Top Reporters Train Student Journalists
For two weeks in May, student journalists from across the U.S. were immersed in a training institute, reporting about social and political issues while receiving training from some of the best journalists in the nation.
The group of 26 participated in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. The students were competitively selected by a panel of journalists at the newspaper.
The UA was selected as the host institution and has hosted the program for several years since it began in 2003.
"The University of Arizona's School of Journalism has served as host institution because of the excellent facility in the Marshall Building and the quality of the journalism program, as well as the proximity to the border, with its rich mix of journalistic stories," said Nancy Sharkey, associate director of the UA School of Journalism and a founding editor of the institute.
"In addition, the welcoming Tucson community and the University facilities make the institute a wonderful experience for students," Sharkey said.
Participating students were members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.
This year, students represented universities that included the University of Texas, Austin; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of California, Berkeley; the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; and New York University. Two UA students, Noelle Haro-Gomez and Kayla Samoy, were selected to participate this year.
The students published their articles, photography and videos on an online blog.
Topics for stories included the retirement of UA head baseball coach Andy Lopez, a family coping with the death of a soldier, the use of border-surveillance technology, students' work with the 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors program and the closing of a 52-year-old flower shop in Tucson.
Richard Jones, director of the institute and an associate editor at The New York Times, said the UA is an ideal location for several reasons.
"The quality of the University's journalism program speaks for itself. The facilities are outstanding. The journalism faculty — which includes three veteran Times journalists — is top-notch," Jones said.
"Add to that the richness and texture of the stories in southern Arizona and the melange of cultures near the border, and you have a colorful and immersive laboratory in which students can grasp the responsibility, daily surprises and pure joy of being a journalist."
In addition to Jones and Sharkey, several UA journalism faculty and New York Times reporters facilitated workshops during the institute.
The program's alumni have gone on to work for news organizations including the Associated Press, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The New York Times.