Google collaborates with Baruch to bring journalism to high schools

Rachel Dalloo

In an effort to promote journalism education, school newspapers and news literacy in high schools, The Google News Initiative partnered with Baruch College’s High School Journalism Program.

“School newspapers are oftentimes the first exposure many teens have to journalism,” Google News Lab U.S. Partnerships Manager Ashley Edwards said. “We’re excited to be partnering with Baruch on this important initiative, which will give more students access to hands-on experience in news, as well as give educators an opportunity to instill media literacy skills.”

The college’s high school program was launched approximately 19 years ago, providing high school students and teachers with workshops and training by professional journalists, according to the press release.

By the end of 2023, GNI aims to provide funding for the program and launch at least 25 school newspapers. Google will also provide tool training to students and advisers, according to the press release.

The program is run by one of Baruch’s journalism professors, Geanne Belton. In addition to teaching at Baruch, Belton has written for The New York Times, The National Law Journal and Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications.

“CUNY in general and Baruch, in particular, have a very strong mission to help strengthen New York City, to be a resource for New York City, and in particular to create opportunities for young people in New York City,” Belton said. “This kind of outreach can really have a positive impact.”

Students who participated in the program during their years of high school have gone on to channel their journalistic skills in college publications.

“Baruch College’s High School Journalism Program is honestly one of the main reasons I came to Baruch in the first place,” Amanda Salazar, editor-in-chief of The Ticker and former program participant, said in a statement.

“When I started looking for colleges, I knew I wanted to go somewhere that took journalism seriously, that wasn’t too expensive and that wasn’t very far from where I live,” she said. “Baruch checked all those boxes, but I wouldn’t have known it had a good journalism program if it wasn’t for the High School Journalism Conference.”

Salazar noted that the program has helped her in many ways, hoping that students get involved with it and seek a journalism career at Baruch. Since May 2021, she has worked as a student research assistant for the program, where she collects data from over 400 New York City public high schools regarding student newspapers.

In addition to the program, Baruch also hosts a yearly NYC High School Journalism Conference and Newsies Awards Ceremony, which acknowledges deserving and hardworking high school journalists. This year’s conference and ceremony took place virtually on March 21.

There are nine topics that students are awarded for: features, photojournalism, sports, multimedia news reporting/broadcast, best NYC high school online newspaper edition, national/world news with a local lens, illustration/comics/political cartoon, opinion/editorial writing and school news.

For last year’s Newsies Awards, some of the winners included Townsend Harris, Francis Lewis News, Stuyvesant High School and Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.

This year’s conference leaders included Baruch journalism professors Geanne Belton, Bridgett Davis and Emily Johnson. Workshop leaders included Baruch alums Hasani Gittens and Yelena Dzhanova, along with current Baruch students and editors of The Ticker, Salazar, Alexandra Adelina Nita and Angelica Tejada.

Editor’s Note: This article reference multiple current and former Ticker staff members. Amanda Salazar is the editor-in-chief, Alexandra Adelina Nita is the graphics editor and Angelica Tejada is the opinions editor. Yelena Dzhanova is a former editor-in-chief of The Ticker and Hasani Gittens is a former staff member.