Graduate students from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication will mentor aspiring journalists from Hempstead High School starting this fall with the launch of the High School Community Journalism Program.
In the new partnership between Hofstra and the Hempstead School District, students in the Master of Arts journalism program will visit the high school once a week to guide 10th-12th grade students in the newspaper club in reporting and producing stories about their school and community. Publishable works will appear on LongIslandReport.org, Hofstra’s award-winning student-run multimedia news site, and on liherald.com, the website of Herald Community Newspapers, a group of 17 weeklies.
“This is a great way for Hofstra students to reinforce their own skills in community reporting while also learning more about how to be an editor and manager in the newsroom,” said Scott Brinton, adjunct journalism professor at Hofstra and senior editor for enterprise reporting and staff development at Herald Community Newspapers. “At the same time, high school students who might be interested in a career in journalism but don’t know how to go about getting started can get valuable guidance.”
Professor Brinton was awarded a grant of $20,000 from the New York Press Association to help support both the Community Journalism Program as well as the re-launch of the Hofstra High School Summer Journalism Institute in 2016 after a short hiatus. Hempstead students who do well in the fall program will be invited to apply for the summer institute, along with promising students from other Long Island high schools.
Professor Brinton says he was inspired to create the program after attending the 2013 Covering Suburban Poverty journalism conference at Hofstra, which brought reporters and experts from across the country to campus. “It got me thinking about how to incorporate those lessons into my teaching,” he said. “Many journalists start their careers at a community paper, and it’s important that they learn how to be imbedded in that community so that they can really cover it. We hope to teach the value of this kind of journalism through this program.”
Hofstra graduate students will earn three credits for their participation in the course and will be required to keep a weekly journal and write a paper about the experience.