Resources for Teachers and Students


The news media shape how we see and understand the world around us. From breaking news as it happens to telling the stories of those whose voices could otherwise go unheard, newspaper and television reporters shoulder a hefty responsibility in their communities

Behind the Story: Judge Jackson’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings

After Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court, she went through the confirmation process each potential justice must face. Here, MSNBC’s Ari Melber and Melissa Murray, a law professor at NYU, break down the important elements of bringing legal analysis to viewers.

Coming next week: Covering MENA communities


Behind the Story: Covering the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) took center stage in headlines last week: News of a draft of the upcoming decision that will determine the fate of the abortion precedent set by Roe v. Wade was released to the public. NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams has covered his share of landmark SCOTUS cases, breaking down the complex legal cases facing the nation’s highest court in a way viewers can understand. In this video installment, he shares his tips for doing just that in the context of one of the court’s biggest decisions in recent history: Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage.

Coming next week: Behind the Story: Judge Jackson’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings


Newsletter Week 18

Anti-Asian hate never lacks “news peg” for AAPI media

Hate against Asian Americans has been an intermittent topic of news reporting since the Covid-19 pandemic began, but it’s not always broadly reported in the mainstream media as often as it happens. However, there’s a dedicated batch of Asian-American media sources who continue to follow these stories. This newsletter hears from several AAPI-identifying writers and content creators, who delve into the way they've shaped their reporting and influence to unearth trends in the hate facing the AAPI community and how the Asian diaspora is reported on in the mainstream media.

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Become a Great Storyteller

What does it mean to be a great storyteller? More than being a good writer, it’s about holding your audience’s attention and conveying a narrative that helps illustrate the bigger picture. NBC News NOW anchor Joe Frye shares his tips on becoming a better storyteller in this NBCU Academy 101 video installment.

Coming next week: Behind the Story: Covering the Supreme Court


Newsletter Week 17

Marty Two Bulls and Lalo Alcaraz didn’t win the Pulitzer. But they don’t draw for the judges.

In 2021, when the Pulitzer Board chose not to award a prize for editorial cartooning for the first time since 1973, two finalists of color sat down with NBCU Academy to discuss the challenges they face in the industry.

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The Bilingual Newsroom: How local NBC and Telemundo newsrooms collaborate

Spanish is the second-most common language in the US—recent census statistics show that 41.8 million people in the country speak Spanish at home. How do we keep the Spanish-speaking population in America informed about current events? Eleven NBC-owned television stations have Telemundo sister stations that broadcast in Spanish. This video breaks down how they work together with their English-speaking station counterparts to report to their audiences.


Newsletter Week 16

Trans executive editor Gina Chua says personnel is ‘only halfway’ to true newsroom diversity

Reuters executive editor Gina Chua is one of the most high-profile transgender media executives in the world—but, she says, there is still more work to be done. “Really, what matters is what we write and how we reflect the world in the words, pictures, videos, graphics that we put out.” This newsletter covers more about Chua’s thoughts on inclusion in the newsroom and reporting, what barriers trans journalists face, and what we can do about it.

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Newsroom lingo

Joining a new profession can sometimes feel like learning a new language—there’s always plenty of industry-specific jargon and acronyms that may not mean anything to an outsider. In this video, producer-editor Arleen Aguasvivas breaks down some of the most common terms heard in a broadcast newsroom, from B-roll to VOs and everything in between.

Coming next week: The Bilingual Newsroom: How local NBC and Telemundo newsrooms collaborate.


Newsletter Week 15

“It’s all about visibility”: How Bianca Xunise and Steenz make their mark on the comics page

Even people who don’t read the newspaper are probably familiar with the comics page; it’s a space for levity, a break from the harsh world described in the paper’s other sections, and can be a gateway section for kids to gain an interest in newspapers. Along with the rest of the newspaper industry, the comics page has historically been dominated by white male cartoonists—something Bianca Xunise and Steenz, two nonbinary, Black artists, sought to change. Read more about their perspective and their nationally syndicated comic strips in this newsletter.

