Full list: The work student journalists are proudest of from 2020

The Lead is a weekly newsletter providing resources and connections for student journalists in both college and high school. Subscribe here and read more background here. Starting in April 2020, The Lead is produced in partnership with The Poynter Institute.

Contact Taylor Blatchford, who writes the newsletter, at blatchfordtaylor@gmail.com or @blatchfordtr on Twitter.

Read the full newsletter issue: The work student journalists are proudest of this year


Immigrant detention during COVID-19: “Total disregard for people inside” — Ms. Magazine (Smith College)

Bloom Yoga integrates inclusivity, progressivism into yoga to build community — North Texas Daily (University of North Texas)

Uncensored: Being young and Black in America — Journey magazine (Florida A&M University)

“This past summer was emotionally draining for Black journalists so being able to use our platform to report on Black issues during that moment in time felt so necessary.” — Aiyana Ishmael

“It feels like a void”: Grief through the eyes of one UMD student in the age of COVID-19 — The Diamondback (University of Maryland)

Birds of a Feather: Sanchez brothers bond through falconry — The Augustana Mirror (Augustana University)

From within the Vatican walls: Brown professor unveils insights into the history of the pope during the Holocaust — The Brown Daily Herald (Brown University)

Election week at the University: High stakes atmosphere can be felt across campus — The Daily Illini (The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

Ohio’s gruesome “Tiger King” connection — The Lantern (The Ohio State University)

“Why couldn’t we find a match for her;” UT-Austin student dies from cancer before finding bone marrow match — The Daily Texan (University of Texas at Austin)

Two years after Tubbs Fire, Santa Rosa residents still struggle to recover — The Paper Tiger (Lick-Wilmerding High School)

How it started vs. how it’s going — The Voice (Cuyahoga Community College)

NU’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment policy fills gaps left by federal Title IX overhaul — The Huntington News (Northeastern University)

“I received a fair amount of pushback from our university’s PR department while reporting this story, and was able to get quotes from the Title IX office even after my request for an interview was denied by media relations; it is a piece I’m very proud of both because and in spite of the obstacles I faced while reporting.” — Maya Homan

The new normal for international students: studying across time zones — The New School Free Press (The New School)

Tiana Day strives for a more equitable future — The Wildcat Tribune (Dougherty Valley High School)

This should never have happened to you — Washington Square News (New York University)

An amalgamation of things — Ampersand LA (University of Southern California)

Ed McComb turned 100. To celebrate, Columbia threw him a parade — Columbia Daily Tribune (University of Missouri)

The Ripped Bodice: The West Coast’s only romance bookstore — Culturas (University of Southern California)

UCLA Bike Shop’s DIY approach facilitates learning for customers and employees — Daily Bruin (UCLA)

A dream, two close friends and two very special girls — Emerson College (Emerson College)

What becomes a college campus when the students are missing? — Media Hub (UNC Chapel Hill)

Pandemic or not, fresh-cut Christmas trees help make the season — Media Hub/The Charlotte Observer (UNC Chapel Hill)

California students receiving free, reduced-price meals face accessibility challenges during pandemic — Medill Reports (Northwestern University)

Practical hurdles, cultural distrust in Native communities could hamper vaccine distribution — NBC News (Northwestern University)

Living with aphantasia, the inability to make mental images — New York Times (Yale University)

Practical hurdles, cultural distrust in Native communities could hamper vaccine distribution — Old Gold & Black (Wake Forest University)

How a Phoenix podcast host used TikTok to advocate for her missing sister — Phoenix New Times (Arizona State University)

7 Black-owned restaurants to savor — San Francisco Magazine (New York University)

‘Full of life, full of fun’: The remarkable story of Edwin Jackson — Savannah Morning News (Georgia Southern University)

Protest in Pittsburgh during the Black Lives Matter movement: an interview with Editor-in-Chief and photographer Keyaira Cameron — The Avonews (Avonworth High School)

Acknowledging its “problematic past,” BOC strives to expand access and inclusion — The Bates Student (Bates College)

Guided by grassroots advocacy, David Morales MPA’19 will now enter R.I. State House — The Brown Daily Herald (Brown University)

A daughter’s plea as pandemic hits NC prisons: ‘My father was not sentenced to die’ — The Charlotte Observer (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Fiscal responsibility a lifelong theme for Nicole Galloway — The Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

UT School of Nursing professor develops anti-racist toolkit for health care educators — The Daily Texan (University of Texas at Austin)

“Operation: Get me back as soon as possible” — The Eagle (American University)

