A call for help

School searches and seizures of students’ cell phones are becoming increasingly common. The confiscation of phones is of special concern to student journalists, because “smart” phones are becoming the Swiss Army knife of newsgathering, capable of shooting photos and video, recording interviews, and holding endless virtual pages of notes.

Getting personal, going public

Entering an interview with an open mind and broad agenda can lead to untold stories. One writer at the University of Virginia reflected on the school’s history and its perception as an institution catering to southern gentlemen – perhaps even prejudicially so. He wondered if LGBT communities felt those stigmas and stereotypes, a question that led to the series “Gay at UVA.”

Identity crisis

The ethics of crime reporting are slippery, subjective and hard to define. Few stories have more at stake than those that deal with life and death, guilt and innocence. The decision-making — from how to word allegations to what information to include or exclude in a crime blotter item — is something that requires ethical discussion and dissection.