Student Journalists Are Our Future—We Should Start Treating Them Like It

Catherine Palmer was already a seasoned student journalist at The Johns Hopkins News-Letter when Freddie Gray, a Baltimore native and black man, died in police custody, provoking protests across the city that swelled into what would be called the Baltimore Uprising. Even so, she was only 19 when she found herself one of the first reporters on the ground at a pivotal moment in April 2015, thrust onto the scene to cover the peaceful protests and outpouring of emotion in the wake of Gray’s death…As a local student with local ties, Palmer’s experience made her significantly more prepared to cover the Uprising than the national reporters sent from newsrooms states away. | The story, Palmer thought, was really the local issues Baltimore residents faced every day, struggles that were at the core of the protests: structural racism, limited access to good housing and food, and a failing school system. “That was definitely not the type of thing that ABC or CNN was going to be reporting,” she said. —The Nation