Back To School: Finding Fresh Angles on Familiar Ground
1 hour

For education reporters, coming up with fresh ideas for back-to-school stories is an annual challenge. As part of EWA’s Summer School Webinar series, we invite you to get some smart tips from three veteran journalists who know how to mine the beat, and avoid the ordinary. We discuss new ways of approaching the first day of school, ideas for unique profiles, and how to make the most of your publication’s multimedia resources.


  • Dave Breitenstein is an education reporter at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla. with 15 years’ experience covering both K-12 and higher ed beats. He has received 31 state and national writing awards, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s in educational leadership from Florida Gulf Coast University.
  • Ann Doss Helms has covered K-12 education for The Charlotte Observer for the past 10 years, a stretch that has seen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district go from being accused of “academic genocide” by a judge to winning the 2011 Broad Prize for Urban Education. She has a bachelor’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and a master of liberal arts degree from Winthrop University.
  • Phyllis Fletcher is an editor at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle. Before that she was KUOW’s education reporter. In that role she took EWA’s first prize in beat reporting for broadcast in 2011. Fletcher holds certificates in Java programming and forensic accounting.

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