NewsLab provides important community reporting experiences for students, while helping local newsrooms in crucial times


When the COVID-19 pandemic forced students and faculty at Kent State to learn and work remotely in spring of 2020, students in the School of Media and Journalism were at risk of losing internships. As a response to the developing situation, the School organized a project called the Collaborative NewsLab to provide students with real world work experience, while newsrooms, hit with unprecedented financial challenges, were resorting to layoffs and furloughs.

Fast-forward a year-and-a-half, and the NewsLab continues to operate under the direction of newsroom adviser and Professor Susan Kirkman Zake. The operation, housed out of the Franklin Hall newsroom, assists newsrooms across Northeast Ohio through the work of Kent State journalism students. The results have been positive so far, she says.

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