February 9, 2023
College students: Report for VTDigger with the Underground Workshop!
College students: Report for VTDigger with the Underground Workshop!

For the previous two faculty years the Underground Workshop has introduced glorious scholar journalism to VTDigger’s readers and empowered younger Vermonters to form the dialog of their communities. This 12 months the workshop’s scholar editors are planning one other formidable collaborative reporting mission, and our Thursday workshops are up and operating, able to assist Vermont’s scholar reporters.

College students: you do not want any expertise to take part! Academics: we’re desirous to work with you to publish your college students’ work! Readers: please assist us unfold the phrase!

Please join right here to hitch our mailing listing. You may obtain updates from the Underground Workshop’s editors about our collaborative tasks, workshops, and different alternatives!


What’s the Underground Workshop?

The Underground Workshop’s collaborative mission for 2022 was the Local weather Report Card, a five-part collection evaluating VT colleges’ progress towards sustainability. College students contributed reporting from greater than 15 excessive colleges, and the collection had wide-ranging civic impacts: the mission’s scholar editors have been interviewed by Politico, a reporter was invited to fulfill together with her city’s Power Committee, and so on.

The Underground Workshop is a collaborative community of scholar journalists from excessive colleges and faculties throughout Vermont, reporting and writing for VTDigger’s statewide viewers.

VTDigger launched the Underground Workshop in September of 2020, with assist from the Rowland Basis. Since then, college students from greater than 40 Vermont excessive colleges and faculties have stepped ahead to take part, publishing a variety of impactful tales and bringing a much-needed dose of scholar voice into Vermont’s public discourse. 

This 12 months the mission is taking a step towards genuine scholar management. Our tasks are being designed and facilitated by a board of scholar editors, representing ten of Vermont’s excessive colleges and faculties. We collect on zoom on Thursday evenings, with scholar work on the heart of every assembly.  Any scholar is welcome to attend, to pitch concepts for tales, to submit drafts for suggestions, or simply to hear in.  Tell us if you would like to attend and we’ll ship you a hyperlink.

The Underground Workshop seeks to take care of a excessive commonplace for publication and likewise works to assist college students in any method attainable. Please consult with our guidelines for publication, and attain out to our scholar editors at any time, at [email protected]

We’re additionally desirous to work with lecturers to develop class tasks for publication – in any topic space, not simply journalism. Academics (or college students) can attain Ben Heintz, the workshop’s editor, at [email protected]


5 sorts of tales we publish:

  1. Collaborative Reporting Initiatives
The Underground Workshop’s collaborative mission for 2021 was a six-part collection of characteristic tales chronicling the historical past of the BLM Flag in Vermont’s colleges. The collection was used as a educating useful resource in a number of school rooms, and closed with a name for scholar commentaries. College students from throughout the state shared a variety of views, demonstrating the promise of a extra civil discourse.

Every year the Underground Workshop pursues one formidable collaborative mission, amassing reporting from colleges throughout Vermont. These tasks supply readers a deep, complete have a look at advanced points, with a particular concentrate on younger Vermonters’ views. Our first main collaborative mission was a six-part collection of characteristic tales chronicling the historical past of the BLM flag in Vermont’s colleges; final 12 months’s mission was the Local weather Report Card, a five-part collection that collected reporting from greater than 15 excessive colleges, evaluating our colleges’ progress towards sustainability.

The Underground Workshop’s scholar editors have been working this fall to arrange our collaborative mission for this faculty year– search for an announcement within the subsequent few weeks!


2. Characteristic Tales

Final 12 months college students from UVM & Champlain Faculty collaborated on a characteristic story: “Why we’re pissed off”: The strained dialogue round sexual assault on Burlington’s faculty campuses.

College students can pursue characteristic tales independently, and may convey concepts or drafts to our Thursday Workshops for suggestions at any section of their course of. Two examples of options that got here to the workshop final 12 months: this story in regards to the failed Harwood College Bond, and this profile of a Syrian household in Rutland.

