As the fall semester ramps up at Georgia colleges, 10 journalism students are embarking on an innovative approach to learning investigative reporting. The students hail from Georgia’s top universities and were hand-picked to join the inaugural year of the Georgia News Lab, headed by Georgia State professor David Armstrong.
Each Friday, the students meet on the 10th floor of Georgia State’s 25 Park Place building (the old SunTrust headquarters at Five Points) and learn how to obtain and analyze public records, and find stories that spotlight civic problems. This year’s class includes students from Georgia State, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, UGA and Emory.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, part of the Cox Media Group, are partners in the News Lab and have agreed to publish and air work from the students that meet the AJC’s and WSB-TV’s standards for accuracy and fairness.
The partnership of two historically black colleges (HBCUs), Clark and Morehouse, is one of the elements that makes the News Lab unique. Investigative reporting has historically been dominated by white men (I’m one of them), and a major goal of the news lab is to diversify the field. The Columbia Journalism Review has just published a story about the News Lab exploring this issue. Read it here.
I’ve met all the students. They are bright, enthusiastic and excited about the year ahead. AJC readers can look forward to seeing some great work from the next generation of investigative journalists.