Community Learning Exchange

Open space discussion topic

Thought Leader Meeting

Highlander Center


How can citizen journalists and traditional journalists help students get their voices heard by policy makers?


Discussion Participants: Adam, Marisa, Melia, Kathleen & Cheryl


Youth often don’t have a say in education policy. This group looked at ways journalists and citizen journalists might work with students to help them get their perspective on education issues heard.

There already are a few organizations set up to help youth advocates pursue advocacy journalism in their communities. One of these is Press Pass TV.


Several of the mainstream journalism organizations offer memberships to student journalists: American Society of News Editors, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association, and the Native American Journalists Association.  These organizations also offer training and support services to student journalists.


The Journalism Education Association offers support to journalism educators who work with student journalists.

Other organizations, like the new Student Press Law Center are working to team high school journalism programs with local community newspapers.


Adam notes that student journalists are perhaps the largest cohort of working journalists in the country, especially now that many newspapers are shutting down or downsizing.  Nonetheless, many high schools and colleges also are shutting down their campus newspapers.


Meanwhile, some online news outlets offer student focused sections and content. Huffington Post is an example. Even with all the students working as reporters and editors, we questioned how many of them are covering education.


We discussed whether more community newspapers should work with high school journalism programs and support their coverage of education. We questioned whether campus papers are always the best place for students to publish stories about controversies on their own campuses

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