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Today’s J-Schools: Teaching Online Community Journalism Hands-on

By Jessica Durkin, founder of

Editor’s note: Jessica tracks online news start-ups in her directory She is the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Region 3 director and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Digital Media Committee.

As the news and media industry finds its way in the Internet age, students are flocking to journalism programs. Academia has responded to industry changes with next-gen journalism offerings such as classes on entrepreneurialism, new business models and community reporting labs.

The following is a short sample of some journalism programs at universities around the country that feature department-run, online community news sites. Here, students are learning the basics of reporting and online publishing.

City University of New York, Graduate School of Journalism, New York City, announced a partnership in February with the New York Times hyperlocal site “The Local”.

New York University, Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism, New York City: “East Village Hyperlocal Reporting Project” to launch soon; here’s a link to a Dec. 15 call for ideas announcement.

Hofstra University, Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations department, Hempstead, New York (Long Island), Nassau News Live.

Temple University, School of Communications and Theater, Philadelphia, Penn., Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab “Philadelphia Neighborhoods”.

University of Missouri, Missouri School of Journalism,  Reynold’s Journalism Institute, “RJI News Collaboratory”, has extensive discussion about hyperlocal and entrepreneurial journalism.

Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., retired journalism professionals work with journalism students and citizen reporters for the site Gross Pointe Today.

University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication, Los Angeles, Calif., Intersections: The South LA Report.

Do you know of any university-affiliated or sponsored hyperlocal news sites not on this list? Please e-mail Jessica Durkin at