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Video: Reporting on Native American communities

With diversity and inclusion initiatives finally getting the attention they deserve, it’s important to look at the language we use to represent different communities. This is of paramount importance in a journalism role, where the words we use and the perspective we reflect in our stories can be the only reference a reader has about a particular group of people. Here, national reporter Graham Lee Brewer, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, describes some of the most critical problems with current coverage of Native American communities and how we as journalists can do better.

Coming next week: Newsroom lingo.


Newsletter Week 14

Many journalists of color are creating a niche through freelancing. Here’s what they’ve learned.

Freelance journalists form the backbone of many publications, especially those that don’t have the resources for a full staff of writers or photographers. Many journalists from minority backgrounds have found a valuable niche in freelancing, finding the ability to pitch to multiple publications a benefit to telling the stories that matter to their communities.

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Video: Mastering Street Interviews

One of the most integral elements of a broadcast journalism piece is the "man on the street" interview. They're used to get a public perspective on everything from breaking news as it happens to how political candidates are received. So how do you get valuable sound bites from a quick, on-the-fly interview? In this video, NBC News Correspondent Vaughn Hillyard shares his tried and true tips for great street interviews.


Newsletter Week 13

Theo Henderson is uplifting LA’s ‘unhoused’ community — with his podcast

A former teacher-turned-podcaster is making a difference for Los Angeles' unhoused community––and changing the language we use to describe people without homes. Read about his perspective as a member of the community after he lost his job and home, how his long-form interviews are changing people's understanding of the unhoused in LA, and why he feels "homeless" should become a word of the past.

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Video: Covering the Russia-Ukraine crisis

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine entering its fourth week, news coverage from on-the-ground correspondents is vital in our understanding of the war. This NBCU Academy installment covers the correspondents as well as producers and other necessary staff members required to keep information flowing while reporting safely and effectively.

Coming next week: Mastering Street Interviews


Newsletter Week 12

What journalism students need to succeed – Advice from 6 NBCU Academy embeds

Are you interested in a career in journalism but aren't sure how to get started? This newsletter gathers advice from recent graduates and entry-level journalists that are part of the NBCU Academy Embed Program, a two-year newsroom assignment at NBC. This diverse group of young journalists discuss their best advice for entering the field, the valuable lessons they've learned so far, and how they're changing the industry.

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Video: Battling viral misinformation on social media about Ukraine

With the world’s attention turned to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there’s an infinite amount of information swirling about the events unfolding there. In this video from NBC correspondent Jo Ling Kent, NBC reporters break down the ways propaganda and misinformation are perpetuated on social media in times of crisis—and how to spot it.

Coming next week: Behind the story: The Russia-Ukraine crisis


Newsletter Week 11

‘Troubled,’ ‘impoverished,’ ‘lawless’: How media stereotypes continue to dehumanize Haiti

As any journalist or writer knows, words matter. In particular, the words we use to describe a person or group of people can change the way they’re perceived—for better or worse. Here, Haitian-Canadian writer Christine Jean-Baptiste explains how the words and phrases used to describe Haitian people in Western media are problematic, and how damaging those ubiquitous descriptors can be.

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Behind the Story: “American Radical”

By now, we’re all familiar with the events that took place on January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol. But how much do we know about the people who were there that day? What do we know about their lives, families, jobs, etc. that brought them the Capitol that fateful day?

Coming next week: Battling viral misinformation on social media about Ukraine


Newsletter Week 10

University of Alabama alums help rising tide of diversity at student paper

One of only two Black editors in chief of the University of Alabama’s century-old newspaper, Victor Luckerson has a lot to say about the diversity initiatives at the Crimson White. In this newsletter, editor Michael Cottman chronicles Luckerson’s trajectory, including forming MASTHEAD (Media Alumni Seeking to Highlight Equity and Diversity), to the paper’s current staff and how they’ve reckoned with current events while shaping their own future.

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The Streaming News Boom

The advent of 24-hour news networks changed the game for broadcast journalism, creating a never ending cycle of content generation. Now, streaming has reinvented the industry once more as the way we consume news media continues to evolve. In this video, streaming show host Hallie Jackson and other top NBC voices discuss how creating for a streaming platform differs from the traditional newsroom and what it means for young journalists.

