The Poynter Institute has selected Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student newspaper The Alestle as one of nine student media organizations nationwide for the second year of its College Media Project. The year-long initiative provides participants with free custom in-newsroom training, online seminars and support for a campus project.
“We are witnessing a decline in our ability to have reasonable public dialogue around provocative ideas across the country, including on college campuses,” said Poynter Senior Vice President Kelly McBride. “Journalism, when done well, is a conduit for public dialogue. The collegiate press is particularly beleaguered, and I’m grateful that we can expand our ability to help them make a difference in their campus communities.”
Poynter is partnering with the Associated Collegiate Press to work with the nine student media outlets in the initiative’s second year. The Poynter College Media Project combines in-person training, online teaching and support for a campus project geared toward achieving two goals: improving student journalism and modeling civil dialogue through news coverage and related events.
“There are so many things The Alestle staff wants to do to make a difference at SIUE — more indepth and investigative reporting, as well as projects that open real dialogue in the SIUE community,” Student Publications Program Director Tammy Merrett said. “More guidance and financial support will help that along immensely.
“The fact that The Alestle staff was selected by Poynter is a huge honor in the journalism community and a great opportunity. I am proud of the staff’s work and am excited to see what they will do using their Poynter training this year.”
As a program participant, The Alestle will receive:
- Budget to spend on a reporting project or event that advances civil discourse on campus
- Two half-day, on-campus workshops about reporting, editing and storytelling for the staff
- Exclusive admission to four online training events throughout the academic year, during which they’ll hear from professionals and other campuses about their projects
- Training on the best techniques for watchdog reporting that holds the powerful accountable and establishes campus media as a fair and trusted advocate for students
- Insights into the tools of dialogue that model the search for mutual understanding and tolerance through reporting projects and real-life events
Poynter tripled the number of participating organizations since the 2017-18 pilot program. In addition to expanding the program, Poynter will increase the initiative’s reach by offering a series of webinars through its e-learning division, News University. These webinars will teach accountability journalism skills and will be available tuition-free to all student media outlets.
Sixty-three student media organizations vied for the nine available slots. Applications were screened for potential, need, commitment, diversity in student population, school size and type.
Joining The Alestle are:
Three campuses participated in 2017-18: Iowa State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Howard University.
The Poynter College Media Project will be led by Poynter adjunct faculty Elissa Yancey, MSEd. Yancey is a longtime and award-winning journalism educator who has worked extensively at the University of Cincinnati.
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in seven languages, with over 300 interactive courses and 150,000+ registered users in dozens of countries. The Institute’s website, poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protects discourse that serves democracy and the public good.
Photo: SIUE Student Publications Program Director Tammy Merrett.