A dedicated group of undergraduate students from the University of Southern California (USC) spent two weeks immersed in the local stories of San Juan County as “interns” for the San Juan Record. They have helped to create a 16-page supplement for this issue of the newspaper.
The supplement features a variety of work by the students, including profiles of candidates in the races for San Juan County Commission and the San Juan School Board.
In addition, the students have been working on projects for the PBS News Hour, the Guardian, and video profiles of the local candidates for online audiences.
The two-week "May-mester" program, the brainchild of USC Professors Judy Muller and Rebecca Haggerty, is entitled "Beyond the Bubble: Reporting in Rural America". The goal was to create an experience for the budding journalists outside of the media bubble that all too often seems to by-pass rural areas or reduce rural residents to caricatures.
While so many visitors to the area immerse themselves in the spectacular scenery, these students immersed themselves into the lives of area residents. They conducted more than 40 interviews covering a broad cross section of area residents.
“Who would have known that so much was going on in such a peaceful and beautiful setting,” said Jordan Winters, one of the students.
After a quick visit to the spectacular public lands, the group spread out across the diverse landscape of area residents. Their work is summarized in our 16-page special section.
We hope you enjoy!