Language flagship study abroad programs disrupt timelines and upend plans — The Envoy (CUNY Hunter College)

The student activists working toward a more racially just CUNY — The Envoy (Hunter College)

A Harvard Square without Harvard — The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University)

Formerly incarcerated Gainesville resident and activist girlfriend fight for criminal justice reform — The Independent Florida Alligator (University of Florida)

Walk-on: The Clifford Taylor IV story — The Independent Florida Alligator (University of Florida)

Not da Vinci but Devine: Taking on the career he once dreamed of as a child — The La Salle Falconer (La Salle Catholic College Preparatory)

The Slump: How Annie Hoang faces depression through filmmaking — The La Salle Falconer (La Salle Catholic College Preparatory)

‘This is not political’: Missouri athletes lead push for change — The Maneater (University of Missouri)

Looking in: The unseen challenges of Chinese international students at U-M — The Michigan Daily (University of Michigan)

Part-time student, full-time sibling — The Pearl Post (Daniel Pearl Magnet High School)

‘Anxiety-inducing experience’: Students adjust to shelter-in-place guidelines, criticize lack of University enforcement — The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)

Town Hall discussions address social injustice — The Samford Crimson (Samford University)

Directors of CIPC discuss the future of immigration policies for the next four years — The Skyline View (Skyline College)

GCC baseball and softball tries to move forward after cancelled season — The Voice (Glendale Community College)

Reactions to Black Lives Matter protests in Tokyo expose Japan’s hidden discrimination — The Wildcat Tribune (Dougherty Valley High School)

NPS threatens endangered tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore: an exploration of sides and solutions — The Wildcat Tribune (Dougherty Valley High School)

Disability Employment: Raising Awareness — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State University)

Breast Cancer survivors share stories of their journey — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State University)

The importance of the Gen Z vote — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State University)

New approaches to farming breathe life into rural NC communities — UNC Media Hub (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Breaking news

Spokane health officer terminated after a tumultuous week — The Whitworthian (Whitworth University)

Five shelter residents have tested positive for COVID-19, DHS says — Street Sense Media (George Washington University)

“I’m very proud of this story because we were the first outlet to report on the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Washington, D.C.’s homeless shelters, at a time when the pandemic was rapidly spreading throughout the city and there was considerable uncertainty about how the city would protect its most vulnerable residents from contracting the virus.” — Avi Bajpai

‘The shortest notice possible’: For first-generation, low-income Students, rapid move-out from Harvard brings unexpected challenges — Harvard Crimson (Harvard University)

Sources: Gators football team has 19 positive COVID-19 cases — Independent Florida Alligator (University of Florida)

Seven months into coronavirus: families and nursing home patients struggle — Greensboro News & Record (UNC Chapel Hill)

Frustrated with fall reopening, faculty members consider vote of no confidence in administration — The Michigan Daily (University of Michigan)

First WWU Student tests positive — The Western Front (Western Washington University)

TNN @Home Edition for 11/30–12–4 — Tiger News Network (San Luis Obispo High School)


Growth from quarantine: Students reflect on what they’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic — The La Salle Falconer (La Salle Catholic College Preparatory)

How does UMass’ COVID-19 response compare to other colleges in Mass.? Data analysis from schools across the state — Massachusetts Daily Collegian (UMass Amherst)

“No news outlet in the state had provided a comprehensive data analysis on COVID-19 data at colleges in Massachusetts, so I thought it would be an informative way to understand what has worked (and not worked) for colleges over the fall semester.” — Matt Berg

2020 presidential election coverage — The Smoke Signal (Mission San Jose High School)

Challenging the model minority myth: Asian-American students divided over affirmative action — CalMatters/KQED (University of California, Davis)

Mapping U.S. colleges’ fall 2020 plans — The Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania)

Justice for George Floyd — Freelance (Texas Southern University)

MU contact tracing delays frustrate students, leave some feeling at risk — KOMU 8 News (University of Missouri)

Where are the COVID-19 cases on UNC’s campus? — The Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Election 2020 results — The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)

Welcome Home podcast — The Simmons Voice/Simmons Radio (Simmons University)

Trump supporters protest vote counts in California — The State Hornet (California State University, Sacramento)

G TV: Get Baked — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State Guardian)

Guardian Gallery: Dayton Shines — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State University)

Child brides? North Carolina has a problem — UNC Media Hub (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Investigative + in-depth

Navajo school, students fight to overcome amid COVID-19 — Cronkite News/Associated Press (Arizona State University)

Security cameras help deter fires at Encinal — Horizon (Encinal High School)

