Recent collaborations in local news and journalism education
Winners of the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education continue to make progress on their projects to experiment with local news coverage. We’re happy to share a couple of recent updates:
Led by Amara Aguilar, faculty and students at USC Annenberg won support through the 2020 Challenge Fund to work with LA Taco and Los Angeles County residents on a community zine. In January, students hosted “Stories from Stove,” a Facebook Live cooking demonstration and conversation about Indigenous food with Zapotec chef Alfonso Martinez. Just in time for the Lunar New Year, they published their first piece—a story about Lanzhou noodles in Arcadia, Calif., by Lauren Teruya under the guidance of Professor Laura Castaneda and LA Taco Editor Javier Cabral.
Michigan State University faculty Rachel R. Mourão, Soo Young Shin and Carin Tunney released their first article detailing the results of their Challenge Fund experiment: Toward In-Depth Coverage: Testing the Effectiveness of a Single-Issue Multimedia Course for Undergraduate Public Affairs Reporting. They found that while focusing on a single issue empowered students to better engage with their local communities and produce in-depth reporting, the additional multimedia training underscored how inequalities outside the classroom can affect learning outcomes. The university was among the winners of the 2017 Challenge Fund, and used their initial funding on in-depth coverage of “school choice” policy. In 2020, we awarded the university a $50,000 grand prize in recognition of the project team’s work and to support further research and innovation in journalism education.