Covering Campus Conflict in the Time of Trump

Overview

Higher Ed 2017: Covering Campus Conflict in the Time of Trump
Atlanta • October 2–3, 2017

From heated debates over free speech to the Trump administration’s threats to deport undocumented students, these are tense times on college campuses. For reporters who cover higher education, questions abound and important stories need to be told. 

On Oct. 2-3, EWA will bring together journalists at Georgia State University in Atlanta to explore pressing issues in education after high school. (Here's the preliminary agenda.) At this journalist-only seminar you will hear:

  • Firsthand, personal accounts from undocumented students about living under deportation threats, featuring an address from Jose Antonio Vargas, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings, who has revealed his undocumented status.
  • How reporters covering racial tensions on campus are fact-checking and building sources.
  • How colleges and universities can balance the need for free speech with campus safety and the well-being of students and faculty. 

This seminar will offer context for producing enterprising stories on trending topics in higher education. We’ll spotlight efforts on college campuses to scale up fresh approaches to boosting college success among vulnerable groups. And we’ll provide hands-on sessions to bolster data-journalism skills, plus share strategies for harnessing digital platforms and tools to widen the audience for stories.  

Join fellow journalists from around the U.S. -- as well as experts and leading educators --  to get story ideas and build your skills at EWA’s fall 2017 seminar on higher education. EWA offers scholarships to eligible members that can cover transportation, lodging, and registration.

From heated debates over free speech to the Trump administration’s threats to deport undocumented students, these are tense times on college campuses. For reporters who cover higher education, questions abound and important stories need to be told. 

On Oct. 2-3, EWA will bring together journalists at Georgia State University in Atlanta to explore pressing issues in education after high school. (Here’s the preliminary agenda.) At this journalist-only seminar you will hear:

  • Firsthand, personal accounts from undocumented students about living under deportation threats, featuring an address from Jose Antonio Vargas, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings, who has revealed his undocumented status.
  • How reporters covering racial tensions on campus are fact-checking and building sources.
  • How colleges and universities can balance the need for free speech with campus safety and the well-being of students and faculty. 

This seminar will offer context for producing enterprising stories on trending topics in higher education. We’ll spotlight efforts on college campuses to scale up fresh approaches to boosting college success among vulnerable groups. And we’ll provide hands-on sessions to bolster data-journalism skills, plus share strategies for harnessing digital platforms and tools to widen the audience for stories.  

Join fellow journalists from around the U.S. — as well as experts and leading educators —  to get story ideas and build your skills at EWA’s fall 2017 seminar on higher education. EWA offers scholarships to eligible members that can cover transportation, lodging, and registration.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

How Georgia State Dramatically Changed Its Graduation Rate (and How Other Universities Can, Too)

In 2006, Georgia State University had a problem. The graduation rate was an abysmal 41 percent. And in many cases, the dropouts were seniors who just needed a few credits more to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Unlike many other colleges struggling with high dropout rates, Georgia State took (in many cases, expensive) actions that seem to have actually worked. Today, 53 percent of their freshmen graduate within six years.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Do Affirmative Action Policies Harm Asian-American College Admissions?

The often secretive and arbitrary-seeming acceptance and rejection decisions by elite colleges have long sparked controversy and, thus, news stories.

But new complaints by high-achieving students of Asian descent are raising questions about a kind of racism that may well be surprising to most Americans, as well as challenges to long-standing affirmative action policies, according to a panel of admissions experts who spoke at the Education Writers Association’s Higher Education conference Oct. 2-3.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Building Your Digital Audience: Tips From CNN
At Atlanta-based news giant, data helps guide coverage

To engage and grow their digital audience, journalists at CNN study the numbers.

That sort of data is front-and-center at the broadcast news giant’s Atlanta headquarters – on the screens throughout the newsroom and even emphasized in the newsroom layout. Look at the large screens at the front of the room, and you can see what topics are trending on social media, popular online searches, how certain headlines perform, and how much traction stories get on social media.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Nine of the Hottest Stories on the Higher Ed Beat This Year

Campus racial conflicts, sports corruption scandals, and a new partisan divide over the perceived benefits of college are among the biggest potential storylines for journalists covering higher education these days, according to Inside Higher Ed co-founder and editor Scott Jaschik.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

How to Report on Undocumented Students in the Time of Trump
As clock ticks on DACA, journalists must consider practical, legal, and ethical challenges in coverage

When the Trump administration announced plans in September to remove protections for some undocumented immigrants, Sasha Aslanian, a reporter with APM Reports, contacted an undocumented student to get a personal reaction to the news.

Having received a number of interview requests that day, the student told Aslanian: “I feel like I’m just trauma porn. People are leaving me messages saying, ‘I want to hear how you feel about this and I’m on deadline. Can you call me back within two hours?’”

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Covering the New Reality of Adult Learners at College
Non-traditional students account for almost half of undergraduates.

In the last year, newspapers published more than 100 stories focused on admissions to Harvard University, an institution with fewer than 7,000 undergraduates.

Meanwhile, a Nexis search over the same time period turns up fewer than 50 articles using the phrase “adult undergraduates.” The U.S. has 7.6 million undergraduates aged at least 22 – more than 1,000 times Harvard’s enrollment. These older students account for fully 44 percent of the population on the nation’s college campuses.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

A Reporter’s Guide to Covering Campus Protests

Long the site of sit-ins, protests, and acts of civil disobedience, college campuses have, once again, become flash points for broader debates around race, free speech, and other highly-emotive issues.

Lisa Pemberton, an award-winning journalist and news team leader for The Olympian, knows well the challenges of covering protests, having spent much of her time recently covering racial tension and student protests at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Jose Antonio Vargas Calls for Context, Clarity When Reporting on Undocumented Immigrants

An elderly black woman with a crumpled piece of paper helped reframe the way Jose Antonio Vargas views the debate over immigration in America.

Vargas is a longtime journalist, an undocumented immigrant, and an advocate for immigrants. He was at a Tea Party event in North Carolina a couple of years ago when the woman, who recognized him from television, approached. She held a document she said her great, great, grandmother was handed after landing in South Carolina.

It was a bill of sale.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Covering Higher Ed: What You Missed at EWA’s Seminar

Nearly 60 journalists joined the Education Writers Association this week at Georgia State University in Atlanta for a seminar on covering higher education. Over two days, they toured CNN headquarters, drank coffee before kvetching, and got tips for improving their coverage of top postsecondary issues. The discussions included covering undocumented students, racial conflict on campus, Title IX and sexual assault, and how Georgia State is using data to better serve at-risk students. Here’s a sampling of what people tweeted about the EWA event.

Agenda

Covering Campus Conflict in the Time of Trump: Agenda
Atlanta • October 2–3, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

9:45– 11:30 a.m.: (Optional) Journalists’ Tour of CNN

CNN has graciously agreed to give 20 EWA members a journalists-only tour of their newsroom, and a chance to talk with members of CNN’s newsgathering, digital and data analysis teams to learn about their state-of-the art techniques of building traffic. The tour will start at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2 at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, located at One CNN Center, Atlanta, GA 30303. Please be at the entryway at 9:45 a.m. so you can go through security.