CUNY Journalism Programs Tackle Big Projects

DATELINE: CUNY–CUNY journalism programs faced the challenges of reporting during lockdown head on.

The Border Interrupted: Politics and the Pandemic Scramble Life Along El Paso-Juarez Divide.

Baruch College didn’t let a cancelled trip to the border interfere with its reporting for “The Border Interrupted: Politics and the Pandemic Scramble Life Along El Paso-Juarez Divide.” The re-imagined project took on a whole new meaning during this public health emergency.

BARUCH COLLEGE- We set out to explore a range of border issues from why Texas is the nation’s largest non-voting state to the challenges of getting out the youth and Latino vote to education challenges in rural areas of the borderlands, which encompass some of the country’s most impoverished zip codes. After two months of research, including briefings by political and demographic experts, we were getting ready to travel to Texas and New Mexico when the Covid-19 epidemic upended our plans. We were forced to cancel the trip. Fortunately, most of our sources agreed to speak to us via Zoom.


A Student’s-Eye Snapshot of COVID-19 Across NYC

HUNTER COLLEGE–When COVID-19 struck and the city largely shut down, journalism students like the ones at Hunter College were forced to retreat home in the midst of the biggest story of their lives. Many journalism professors and students kept on working to cover the coronavirus crisis, in spite of digital difficulties and amid stringent restrictions on the kind of reporting students could safely perform.

In early May City Limits hosted a live presentation of some of the work that the young journalists of Hunter have done since the crisis struck. There’s the story of the kid from Brooklyn who lost a job and then an aunt to COVID-19 in quick succession, then endured his father’s own fight with the disease; the mutual aid network that popped up in Bushwick; the doctor who kept working despite her own positive test result in Bay Ridge.