StudentsfeatureWe’ve been highlighting a combination of potential solutions for local journalism and accountability:

A source of help we didn’t expect to come across: journalism students. An article by Mark Jacob for the Medill School of Journalism says university students are taking on the task of keeping locals informed.

Students at the University of Kansas have filled a major news gap in Eudora, Kansas, a town that had been without a newspaper since its local paper closed during the 2008 recession. However, Associate Professor Teri Finneman and her students brought news back to the town when they started the Eudora Times. Finneman’s students, she notes in the article, juggle school and 20-30 hours at part-time jobs while working on The Eudora Times in their spare time.

In Indiana, the Indiana Citizen partnered with students reporting for the Statehouse File at Franklin College to help combat what Citizen’s publisher Bill Moreau told Medill was “a long-term, slow-motion civic health crisis” in the state. Because of coverage from the students, Citizen Editor-in-Chief Kevin Morgan said in the article, the Indiana Citizen is able to provide news to readers almost every day.

In the future, funding solutions may provide for an increase in paid local reporting positions, but for now, journalism students appear to be a key part of filling existing gap in regional journalism.

Megan Kashtan

Megan Kashtan

Research Analyst, News Media