Most NYC high schools lack newspapers. A new journalism curriculum could help change that.

CHALKBEAT—April 18, 2024—While more than three-quarters of the schools with the highest concentrations of white and Asian American students had student publications, the same was true for just 8% of schools with high concentrations of Black students and 16% of those with large shares of Latino students, according to [a] study. Schools with higher rates of poverty were also far less likely to have a student publication.

The inequities mirror trends in the broader industry. A 2018 survey found that journalists of color made up just 22% of the workforce.

“This isn’t only a journalism challenge — this really goes to the heart of civics and democracy,” said Jere Hester, the director of editorial projects and partnerships and acting director of the Local Accountability Reporting program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. “What we really want to do is institutionalize journalism instruction in New York City.”

With funding from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the school has been able to develop a new high school journalism curriculum. The class will teach students the basics of reporting, writing, and producing stories, as well as tackling issues around civics, ethics, misinformation, and more, Hester said. It will also offer opportunities for students to experiment with different reporting mediums, including audio, video, and data journalism. (Revson is supporting a CUNY journalism student summer intern at Chalkbeat.)

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