March 27, 2022

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It’s another short week for me so I’m keeping things brief.

We’ve finalized the schedules for both Diversity Across the Curriculum and Teachapalooza, set for June 9 and June 10-12. As the students would say, here’s a little inspo from my camera roll for those of you still on the fence about attending. These are photos I shot in St. Pete and around Poynter. It’s really like this, I swear!

This sign at Lassing Park says it all.

Sunset near Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg overlooking Tampa Bay.

A rainbow over sailboats in the St. Pete South Yacht Basin.


Looking out over Tampa Bay from Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg after a storm.


Pelicans swim along the sea walk at sunset over Tampa Bay.

Even the Poynter parking lots feels magical!

Come to St. Pete. It’s gonna be awesome. We’re going to have Pulitzer Prize winners, a real-live focus group, and sessions that range from how to teach freelancing to handling burnout and trauma in your students. And if you simply can’t make it, join us virtually!

Here’s hoping you had a great spring break, got a little rest and did some catching up. It’s just a few weeks until semester’s end — I know you can do it.

Old school effectiveness

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from the maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. A Russian attack has severely damaged the maternity hospital in the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officials say. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

This CNN story resonated with me and I’d love to see how your classes react: “For all the new tech aspects of Ukraine coverage, some of the most powerful moments come from tried-and-true journalism.”

But are the bathrooms clean?


This Taylor Lorenz story on digital rest stops got me thinking about how much fun student media could have filming some peaceful campus places and artifacts and dropping them in their social media feeds. I see a lot of opportunities for engagement, especially as students are looking for respites IRL and online as finals loom.

Stranger danger is no excuse

From left: Amaris Castillo, then a reporter for The Sun in Lowell, Massachusetts, accompanies Ismael Rodriguez and Margarita Garcia Lozada, on their daily walk for a feature story in 2019. (Julia Malakie/The Sun)

My editor flagged this Poynter piece by my colleague Amaris Castillo for its potential impact on young journalists — the value of walking up to strangers and telling their stories. Do your students struggle with this fundamental skill? Perhaps this can help — it contains advice from WriteLane podcaster and Pulitzer Prize winner Lane DeGregory and her editor, Maria Carrillo.

Money for student journalists

The Solutions Journalism Network is offering $10,000 awards to select student newsrooms for its latest project: “The Solutions Journalism Network is building a cohort of student newsrooms at colleges and universities for the 2022-23 academic year that will do solutions reporting on a topic of their choice. The project must focus on reporting stories in their community through a solutions lens. The student newsrooms will learn from each other and share insights from their projects with our growing network of journalists, educators and students. SJN’s goal is to catalyze reporting that looks at both the systemic issues facing communities and potential solutions to help them thrive.”

Organizers said the deadline has been extended from March 25 to March 30, so there’s still time to apply.

Headlines about higher ed

Great journalism to share with your students

Diversity, equity and inclusion

This week in fact checking

Arnold Schwarzenegger, founder of the “Austrian World Summit”, talks about his dreams and actions to fight the climate crisis in Vienna, Austria, on July 1, 2021. The film icon told Russians in a video posted on social media they’re being lied to about the war in Ukraine and accused President Vladimir Putin of sacrificing Russian soldiers’ lives for his own ambitions. Schwarzenegger (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner, File)

People often ask Poynter’s many fact-checking arms not just how to fact check, but how to inform people that they are misinformed. This week fact-checkers found an ally in a somewhat unlikely celebrity. Consider sharing with your classes “Why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s video to Russians is a master class in how to get people to reconsider their views” from PolitiFact.

This week’s Professor’s Press Pass

In this week’s Professor’s Press Pass, we ask students to weigh in on the recent “brand” controversy brought to light by a Twitter tiff between two high-profile journalists.

Professor’s Press Pass is a library of more than 50 journalism case studies that asks students to focus on a single breaking issue in journalism ethics and business. A subscription  costs $12 a month or $100 a year, and new case studies are added weekly.

Resources for educators

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

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