Students in Riverside High School’s journalism class, who are participating in Ida B. Wells Society’s inaugural high school investigative partnership program, got an up-close, newsroom experience at the News & Observer in Raleigh this month.
The group of 19 students and teacher Bryan Christopher took a bus to the newspaper’s downtown office. For a number of the students, this was their first time stepping foot in a professional newsroom.
They were welcomed by The N&O’s Executive Editor Bill Church. He shared a bit about the work of the N&O and then gave the students a tour of the newsroom.
“Our role is to provide the information, disseminate and also connect with what’s going on in the community,” said Church.
Much of the staff at the N&O office is still working in a hybrid model, but the students were fortunate to hear from a few of the staff members that were in the office that day. The students spoke with journalists Korie Dean, service journalism reporter; Mary Helen Moore, real estate and business reporter; Lars Dolder, business reporter; Kate Murphy, higher education reporter; and Tyler Dukes, investigative reporter.
Each of the panelists shared a bit about their background and why they chose to go into the field of journalism.
“There are few more noble jobs than journalism especially as we’ve seen things evolve with social media and the internet and a growing misinformation issue. It’s all the more important to give people an objective platform where they can make educated decisions,” said Dolder.
Moore began her post at the newspaper recently after reporting for a Florida newspaper.
“What drew me to journalism is a curiosity about the world,” said Moore.
Following the panel, the students broke into small groups based on their investigative project groups. Each N&O staff member went around to a group and spoke with the students in more depth about their individual projects offering their advice to the students.
The trip ended with a pizza lunch provided by the N&O. Before boarding the bus for their trip back to Durham, the students made a stop to check out the outside of the ABC11 office located just down the road.
Next month, the students will cap off their year by convening with journalists and members of the Ida B. Wells Society staff once more to present their final investigative reporting projects.
Do you want your class to be part of the next IBWS investigative program? Do you know a teacher who does? We want to hear from you!
If you are a public high school educator or know one that may be interested in hosting this program at their school for the ’22-’23 academic year, applications are currently open until May 6.