skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

University-Led Reporting Lets Students Cover the Statehouse

play audio
Play

Monday, May 8, 2023   

Student reporters are stepping up to fill gaps in news coverage as the number of full-time statehouse reporters continues to decline.

State legislatures handle important matters, including educational standards and access to health care, but increasingly it is students working with university-led reporting programs who are making sure the stories get the coverage they deserve.

Richard Watts, founder of the Center for Community News at the University of Vermont, said students are working under the direction of veteran reporters and bringing fresh perspectives to the job.

"Students want to do real things these days," Watts observed. "They really don't appreciate writing papers that go anywhere when they could actually write something that people read and has an impact."

More than 10% of statehouse reporters are now students, mainly from public colleges and universities. Watts noted he hopes more private universities will use their vast resources to ensure their students get this type of on-the-job training, and communities get the news they need.

Research shows the loss of local news coverage has real impacts on local communities: decreasing civic engagement and voter turnout, and increasing costs for municipal governments.

Watts argued local news is vital to a thriving democracy.

"Without local news, people turn to these competing ideological news sources, and it leads to increased polarization," Watts contended.

Watts added public colleges and universities are fulfilling their public service missions by helping their students fill local news gaps for media outlets, which continue to downsize due to the loss of ad revenue.

The Center for Community News has documented more than 100 university-led reporting programs so far across the U.S.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.







get more stories like this via email

more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …


According to America's Health Rankings data, Georgia ranks 19th in teen suicide. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

During the 2004 general election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, which requires "verifying the identity of applicants for state and local public benefits," according to the Arizona attorney general's website. (Mark Breck / Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

Social Issues

play sound

By Jay Gabler for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Collabo…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021