Posted February 27, 2012

Papers get free state coverage from Butler students

Butler University’s Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and the Hoosier State Press Association are partnering to provide coverage of state government and politics for Indiana newspapers.

Student journalists have government news beats that include coverage of the Indiana General Assembly, Gov. Mitch Daniels and his final legislative agenda, and public education.

During the pilot year of this partnership, Butler journalism students will produce weekly multimedia stories – including news and analysis and a wrap-up of the short session – beginning Feb. 28 and continuing for six weeks.

In addition, more in-depth enterprise stories will be available the week of April 24.

Stories will be available through HSPA’s online content-sharing service, HSPAInfo.net, as well as on the website IndianapolisNewsBeat.com.

All HSPA-member newspapers may use the stories, according to Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel. 

“This project provides content on state government activity for newspapers that might not have the resources to send a reporter to Indianapolis and provides student journalists with real newspaper experience,” Key said. “Readers, the newspapers, and the students all benefit.”

Butler journalism students began covering state government last spring to experience public affairs reporting.

Butler senior Hayleigh Colombo, editor in chief of The Butler Collegian, covered the long session of Indiana’s General Assembly for a reporting class.

“It was an invaluable experience because I was able to build close source relationships with state senators, work alongside Statehouse bureau reporters at major media outlets, and write about contentious issues concerning the public, including collective bargaining in Indiana,” Colombo said.

The program added multimedia storytelling this year as part of the journalism school’s new curriculum.

Butler’s program is different from the Franklin College Statehouse Bureau, which operates a year-round Statehouse bureau for Indiana newspapers that subscribe to its service plus one free story a week through HSPAInfo.net.

For more information on Butler University’s multimedia coverage of state and city-county government, contact Loni Smith McKown at lmckown@butler.edu.

 

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