Press of Atlantic City & Stockton Launch Journalism Lab

Finding and training the next set of journalist recruits. Local newspapers are wise to partner with the local college. Should be a fertile ground for finding online influencers and so-called fact checkers.

The Press of Atlantic City and Stockton University are teaming up on a new journalism lab aimed at developing the next generation of reporters. It’s called the Community Reporting Innovation Lab.

“Communities everywhere need journalism to thrive,” says Press Executive Editor, Buzz Keough.

Many local newspapers are far behind in using audio and video in their stories. Too much time wasted on social media platforms. Too much activism. Not enough coverage of local news.

Outside of written journalism, the lab will enhance learning about multimedia production through video and audio.

The handful of Press journalists remaining will work with Stockton professors to create a reporting and interviewing course for the spring and fall 2023 semesters.

“Stockton has enjoyed a great relationship with The Press as stewards of information and the community,” said Leamor Kahanov, Stockton’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are trusted by the public to elevate truth, promote fellowship and elevate our society.

Keough said the idea was formed about a year ago during talks with Stockton President Harvey Kesselman.

The paper’s relationship with the university dates to former Editor and Publisher Charles Reynolds, who set up a scholarship with the school. That scholarship evolved into an internship program, and Keough said over the past six years, some 20 students have worked in the paper’s newsroom, reporting and writing stories and creating videos featured online and in print.

“There’s a certain level of training and knowledge of journalism that you don’t get immediately and only get in a newsroom,” Keough said. “This gives students that real-world experience. Getting published is still the benchmark for anyone looking to enter journalism.”

Communication studies professor Toby Rosenthal said the lab will also be used by other groups, including Stories of Atlantic City, a community reporting project focused on telling stories about the city and its people.

“We’ll be able to have more professional writing, not just in journalism courses, but in all communication studies courses. We can be more deliberate about how we are coaching students, training students and teaching students.”

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