Journalism School Collaboration

Media in the Public Interest (MPI) is launching a nationwide effort to partner with journalism schools primarily at universities in inner-city, marginalized communities, putting student work on the Public News Service’s (PNS) network.

The goal of this program is to:

  • enhance voices of color on a national platform reaching 60 million people each week;
  • offer to inner-city journalism students the opportunity to gain professional experience and exposure on much larger platforms than are typically available to students;
  • expand local, statewide and national coverage on issues of concern to underrepresented and marginalized communities – students will create relevant and important journalism that reflects concerns of their communities.

“The opportunity to contribute on statewide issues with Ohio News Connection (Public News Service – Ohio) was immeasurably valuable. This experience helped me prove to myself that I can perform on the highest journalistic levels in the state – something that bolsters my confidence as I head into the professional job field. The content I was asked to provide to ONC helped hone my technical skills, and I’m sure I’ll carry that knowledge with me into my professional career. I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve produced during this opportunity, and can’t recommend the program highly enough for future students. I owe all the thanks in the world to the professors and ONC directors who helped facilitate the opportunity.”

–Kent State University Journalism Student, Andrew Keiper

The partnership not only boosts students’ public interest reporting experience and repertoire, but students’ work brings attention to community issues and action that might otherwise have remained under the radar — informing those who need services, attracting potential supporters and volunteers, and motivating more engagement in the community. The partnership can be a win-win-win for students, schools and universities, the community, public interest stakeholders and funders whose mission includes diverse civic engagement.

“Anytime our students can work for outside professional agencies, it’s a leg up for them when they look for internships and jobs,”

– Professor Susan Zake, Students Report on State Issues for Ohio News Connection

MPI aims to scale this project, that we’ve piloted at Kent State University and CU News Corps at University of Colorado at Boulder, to create exponential increase in public interest stories in communities across the country, utilizing the already established PNS network, that reaches thousands of media outlets every day, disrupting systemic inequality and elevating diverse voices.

Sample Student Stories

  • Anti-Protest Bill Still on the Table in Ohio Legislature