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The Cleveland Observer Student Media Challenge


The Cleveland Observer is looking to form a student news desk. This college-level news desk team will report on topics students are facing and will initially focus on mental health. The content will focus on reporting stories in the community through a solutions lens. The team will convene in September, meet biweekly through November, and monthly from December through the final cohort meeting in May 2024.

Students are required to create rigorous enterprise-level content which will be due on the 15th of the month. A weekly news brief (content to be assigned) will also be required every week for the duration of the project.

Why the focus on mental health?

Young people have always been especially vulnerable to mental health issues, and the pandemic has only intensified the breadth and depth of their suffering. The nation has seen an uptick in both traditional mental health issues—anxiety, depression, trauma,  suicide, assault, PTSD, and loneliness—as well as mental health issues that arise through other social determinants of health—racism, neglect, food insecurity, housing instability, economic instability, and community violence.

Participants will engage with other students and/or the broader community to gather and share information and resources.

What are we looking to do within these nine months?

  • Solutions Journalism Training
  • Class visits
  • Blogs and social media posts
  • Create video content
  • Increase community engagement by convening a group of students to discuss mental health concerns
  • Report how our communities in this area address mental health challenges.

Students must commit to the entire length of the project. They will be paid a $2,000.00 stipend. If you or someone you know is interested in signing up, or for further information, scan the QR code above!

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