Northeastern’s School of Journalism and Boston’s FOX25 News have teamed up to produce investigative reports that will air on the TV station starting in February.
The student journalists in professor of the practice Mike Beaudet’s investigative reporting seminar will work to uncover social problems impacting Massachusetts, scouring public records and using computer-assisted reporting to gather information. Eight budding muckrakers have enrolled in the first iteration of the course, which will be offered to both graduate and undergraduate students at least once each academic year.
“I want all of my students to dig deep on any given story, taking the time to ask follow-up questions and see what else can be uncovered,” said Beaudet, an award-winning investigative reporter who has worked at FOX25 since 1996. “Our job as journalists will be to keep digging until we get to the truth.”
The partnership with FOX25 dovetails with the School of Journalism’s longstanding commitment to investigative journalism and experiential learning. Over the past several years, student journalists in Pulitzer Prize-winning professor Walter Robinson’s investigative reporting class have produced more than two-dozen front-page stories for The Boston Globe.
Beaudet’s students will produce several multimedia reports this semester, working in groups to gather data, capture video, conduct interviews, and write TV scripts. FOX25 will edit copy, gather additional video, and vet the reports, some of which will include online slideshows and vignettes wherein students discuss their muckraking experiences.
“The students who take this course will encounter real obstacles that investigative journalists face every single day,” Beaudet said. “Oftentimes people won’t want to hear from us and we’ll have to find ways to navigate the story.” Noted FOX25 news director Lee Rosenthal: “We look forward to making a difference by working with these students and Northeastern University.”
Elijah Kaplan, AMD’16, is taking the course to hone his watchdog reporting skills and multimedia prowess. “Real-world work will lead me to becoming a more effective reporter,” he said. “I want to affect the world in a positive way through meaningful reporting that translates to real change.”