Written by Emma Desiderio
On Wednesday morning, Stockton launched the Community Reporting Innovation Lab (CRIL), a collaboration with the Press of Atlantic City. Located in the John F. Scarpa building on Stockton’s Atlantic City campus, the lab will offer a space for collaboration between students and professionals, providing aspiring student journalists with real-world experience.
According to Stockton’s Provost Leamor Kahanov, the CRIL was founded with two main goals: to “enhance the student experience with experiential learning” and “to bolster new access points for news reporting.” The CRIL lab will be primarily used by the Press of Atlantic City team; however, other groups will be able to use it when needed. The Press of Atlantic City has had 20 Stockton students participate in their internship program in the past six years, and the lab will help expand on that relationship.
“Communities everywhere need journalism,” said Press of Atlantic City Executive Editor Buzz Keough at the launch. “Local stories and local reporting is what makes a community stronger in many ways,” he continued. Stories of Atlantic City is a restorative journalism project which many Stockton students have been involved with; according to Communication Studies Professor Toby Rosenthal, it will also utilize the CRIL.
“The CRIL lab will create more organic, natural opportunities for students to produce content side by side with professionals in the field, and for students to be able to work in and with the community,” said Rosenthal, showing how the CRIL will allow for more experiential learning throughout the Communication Studies program. In the future, the Communication Studies program will use the lab for information sessions, journalism courses, and other activities.
Jill Frantz, a senior Communication Studies major who previously interned with the Press of Atlantic City, is currently working with Stories of Atlantic City. “I’m excited that we’re getting a place to do hands-on, tangible work in the journalism field. I think it’s a great opportunity for my peers and me to have more of a community,” said Frantz.