Coming next week: Behind the Story: “American Radical"


Newsletter Week 9

Why reporters shouldn’t “stick to sports” when covering the Olympics

With the 2022 Winter Olympics now wrapped up, we can take a look back at some of the coverage that came out of Beijing over the past few weeks. Sports journalists faced a unique challenge, commentating on some of the top athletes in the world as they competed head to head while also balancing the global politics at play throughout. Prior to the Games, sports journalist Shireen Ahmed discussed how delicately interwoven the worlds of politics and sports are.

Read more in her newsletter.


Improving news accessibility

Globally speaking, around 1 in every 8 people has some form of disability. No matter the content you produce, improving accessibility is a crucial step to reaching a wider and more diverse audience. Accessibility director Lori Samuels gives some easy tips for your stories and videos, like adding closed captioning and image descriptions.

Coming next week: The Streaming News Boom


Newsletter Week 8

Bilingual student paper aids Latino community underserved by local media

Accessibility can also mean overcoming language barriers. In the case of one California community, a student newspaper bridged the gap between the area’s Spanish-speaking population and the local news media as the only bilingual paper in town. “There’s no other publication that gives them updates on Covid, that gives them stories about people like us, about people who don’t really get represented,” editor in chief Karina Ramos Villalobos says.

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What is a beat?

Reporters often cover a little bit of everything, from breaking news to feel-good stories to hard-hitting investigative pieces, but some specialize into particular niches known as beats. Joy Wang, NBC News senior editorial director for planning and diversity journalism, explains the different types of beats and why beat reporters are essential to the newsroom staff.

Coming next week: Improving news accessibility


Newsletter Week 7

Why some local news outlets won’t post mugshots—and are reimagining the crime beat

Media coverage of racial issues and policing came under intense scrutiny in 2020 in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police and the subsequent protests in defense of Black lives. Crime beat reporters have a duty to their community to not only report the facts, but to do so in a way that avoids playing into stereotypes, prejudices, and problematic language.

To read more on this issue, see journalist Richard Lui’s breakdown of how different sources can change the way a story is told, and how relying solely on police reports could’ve changed the course of media coverage on George Floyd.

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Pro tips for webcams

By now, we’re all familiar with platforms like Zoom for classes, meetings, and catch-ups with friends. But what about conducting a recorded interview using your webcam? Bad lighting––or worse, bad audio—can ruin an otherwise compelling story. In this video, you’ll get tips on how to set up your, at-home shots from NBC News NOW correspondent Isa Gutiérrez.

Coming next week: What is a beat?


Newsletter Week 6

Black newspaper partners with Dallas Morning News to boost diverse coverage

An unprecedented collaboration between two Texas newspapers has paved the way for more diverse coverage and brought the stories of the Black community to a wider audience. Cheryl Smith, the publisher of the Texas Metro News, forged a unique relationship with the larger Dallas Morning News, sharing stories and resources and offering diversity training from the Black-owned paper to raise the profile of the Black community in the white-owned paper. Read more about how the papers are putting in the work to overcome racial tensions in Dallas.

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Shooting video on your phone

In the digital age, the cellphone in your pocket has the capability to tell engaging visual stories–-but it takes a little practice and proper technique. Photojournalist David Necochea covers photography basics, including how to frame your subject and move the camera, to convey your subject in a compelling way.

Coming next week: Pro tips for webcams


Newsletter Week 5

How local Black press remained vital through the pandemic

While the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged nearly every industry—including newspapers—a handful of Black-owned papers pivoted in a way that brought them renewed success. Read about how they used creative means, like Zoom meetings and email newsletters, to conduct interviews, gather information, and continue to reach their audiences.

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Mastering the Interview

Now that we understand the different types of sources, it’s time to dig into interview techniques. NBC News NOW anchor Savannah Sellers chats with her mentor, NBC News correspondent Harry Smith, about everything from interview preparation to gearing up for on-camera conversations.

Coming next week: Shooting video on your phone


Newsletter Week 4

Disability isn't a bad word

Disability inclusion is at the forefront of many newsroom discussions nowadays. Historically, people with disabilities are often covered as feel-good stories or tragic outcomes, but the injustices they face or accomplishments they achieve are largely underreported. Diversity and inclusion initiatives aim to change the narrative, encouraging coverage that’s more representative of this rich and diverse community. This article covers some best practices for stories involving people with disabilities.

