We’re continuing to build our local network, adding dedicated coverage of colleges to more cities and states. We’re thrilled to announce two new partners: Mississippi Today and Lookout Santa Cruz.
No reporter in Mississippi focuses on college as their main beat. With Mississippi Today, we’re going to change that.
Their newsroom, a nonprofit started six years ago, has long focused on education coverage—and with our help, they’ll be adding a reporter specifically dedicated to higher ed across the state.
The coverage will include stories about colleges’ role in two major stories of our time: helping Mississippi communities recover from the pandemic and resulting economic downturn and helping the state confront racial injustice.
Divides are still growing, for example, in where Black and white Americans enroll in college—in Mississippi and across the country. At the state’s flagship, Black students have become even more underrepresented since 2000, according to this recent report
from Education Trust. In 2017, only 13 percent of the University of Mississippi’s students were Black, compared with 45 percent of the state’s 18-to-24-year-olds.
Lookout Santa Cruz is launching this fall. Its founder, Ken Doctor, a long-time news-industry analyst, has seen the power in collaborative models to reinvent local news.
His simple intention with Lookout Local, he wrote
: “To provide a valued source of trustworthy local news for the county that’s home. And then, to take that Santa Cruz-nurtured model out more widely to other communities that have become news deserts as well.”
Elsewhere in the Network
Our work with CalMatters’ College Journalism Network is getting underway.
Through the network, which pays and trains student journalists to cover higher ed across the state, we’ll be leading a team of fellows focused on data-driven and investigative stories:
Julian Mendoza, the multimedia and podcast editor at The Orion, Chico State‘s independent newspaper.
Angie Orellana Hernandez, the Diversity and Inclusion Director at the Daily Trojan at the University of Southern California and the USC News Editor at Annenberg Media.
Omar Rashad, a community-college graduate who’s the data and investigations reporter at Mustang News, the independent student-run news organization at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Katherine Swartz, the University News Editor of The Daily Nexus student newspaper at UC Santa Barbara.