Students in the College Now journalism class, JRN 221, learned to be reporters by investigating and writing their own news articles. Using access to public documents, first hand observation and interviews with strangers, they reported on stories of social significance related to affordability and gentrification in the Bronx. Students developed critical thinking skills, learned to problem solve when faced with unresponsive and difficult to reach sources and examined various sides of the issues they were reporting. They learned to craft engaging, informative articles. At the beginning of class each day students read The New York Times, focusing particularly on issues of race and policing to dissect story structure, assess how reporters gather information and learn the nuance and verification required of journalists.
To understand journalists motivations and values, students visited WNYC New York Public Radio, speaking at length with producers, veteran reporters and editors. Greg Jost, an urban thinker at Designing the We, visited the class to teach about the economic and racial history of the Bronx. Nation magazine editor Kai Wright, host of the podcast There Goes the Neighborhood spoke to students about reporting on gentrification in Brooklyn, writing about race and how his own experience informs his journalism.