Climate Change 2020: What could it mean for Nebraska? — Climate Change Nebraska (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

“A group of UNL students, mostly non-journalism majors, dove into the impact climate change will have on Nebraska through a yearlong reporting class.” — Jennifer Sheppard

‘A miserable life’: Campus service employees allege widespread mistreatment, abuse — The Emory Wheel (Emory University)

The old boys’ network: Racism, sexism and alleged favoritism in Harvard’s police department — Harvard Crimson (Harvard University)

Potential corruption in coronavirus-related public tenders in Georgia — Bellingcat (Tbilisi State University)

The Road to Ohio State: For students from underrepresented backgrounds, getting to college isn’t the first barrier they’ve overcome — The Lantern (The Ohio State University )

Rise in cost of attendance evokes renewed concern among students — The Bates Student (Bates College)

Klan connection prompts community conversation — The Clipper (Seaman High School)

‘Isolated and anxious’: University of Iowa dental students react to an email thread and remarks made within their college — The Daily Iowan (University of Iowa)

Records from before reopening show experts warned UNC of COVID-19 outbreaks — The Daily Tar Heel (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

University to lose up to $116 million to coronavirus expenses, raising questions about AU’s future — The Eagle (American University)

“We spent several months looking at tax filings and talking to sources to understand what the financial impacts of the coronavirus really meant for our university. At a private school, you can’t FOIA for information, making it all the more difficult to get answers.” — Nina Heller

Cal Lutheran by the decade — The Echo (California Lutheran University)

Budget woes, layoffs shake EvCC community — The Clipper (Everett Community College)

‘A sour life lesson’: Pell recipients disqualified from receiving summer scholarships — The Envoy (CUNY Hunter College)

After two long years, Riley Blair finds her voice — The Ferris State Torch (Ferris State University)

WSU fraternity expresses concerns about injustice on campus — The Wright State Guardian (Wright State University)

‘Destroyed my career’: Faculty report unchecked sexual harassment in School of Medicine — The Stanford Daily (Stanford University)

Book collection in ASU libraries showcases Indigenous stories — The State Press(Arizona State University)

Campus health crisis: students fear on-campus services can’t keep up with COVID-19 — Carolina Connection (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Amazon, Walmart and the low-income grocery-shopping divide exposed by the coronavirus — CNBC (University of Missouri)

Continued rise in felony caseload cripples Missouri public defender system — Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

The uncertain future of Missouri’s levees — Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

COVID-19 at UTK (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Rocked by COVID-19 Phoenix’s music scene advocates for relief, concert safety — Downtown Devil (Arizona State University)

The state of sustainable fashion in Puerto Rico — Emperifollá (The New School)

Owners of landmark Florida beach restaurant under US tax evasion investigation — Fresh Take Florida (University of Florida)

Protected by decades-old power structures, three renowned Harvard anthropologists face allegations of sexual harassment — Harvard Crimson (Harvard University)

Scary sights on Sixth Street this Halloween as crowds failed to follow social distancing — Hilltop Views (St. Edward’s University)

Missouri ‘ghost candidate’ for Congress goes unseen by voters, opponents — KOMU 8 News (University of Missouri)

Elaine Voigt, helping reentry into the community with my journey home — Our Town Reno (University of Nevada, Reno)

Facebook pledged to take down thousands of pro-QAnon accounts (again), but users are adapting — Spire Magazine (Florida State University)

STEM students least likely to vote in presidential elections, study finds: LSU STEM educators and students weigh in — Reveille (Louisiana State University)

No estimate yet on when University of Idaho library construction will finish — The Argonaut (University of Idaho)

It’s been 76 days since students came back to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what life has looked like. — The Augustana Mirror (Augustana University)

Residence coordinators discuss campus safety presence & intervention — The Bates Student (Bates College)

Black students matriculate to Duke at lower rate than white students. Why? — The Chronicle (Duke University)

Columbia police release video of chase that ended in death of 17-year-old — The Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

Fraternity leaders frustrated with misleading communication from UW administration — The Daily Cardinal (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Unseen, unfed: Food insecurity on campus — The Daily Illini (University of Illinois)

Illinois Commitment: What are you really committing to? — The Daily Illini (University of Illinois)

Independent businesses in Evanston deal with declining support — The Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University)

Between 2 worlds: how Syracuse’s racist housing policies created a racial divide — The Daily Orange (Syracuse University)

‘The campus was dead’: Students who stayed at Penn last spring recount isolated experiences — The Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania)