We’re additionally to publish constructive tales about our faculty communities, in our ongoing collection, Shiny Spots in Our Colleges. Try this story about Mill River Union Excessive College’s music program persevering via the pandemic, or this story about Thetford Academy’s Founder’s Day.


3. Photostories

A black and white warbler in Perkinsville, Might 2021. Photograph by Rue Stahl, of Woodstock Excessive College, for his photostory on local weather change and Vermont’s birds.

The Underground Workshop is raring to have fun the work of Vermont’s scholar photographers, and photojournalism is a good alternative to hunt publication with out the identical time dedication for writing and revision that is required for characteristic tales.

Three nice examples from final 12 months: a college students’ view of housing points in Winooski; a celebration of 1 group’s efforts to fight meals insecurity on the Manchester Group Cabinet; and reporting with images on the impacts of local weather change for Vermont’s birds.


4. Interview Initiatives & Q&A’s

Final spring Isabella LaFemina, a Rutland Excessive College senior (since graduated) and the coed consultant to the college board, collected dozens of scholars’ opinions in regards to the faculty’s mascot, in an effort to convey scholar voice into the general public debate.

A number of the Underground Workshop’s most impactful work has come within the type of edited interviews, merely amassing voices and views from underrepresented Vermonters. One in all our first collaborative tasks was Purple State Vermont, a collection of Q&A’s with conservative Vermonters, together with college students.

The above-mentioned story about housing in Winooski mixed scholar voices with images, giving an on-the-ground picture of how younger individuals are impacted by the housing disaster. The Rutland mascot: what college students must say was considered one of our proudest moments final 12 months, placing a variety of scholar voices on the report after they’d been conspicuously absent from most media protection of the ugly debate over their very own faculty’s id.


5. Tales from Vermont’s College Newspapers

Final 12 months Adelle Macdowell (one of many Workshop’s scholar editors and now a freshman at Middlebury Faculty) wrote a narrative for her faculty paper a couple of controversial meme account at Lamoille Excessive College, which was typically used to out folks for alleged sexual assault. Accounts like this, and the problems they elevate, are widespread in Vermont’s excessive colleges and faculties.

Generally a college newspaper produces a high-quality piece of journalism with statewide relevance. Typically these tales require some revision for VTDigger and may profit from a go to to a Thursday Workshop for some final sharpening. This type of cross-publication promotes the work of college newspapers and evokes college students at different colleges to be formidable of their reporting.

This story a couple of meme account at Lamoille Union Excessive College was initially revealed in Lamoille’s faculty paper, the Blue and Gold, however the troublesome conditions and points it describes are related in lots of faculty communities. This story in regards to the challenges of discussing race in our highschool school rooms originated as a narrative for the U-32 Chronicle, nevertheless it speaks to challenges acquainted to most of Vermont’s college students and lecturers. This profile of a scholar race automobile driver and announcer was written for the Castleton Spartan however has broader attraction.

Please tell us should you see a narrative in a college paper that deserves a wider viewers!


The best way to be concerned

We’ll be asserting our collaborative mission for this faculty 12 months within the subsequent few weeks, and we’re keen to attach with any college students or lecturers who’re to take part, any time. Please join right here to obtain updates about alternatives for publication this faculty 12 months, and be at liberty at any time to electronic mail our scholar editors at [email protected]

Assist us unfold the phrase! If a scholar who may be on the lookout for this type of genuine civic engagement and rigorous studying expertise, please allow them to know in regards to the Underground Workshop.

A number of of the Underground Workshop’s scholar editors assembly over zoom with VTDigger’s founder Anne Galloway in June of 2021. A few of these college students are nonetheless concerned within the workshop; others have graduated or moved out of state, and so on. The Underground Workshop is an open, inclusive group, and all the time evolving: scholar editors are merely these college students who’ve demonstrated dedication via participation in tasks and workshops, and who’re desirous to assist friends partaking on this difficult work. Please encourage any scholar who’s severe about journalism and civic engagement to come back to a workshop!

If you wish to preserve tabs on Vermont’s training information, join right here to get a weekly electronic mail with all of VTDigger’s reporting on greater training, early childhood packages and Okay-12 training coverage.

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