The Student Media Challenge

The Student Media Challenge offers an immersive, cohort experience to student newsrooms across the United States.

Launched in 2022, the Challenge adds to SJN’s ongoing work with colleges and universities, as the number and kind of solutions journalism courses expand at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Now in its second year, the Challenge has evolved into an incubator of solutions journalism, awarding grants to student newsrooms to pursue projects of their own imaginings. To date, cohort members have used the funds to:

  • Support an award-winning podcast on food insecurity
  • Address news deserts in rural communities in Missouri
  • Fortify news coverage for a once-endangered weekly in Georgia

Student media outlets are playing an increasing role in rebuilding local news ecosystems. As more local communities grapple with becoming news deserts, student newsrooms are stepping forward to assume a leadership role in informing the public about news, on campus and well beyond. With solutions journalism training, students are covering social issues more deeply and equitably, as well as gaining valuable experience for internships and jobs.

The Student Media Challenge Cohorts

For the 2022-23 academic year:

  • Díg en Español (Santa Ana College)
  • el Don (California State University at Long Beach)
  • Howard University News Wire
  • Knight Center for Environmental Journalism (Michigan State University)
  • KOMU (University of Missouri)
  • Oglethorpe Echo (University of Georgia)
  • Queens University News Service
  • Washington State University

For the 2023-24 academic year:

  • Chronicle (Columbia College)
  • The Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • The Collegian (Fresno State University)
  • Dimelo (University of Southern California)
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Stony Brook University
  • The Triangle (Drexel University)