It’s a hectic time to be covering colleges. University presidents and administrators are feverishly designing plans to bring students back to their campuses — or install a respectable online-learning plan. Faculty members are assembling syllabi and course plans, not knowing what form their instruction will take week to week. And students are forced to navigate public-health directives, campus policies, and their own personal needs.
What will higher education look like when a desire for normalcy clashes with an unrelenting virus?
Campus communities all over the country, hungry for the latest news, will be depending on student journalists. With the local-media landscape starved for resources and national publications focusing on broad trends, student publications will have a unique opportunity to shine amid all the chaos.
But they must be prepared. The world of higher education was hard to parse even before the coronavirus emerged.
That’s where we come in. The Chronicle is higher education’s premier source of news and insight. Our journalists are some of the nation’s pre-eminent experts on how colleges work, and how to hold them to account.
For four years, we’ve been sharing that expertise with student journalists through reporting workshops, wherein we welcome the next generation of reporters to our offices to talk through the nuts and bolts of covering college campuses. Last fall, we held our second-ever national workshop, with a stellar group of 20 student journalists from across the country joining us in Washington, D.C. Sessions included:
So You’ve Been Stonewalled: How to overcome common reporting hurdles like a tight-lipped university administration or a reluctant source.
Narrative Writing: How to approach and execute long-form storytelling.
Information About Your College You Didn’t Know Existed: Revealing data about your college is out there in the public domain; you just need to know where to look.
Here are a few testimonials from past years’ participants:
“I’ve been to many conferences for student journalists … and as far as accomplishing as much as possible as efficiently as possible, this one was the best.”
“Not only did I leave with best practices and new mentalities, but I left with new platforms and hard skills I can apply today.”
“Over all, it was an awesome experience. I genuinely have no negative feedback.”
This year, the pandemic will force the fall workshop onto Zoom. While we’ll miss the in-person interaction, a virtual workshop opens up the program for any student journalist who wants to participate. We anticipate this will be a critical resource for campus publications working to keep their communities informed about the rapidly changing landscape that will be the 2020-21 academic year. Our programming will be especially geared toward the challenges and opportunities of Covid-19 campus reporting.
We’ll be hosting the workshop on Zoom on Friday, September 18. To be eligible to attend you need only be a college student interested or involved in your campus’s journalism scene. And the application should only take you about 10 minutes. It’s below.
Questions? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.