The Associated Press, the venerable newswire, has created a new team of reporters and editors to elevate coverage of education issues.
The “national beat” team will “aim to generate more coverage off the news and explore trends affecting students of all ages, using text, video, photos and interactive multi-format storytelling about how trends in education are impacting children and families across America and around the world,” the wire service said in a Dec. 21 statement.
“The creation of this team signifies the AP’s commitment to this critically important topic,” Sarah Nordgren, the director of U.S. news operations for the wire service, said in the statement. “We are putting some of our top talent in a position to tell the stories of education for the entire suite of AP customers.”
Founded in 1846, the AP is a New York City-based non-profit that has a large staff of its own but also relies on its member newspapers, broadcast outlets, and other news organizations to provide breaking news reports.
The education team will be made up of AP staff journalists, including reporters Lisa Leff in San Francisco and Collin Binkley in Boston, who will focus primarily on higher education. Reporters Christine Armario in Los Angeles and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo will primarily cover K-12 issues. Jennifer C. Kerr, a Washington-based reporter, will focus on federal education policy and its impact on schools, teachers, and students.
Photo editor Marta Lavandier in Miami and “video-first” journalist Gillian Flaccus in Orange County, Calif., will work closely with the team to help incorporate video and photos into its storytelling, the AP said.
The co-leaders of the team are Michael Melia, an administrative correspondent in Hartford, Conn., and Carole Feldman, a news editor in Washington.
The AP cited recent enterprise stories on racial tensions at college campuses following the University of Missouri protests, and changes in high school and middle school sex education as examples of the kinds of stories the education team will tackle. The team plans to provide data sets that will allow AP clients to localize the stories.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.