Beth & Tim Manners
Extra! Student Papers Fill News Void
The New York Times: "Student journalists across the country have stepped in to help fill a void after more than 2,000 newspapers have closed or merged, leaving more than 1,300 communities without any local news coverage. And several young reporters have broken consequential stories that have prodded powerful institutions into changing policies ... A high school newspaper in Pittsburg, Kan., forced the resignation of the principal after discovering discrepancies in her résumé. After writing an article about a school employee’s unprofessional conduct charges, high school editors in Burlington, Vt., won a censorship battle against their principal. And when the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine resigned abruptly last month, a 20-year-old junior at Arizona State University broke the news in the school’s student newspaper, a scoop that gained international attention."
"Despite little training and no university journalism program, the staff of The Michigan Daily has embraced its vital role. Last year, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, it published a lengthy investigation ... against a professor, leading to his early retirement ... The Daily also covers issues that matter to Ann Arbor’s 121,000 residents, such as the inner workings of the municipal government, cuts to the county’s mental health budget, and a police oversight commission that was created last year in response to the shooting death of a black woman and the violent arrest of a black teenager."
"In a sign of how seriously The Daily takes its responsibility to fully cover the city, Maya Goldman, 21, was elected editor in chief only after she was able to name the 11 members of the City Council, along with their wards and party affiliations ... Unlike many college newspapers, The Daily has the financial support — in the form of a $4.5 million endowment — to sustain its breadth of reporting, said Neil Chase, the chairman of the university’s student publications board."