October 24, 2021

This week I had the privilege of speaking to students at Morgan State University in Baltimore. I was nervous to be in front of a classroom again — most of the student-focused work I’ve been doing has been in small groups and with student media. But I shouldn’t have worried. Of course, the students rose to the occasion, and we enjoyed some great debates about current events in journalism. (Full disclosure, I relied heavily on the discussion questions in several of Poynter’s Professor’s Press Passes.)

It was a lot of fun to be up in front of students, spurring conversation and encouraging critical thinking. That’s why I want to point you to a couple of free resources that focus on letting you facilitate discussion vs. traditional lecturing.

As I’ve previously written, Poynter is partnering with The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University to produce 10 free case studies in Professor’s Press Pass centered on the First Amendment. Two have already posted — Taking the Rap for Murder and new this week, Taking a Knee for Free Speech. (The rest of the PPP case studies require a subscription to access, but the Free Speech Center paid Poynter to make sure these free expression sources were free. That’s a lot of free, folks.)

I heard recently from NYU’s First Amendment Watch — it, too, offers a series of teacher guides, campus speech modules and video lessons for teachers.

These case studies focus on issues specific to the First Amendment, press freedoms, campus news and legal matters. I hope you find them useful as you explore these issues with your students on an ongoing basis. Talking about free expression and freedom of speech with students always seems to spark something in both student and teacher — I hope these help!

News of note


The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland wows once again with its “Printing Hate” series. More than 30 stories are planned that explore the racist past of American newspapers and their powerful role in promoting systemic racism and race-based crimes like lynchings. Students from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and the University of Arkansas contributed. The stories, which will continue to be published twice weekly through mid-December, will be posted to Maryland’s Capital News Service website, on the National Association of Black Journalists’ news site and on Word in Black, a collaboration of the nation’s leading Black news publishers.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s newsletter Race on Campus had an interesting Q&A last week with Leonard N. Moore, who teaches an undergraduate course at the University of Texas called “History of the Black Power Movement” and recently wrote a book called “Teaching Black History to White People.”

Seems like a lot of people are talking about “It’s time to create an alternative path into a journalism career” from Nieman Lab.

I will be following this with interest: Bates College Administration Censors Student Reporters Covering Staff Unionization (The Intercept) and Student journalists became the story in a fraught Bates College union drive (Bangor [Maine] Daily News).

I was interested to see this Teen Vogue story, “Student Journalists Say Online Harassment Is a Major Issue,” in which several student media leaders are quoted. Great job to that staff for talking to the right sources.

Oh, K

Courtesy: The Duke Chronicle

Students at The Chronicle at Duke have unveiled “Coach K: The King of Cameron,” a 136-page book documenting the career of head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The famed coach is headed into his final season coaching the Blue Devils.

The Chronicle, Duke’s independent student news organization, has covered nearly all of the 1,400 Duke games Krzyzewski has coached in his more than four-decade career. The bulk of this book consists of original writing by 38 former and current Chronicle staffers and at least 35 Chronicle photographers. The $30 book is being sold through Duke University Stores, and much of the proceeds will support The Chronicle.

Hear the pros go behind the scenes

KeVonn Mabon, 27, learns to direct traffic January 30, 2021. (Photo by John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times)

WriteLane podcast host and Tampa Bay Times writer Lane DeGregory is out with a new series called, “Who wants to be a cop?” DeGregory and photographer John Pendygraft talk in the latest WriteLane episode about spending six months at a police academy. They were curious, in the wake of 2020 protests, who would be drawn to policing and what recruits are being taught.

College headlines

Mississippi players stand on the field after the game was delayed because of fans throwing bottles onto the field during the second half of the team’s game against Tennessee. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)


Great journalism to share with your students

In this Sept. 23, 2021, photo Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Diverse headlines

The United States’ Ricardo Pepi, (14) celebrates scoring a goal during a match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in Honduras in September. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)


Reinforce diversity, equity and inclusion in your classroom by sharing journalism about, by and for diverse communities — not just stories that are predominantly by and about cisgender white people. Consider ways in which you could use these stories in your curriculum. Here are a few examples I saw this week. I also include headlines about DEI news and issues.

The Lead

This week, we featured … me! I guest wrote Taylor Blatchford’s excellent newsletter for student journalists, offering my best advice to students who find themselves suddenly in the odd position of editing, producing or otherwise managing their friends. I hope you find it helpful!

One last thing

I’d love to know what your students think about this: “It’s Quitting Season.”

Resources for Journalists

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Barbara Allen is the director of college programming for Poynter. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Poynter.org. She spent two decades in…
Barbara Allen

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