classrooms
“Before coming to Poynter, I spent 10 years as a director of student media, a student newspaper adviser and an adjunct faculty member at Oklahoma State University,” said Allen. “I’ve witnessed time and again how enthusiastic, entrepreneurial students rise to meet a challenge. The coronavirus will be no different. I’m delighted Poynter, as the global leader in journalism education, is deepening its connection with these student journalists as the entire media landscape evolves.”
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good.