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Journalism Department partners with Boston Globe

A facility in Charlestown that tests wind turbine blades is making waves in Emerson’s Journalism Department.

Although Journalism students expect assignments that mimic actual reporting, one student recently ended up with a byline on the Boston Globe’s website. The story about the Wind Technology Testing Center, authored by Writing, Literature and Publishing major Aaron Orlowski ’11 and illustrated with a photo by Journalism major Ilana Spath ’11, marks the start of Emerson’s participation in a new partnership between the Boston Globe and the journalism departments of Emerson, Northeastern University, and Boston University.

The objective of the partnership program is more local content for the newspaper and its “Your Town” websites as well as more real-world experience for the students. It is currently somewhat ad hoc, but a course on beat reporting, to be taught by Associate Professor Jerry Lanson next fall, will solidify the process of channeling student work to the Globe on a regular basis, according to Associate Journalism Department Chair and Journalist-in-Residence Doug Struck.

“There is a huge demand for stories on the part of news organizations going into hyper local coverage,” said Struck, who added that video and audio stories will be included.

While the students are not paid for the articles, Struck explained that compiling a portfolio of clips that have appeared in a major newspaper or news website is a dividend.

“They will get good experience doing professional work under professional editors.”

The Boston Globe, long a prized internship host for journalism students, is likewise pleased to open its virtual newsroom to more students

“We’re delighted with this collaboration. It provides ‘Your Town’ readers with even more local coverage and enriches the educational experience of Emerson and Northeastern students,’’ said David Dahl, the Globe’s regional editor.

Under the new program, Emerson faculty will help students develop appropriate articles and act as the first editor before they are submitted to the Globe. “We’re making sure this is all done under the umbrella of a class and under the direction of a Journalism professor,” said Struck.

Lanson said the possibility of being published is great motivation. “I think the relationship with the ‘Your Town’ sites gives students the incentive to take things up a notch, to be that much more precise, that much more efficient, that much more professional, and to work that much harder. It’s a real-life experience with a real-life reward.”

While the Charlestown story wasn’t Orlowski’s first online byline, he’s thrilled to have the clip to add to his portfolio. “Having my name attached to the Globe is really a privilege,” he said, adding that he hopes to get more assignments now that the editor, Dahl, knows his name.

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