This week, my colleague Kristen Hare launched a project called “The Essential Workers,” which exists because of the work of journalism educators like you.
Here’s what Kristen wrote:
Last year, two journalism professors launched a project to capture the history we’re all living through.
Teri Finneman, an associate professor at the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and William Mari, an assistant professor of media law at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications, got funding to capture the moment from state newspaper associations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas and from their own universities.
They spoke with publishers, editors, reporters and press associations in 28 places across seven states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
“The idea was to capture history as it was happening and to grab memories while they were fresh of journalists surviving a pandemic of global proportions for the first time in a century,” Mari said.
I encourage you and your students to take a look at the project and consider what the future of local journalism could mean for burgeoning journalists. And I hope you’ll give me a little space for personal reflection.
This project highlights for me the remarkable and incredibly varied work that journalism educators bring to the industry.
March 4 marked a year since I transitioned within Poynter to serve as director of college programming. Over the past year, I’ve seen the incredible impact that journalism educators have on the field — in research, in teaching and especially in advising the next generation of people who are going to do this work that we’ve accepted as our life’s passion.
I just wanted to say that I’m grateful for you and humbled by all that you do, and I look forward to helping you serve the industry for many years to come.
Back in October, Poynter wrote about Jared Nally, the student journalist at Haskell Indian Nations University who was directed by his university president to, essentially, not do journalism. We didn’t update that story until late January, because even though the president rescinded his “directive,” Nally and Co. didn’t find out about it until much later due to an “administrative error.” There are also issues with the newspaper having a full-time adviser, and funding, and being a registered student group … the list goes on. It feels like Haskell has been throwing everything in the we-don’t-support-student-media playbook at The Indian Leader.
Now, Nally and FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) are fighting back. Last week, they filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging that Nally was silenced without any due process. The suit also seeks to “restore over $10,000 of funding that the university inexplicably shorted the newspaper, approve (The Indian Leader)’s registration as a student organization, and revise the unconstitutional policy on campus speech used to issue the directive,” a release from FIRE said.
Help with grant writing
I hear a lot of chatter among advisers and student media directors about seeking grants for student media enterprises (and you absolutely should). Grant writing feels like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network and RevLab at The Texas Tribune are working together to offer news organizations free workshops this spring about grant-writing. Applications for the first session are due March 8 and limited to 30 class members, so don’t wait to apply. See more here.
Trusting news sessions and lessons
Speaking of getting help, I just heard from my friend Joy Mayer of the Trusting News initiative. She emailed, “We’ve launched the application for our next Trust 101 for Educators class, to run for two weeks in June. We also published this week an updated set of sample assignments and exercises for journalism educators to use.”
Check out the second link for a gold mine of classroom ideas.
Doing the work
Last week was Student Press Freedom Day. As part of the celebration, the Student Press Law Center rounded up “21 Excellent Stories of Student Journalism Against the Odds.” I found these to be particularly compelling:
- Palo Verde West desk assistants encounter students with COVID outside of isolation from Arizona State University’s The State Press
- Bridging the gap: Episode 1: Diversity, Discomfort and Discrimination from The Chronicle and The Bridge at Duke
- How UGA IFC and Panhellenic recruitment hinders diversity from The Red & Black at UGA
I hope you never have to deal with this
I’m just including this because it’s so bizarre: “Hit-and-run driver left scene, went to journalism school — and delivered radio report on deadly incident.”
Follow up on a memorable piece
Do you guys remember this story — The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence: What happened to the group of bright college students who fell under the sway of a classmate’s father? It seems like everyone was talking about it when it came out in 2019. Well here’s a wild update … turns out maybe the daughter was in on it? A woman once believed to be a victim in a college sex trafficking case has now been charged in it.
This week we featured a lot of great work by contributors, including students. Just a reminder that if you want to pitch a story, column or contribution, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your work might be perfect for Poyner or The Lead newsletter.
- Journalism is a public service. So why doesn’t it represent the public? (Angela Yang, Boston University)
- Duke and UNC student media raised $76,000 for news by tapping into their schools’ basketball rivalry (Erica Perel, UNC, and Chrissy Beck, Duke)
- It’s time for data visualizations to be more inclusive of gender information (Alison Booth, Northeastern University)
- Students’ enduring rights to freedoms of speech and the press (Alan C. Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project)
- A College President Worried About the Risks of Dorm Isolation. So He Moved In. (New York Times — and I love this lead)
- EDITORIAL: Toxic work environments at student newspapers are a direct result of the journalism industry (Daily Free Press, Boston University)
- UT-Austin football players say they were forced to stay on field for “The Eyes of Texas” to appease angry donors and fans (Texas Tribune)
Great journalism to share with your students
- In Palm Beach, Covid-19 vaccines intended for rural Black communities are instead going to wealthy white Floridians (text, Stat News)
- In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers (interactive, New York Times
- Murmuration of starlings: How our stunning front-page photograph was taken (text, photo and video, Irish Times)
This week’s Professor’s Press Pass
In this week’s Professor’s Press Pass, we ask students to examine the potential conflict of interest that exists between CNN primetime host Chris Cuomo and his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is under fire for allegations of sexual harassment and falsifying data on nursing home deaths during the pandemic. We ask students to consider conflicts of interest between the brothers, and challenge them to come up with their own standards for dealing with conflicts of interest in their upcoming professional careers.
Resources for Journalists
- Hiring? Post jobs on The Media Job Board — Powered by Poynter and Editor & Publisher
- Open Records Success: Strategies for Writing Requests and Overcoming Denials
- NEW! Internship Database — Explore now — Powered by Poynter
- Diversity Across the Curriculum (Seminar) — Apply by March 19