We talked to a UNC student who tested positive about what it’s like to have COVID-19 — The Daily Tar Heel (UNC-Chapel Hill)

For those raised in College Park’s Lakeland, the wounds left by its destruction remain — The Diamondback (University of Maryland)

The Mystic mascot’s origin explored with a new look and name — The Mystician (Bismarck State College)

122 staff laid-off, a ‘top-down’ administration, and a corporate third party: TNS is fractured by recent decisions — The New School Free Press (The New School)

What is too much? Romantic chase culture at Yale-NUS and its problematic manifestations — The Octant (Yale-NUS College)

Eudaimonia Institute quietly fades away — The Old Gold & Black (Wake Forest University)

Exclusive: On eve of move-in, Gallagher asks for flexibility during historic semester — The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)

Keeping your distance: COVID-19 pandemic clears Coppell schools, streets, stores — The Sidekick (Coppell High School)

Test negative, stay positive: Students’ experiences in quarantine — The Whitworthian (Whitworth University)

Increased garbage on campus: How to keep the campus clean? — The Whitworthian (Whitworth University)

Disproportionate discipline of Black students in SRVUSD threatens equity — The Wildcat Tribune (Dougherty Valley High School)

Trauma and ostracization’: Students ‘call in’ Christian groups for discrimination — The Daily Tar Heel(UNC Chapel Hill)

I tested positive for COVID-19 — Washington Square News (New York University)

What happened to WUMD? — WMUA News (UMass Amherst)

The death of Bill Bishop: Did the dog do it? — 9th Street Journal / Indy Week (Duke University)


Virginia Athletics community reacts to sports shutdown amid coronavirus outbreak — The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia)

Painted nails and PATs: Schupp’s path to becoming Battle’s kicker — Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

“I’m submitting this piece because as a woman in sports it’s important to me to elevate the stories of other women in sports.” — Emily Leiker

Losing the Mamba, LA’s most complex and prolific hero — The Occidental (Occidental College)

From ball fields to the medical field: Former Northwestern athletes fight on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — The Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University)

SU increased inclusion for LGBTQ players. But there’s still work to do. — The Daily Orange (Syracuse University)

Claire Linos: Her journey from the mountains in China to the Valley trails — AZPreps365 (Arizona State University)

Stepping stones: Drinkwitz’s rise from Sun Belt to SEC — Columbia Missourian (University of Missouri)

In a city full of Girards, Joseph Girard III made it big — The Daily Orange (Syracuse University)

Column | It’s time for the ‘Hounds to become the city’s champion — The Pitt News (University of Pittsburgh)

‘Just throw the ball here’: What Georgia receiver George Pickens’ high school feats say about his potential — The Red & Black (University of Georgia)


Website design — NU Asian Magazine (Northwestern University)

COVID-19 and primary election issue — The State News (Michigan State University)

“The morning of March 11, Michigan State announced it would suspend in-person learning for the rest of the semester due to COVID-19. This was also the day the staff would send the weekly paper to print. With all hands on deck, we scrapped much of what we had planned for the issue to focus on this huge breaking news.” — Madison

Editorial + opinion

Look me in the eye — The Daily Californian (University of California, Berkeley)

To honor Audre Lorde’s vision for Hunter College, we must rename Hunter West — The Envoy (CUNY Hunter College)

F.O.M.O is the spark. Covid-19 is the fire — The Signal (The College of New Jersey)

College district should do better in addressing the inequities of part time workers — The Skyline View (Skyline College)

The Daily Nebraskan is not diverse; here’s how we’re fixing it — The Daily Nebraskan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

“I’m really proud of the D+I work we’ve been doing in our newsroom, and it is the start of a long-lasting effort to bring diversity to Nebraska’s media landscape.” — Drake Keeler

BoJack Horseman is over and everything is (maybe) better now — Ampersand LA (The University of Southern California)

Op-ed: How UNC betrays survivors like me — The Daily Tar Heel(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

So you want to talk about sexism in sports? — Independent Florida Alligator (University of Florida)

The COVID-19 college party scene: Who’s to blame? — The COVID-19 College Party Scene: Who’s To Blame? (New York University)

The capitalist crusade to obliterate CUNY — The Envoy (CUNY Hunter College)

HBO shows redefining ‘Black girl magic’ — The Famuan (Florida A&M University)

The unfortunate reality of an online college education — The Knight News (Queens College)

Of Sound Mind | Sufjan Stevens’ “The Ascension” — The Pitt News (The University of Pittsburgh)

Reporting + engagement + journalism education. I write The Lead, a newsletter for student journalists: bit.ly/leadstudents

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