‘Next Generation of Journalists’: Durham High School Journalism Class Joins Ida B. Wells Society

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DURHAM, NC (WTVD) — Students in Bryan Christopher’s journalism class at Riverside High School may be the next generation of journalists. They learn the art of connecting with readers.

“They teach us personal stories so our readers can relate to them and how to get data. It’s really cool. We learn how to get public records,” said student Eden Mae Richman.

The class is the first of its kind in the country.

He is part of the Ida B. Wells Society’s investigative journalism junket, run by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The mission is to recruit, retain and develop journalists of color. The program has opened the eyes of students like Victoria Alcindor to learn just how critical meeting deadlines can be.

“I’m working on an investigative story about cultural appropriation,” Alcindor said. “Meeting a deadline is really difficult, especially with investigative reporting.”

Students have bylines in Pirate’s Hook, the school newspaper, and some of their work is published on the website.

They even got interested in Ida B. Wells, the program’s namesake, who was born a slave and became an investigative journalist who led a crusade against lynching through her work.

“He’s a huge inspiration and an amazing person. I hope they do him justice by teaching investigative journalism,” Richman said.

Students in the program visited the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism where the Ida B. Wells Society is based and holds monthly workshops with local journalists.

“As a member of a diverse community, teaching students from that same community, we need diverse perspectives to span our diverse communities,” Christopher said.

Young journalists come out of Christopher’s class with a foundation on how to find out the facts.

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