February 26, 2023

Hey team! I’ve been out of sight for a minute, wrangling some big projects.

I’m thrilled to share them with you today because I think they’d be great for your students.

First up for your consideration: The Poynter/ACES Introductory Certificate in Editing. This coursework takes 12-15 hours to complete, but it’s self-directed, meaning your students can do it on their own time. For $150 per student, we think it’s an off-the-shelf bargain for departments looking for a certification credit or microcredential. It includes our popular Language Primer, along with great lessons and coaching on everything from word choice to story structure, from writing SEO-friendly headlines to techniques to spotting mis- and disinformation online.

I’m also proud to offer Poynter’s brand new Beat Academy, a multi-part webinar series divided into eight topics that promise to be the hottest beats in journalism in the coming year(s). That is a mere $75 for the entire slate of topics and webinars (pick and choose!), with a big discount if you buy more than five seats.

The topics include the growing reach of private equity, climate change, immigration, crime reporting, health care and more. These virtual sessions can be accessed as recordings for classroom viewings.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t try to sell it if I don’t really believe in it. I’ve spent the last eight weeks dedicated to helping shape these products to get them classroom ready, and I’m pleased to offer them to you here. Holler at me at ballen@poynter.org and I can answer questions and walk you through bulk purchases for your classes or departments.

Have a great week!


Kudos to the students at The State News at Michigan State for their work covering a campus shooting (and their advisers and professors for their support). I particularly appreciated “MSU alumna discusses emotions on returning to campus to cover mass shooting” and “There’s no book on how to be editor-in-chief during a mass shooting.” The newsroom is still accepting donations to help its ongoing coverage.

For the data geeks and those of us getting into open source intelligence: “GIJN’s Updated Guide to Planespotting and Flight Tracking” (Global Investigative Journalism Network)

Here’s a map of all the college students covering statehouses, courtesy of our friends at the University of Vermont’s Center for Community News, which is cataloging and studying them.

I’m willing to bet you saw this: “Letter from the magazine editors: It’s time for the university to divest from The New York Times” (State Press Magazine, Arizona State University). Is anyone at your university calling for this action?

The Student Press Law Center has this helpful guide out: “Names and Pronouns in School-Sponsored Student Media.”

Here are a few student media wins I wanted to highlight this week: “Investigation confirms liquid from boiled peanuts poured on allergic KA pledge” from The Tiger at Clemson; “Peabody EDI deans to temporarily step back following ChatGPT-crafted message about MSU shooting” from the Vanderbilt Hustler; and of course the Stanford Daily’s Theo Baker was given a Polk Award last week, the first student journalist to win the honor. I talked to him about his investigative work last year.

Another good how-to video from my friends at NBCU Academy: “How to Make a Documentary.”

I can imagine this could come in handy, though I’m generally skeptical about the veracity of campus sexual assault reporting: “Tool Maps Campus Sexual Assault Policies, Stats” (Inside Higher Ed)

Should be some good stuff in here from the Global Investigative Journalism Network: “A Global Tour of Investigative Podcasts: The 2022 Edition.” My personal favorite podcasts lately have been the new Serial season, “The Coldest Case in Laramie,” and “In Trust” from Bloomberg’s Rachel Adams-Heard, a deep dive into the corruption and exploitation of the Osage Nation’s wealth (especially interesting for fans of “Killers of the Flower Moon”).

A great classroom exercise idea from The Markup’s Sisi Wei.

For your students: The Journalism Institute at the National Press Club has several scholarships, but one jumps out: “The Lewis Scholarship, established in 2022, supports a student journalist of color interning in Washington, D.C., by providing free housing and a monthly stipend for the duration of their journalism internship. The scholarship is valued at $10,000 per semester, and it is offered three times a year to support spring, summer, and fall internships.” Go here for more information or here to apply.

For you: “Newhouse School to host Scripps Howard Leadership Academy this summer.” From the release: “The Newhouse School at Syracuse University, in partnership with the Scripps Howard Fund, will develop and host a selective and competitive leadership immersion program for deans, associate deans, faculty and experienced journalists this summer. The Scripps Howard Leadership Academy will take place July 16-20, in Syracuse.”

This week’s Professor’s Press Pass

In this week’s Professor’s Press Pass, I encourage you to talk with your students about the death of journalist Dylan Lyons, and give you some starting points and resources on facilitating helpful classroom conversations that are also trauma-informed.

One last thing

For journalism parents.

Resources for educators

  • Get access to a growing library of case studies — Professor’s Press Pass.
  • Enroll your students in our Beat Academy to get them armed with the latest information on the hottest emerging beats in journalism.
  • The Poynter/ACES Certificate in Editing promises to empower your wordsmiths and polish your prose pushers.
  • If your students are interested in a career in accountability journalism, they should consider taking this course from MediaWise’s Campus Correspondents. They can learn the same fact-checking tools and techniques that professionals use in their day-to-day work. Bonus: It’s free.
Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
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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