For more on this topic, read a take on why the disabled community continues to be underrepresented in media from the direction of the National Center on Disability and Journalism.

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Newsgathering using social media

For all the time we spend on social media, it’s difficult to see it as a tool for fact-gathering and reporting. But did you know outlets like NBC News have entire teams dedicated to scouring social media for user-generated content? Shamar Walters, a senior social newsgathering reporter, explains the process of finding content, verifying it, and putting it to use in the newsroom.

Coming next week: Mastering the Interview


Newsletter Week 3

How fake news is spreading in immigrant communities—and how to stop it

For many immigrant families, there exists an ideological gap between the first generations, who saw America as a beacon of hope and a promise of a better life, and their children, who often straddle two cultures—existing in the space between American ideals and that of their parents. It’s a situation Ca Dao Duong was all too familiar with. Add to that language barriers and limited options for news sources and it’s easy to see how misinformation can be spread among immigrant communities, so Duong took matters into her own hands. To combat fake news spread online among her Vietnamese community, Duong and a friend started the Interpreter, a Vietnamese-language news aggregator that translates trustworthy English articles from credible sources to make information more accessible.

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Reporting and attribution

You’ve probably heard “off the record,” but do you know what it means? Understanding the ground rules between you and your sources is a crucial part of being a journalist and conducting interviews. In this lesson, NBC News reporter Chuck Todd walks us through the different ways a source can provide information to a story.

Coming next week: Newsgathering using social media


Newsletter Week 2

One campus editor wanted to boost newsroom diversity. Her solution: Pay student reporters.

Writing for a student paper can be time-consuming and challenging work on top of an already heavy class load, but for students who need part- or full-time jobs outside of school, it becomes impossible. It’s an issue that disproportionately affects people of color, but one student journalist found a solution: She started a fund to provide stipends to students of color, and in turn, began breaking down barriers of access to newsroom jobs.

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Career spotlight: Multimedia journalism

In the digital age, being a journalist means more than interviewing subjects and writing a story. For this installment of NBCU’s Career Spotlight, Tim Furlong from NBC10 Philadelphia discusses what it means to be a multimedia journalist, covering a variety of subjects for his newsroom from start to finish, and the tools he uses for the job (including his tricked-out Jeep).

To learn about other careers in the newsroom, check out the spotlights on interactive journalists, producers, directors, and more.


Newsletter Week 1

How are student journalists changing the industry

From high schools to college campuses across the country, student newspapers are invaluable to their school communities: They help budding journalists put the skills they learn in the classroom into practice, and they bring stories to their readers that could otherwise go untold. In this newsletter, University of Missouri graduate Taylor Blatchford developed a resource to provide tips to other student journalists nationwide. Read about the work she’s doing and how she feels student journalists are shaping the industry.

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Video: Reporting on Native American communities

With diversity and inclusion initiatives finally getting the attention they deserve, it’s important to look at the language we use to represent different communities. This is of paramount importance in a journalism role, where the words we use and the perspective we reflect in our stories can be the only reference a reader has about a particular group of people. Here, national reporter Graham Lee Brewer, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, describes some of the most critical problems with current coverage of Native American communities and how we as journalists can do better.


Newsletter Week 14

Many journalists of color are creating a niche through freelancing. Here’s what they’ve learned.

Freelance journalists form the backbone of many publications, especially those that don’t have the resources for a full staff of writers or photographers. Many journalists from minority backgrounds have found a valuable niche in freelancing, finding the ability to pitch to multiple publications a benefit to telling the stories that matter to their communities.

Click here to read the newsletter


Distributed by NIEonline.com with permission
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About NBCU Academy

NBCU Academy is a journalism training and development program designed to prepare college students for a career in the news and media technology industry and to help professional journalists gain new skills.

They offer free online instruction and digital content as well as hands-on training at select campuses and in NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Telemundo newsrooms. Our continuous learning initiative provides fellowships and other job opportunities, direct funding, and course development to our partner universities.

These resources are aimed at providing more equitable access to diverse and marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in the news industry.

For more information, visit nbcuacademy.com and sign up for their newsletter here.