Student Press Resources

Day 1 Advanced Journalism

Dr. Michelle Ferrier addresses her class of student journalists on the afternoon of January 7, 2021 about the role of journalism in democracy. In this two-minute teachable moment, Ferrier challenges students to
“Be the force to hold democracy in this country.”


I want you all to understand the weight of the responsibility I will be bringing to you and this class this semester to prepare you all to be the force to hold democracy in this country.

We are at a critical point here in the United States. And here, right now, before January 20th,  we are going to continue to see this kind of violence play out in various spaces. I don’t know if any of you were here in Tallahassee yesterday, but there were protests here at the capital as well those that were happening in spaces all around the country.

Our responsibility as journalists is to not only help people understand what’s happening, but also why it’s happening. And our role and responsibilities as journalists and being responsible stewards of the stories and in sharing that with public. This morning and last night, I saw significant pushback from colleagues and others who were pushing back and challenging journalists to use the language of “insurrection” and “coup” and “violence” and “rioters and thugs” – the same language that is used against black people as peaceful protesters in our nation’s newspapers.

And even this morning, as the headlines were coming out in our country, I observed online the challenges from media critics like myself who are continuing to call out journalists on our work so that we don’t continue to seed this type of confusion and misinformation and disinformation in the work we do as journalists.

“A Message to Young Journalists: Day 1” 7 January 2021. Dr. Michelle Ferrier. All Rights Reserved.


HANDBOOK: Staying Safe Online & Off for Journalists & Media Workers Handbook: Student Edition– Educators and Students, request a copy using your university email credentials.

VIDEO PANEL: Journalism Educators Share Tips on Training Students for Digital and Physical Harms

ARTICLE: WVU Reporting Safely Panel Offers Tips for Journalists:

VIDEO PANEL: Reporting Safely in Virulent and Violent Times

ARTICLE: How to Spot a Predator in Physical Space

VIDEO TUTORIALS: Physical Defense Tactics

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Physical Safety at Protests/Polls

Products available from TrollBusters

Our Love + Hugs Box contains safety tools and tutorials for journalists, including our popular threat analyzer infographic and digital hygiene cards.

The Digital Hygiene Card Pack includes step-by-step tips on cleaning up your digital footprint and becoming digitally resilient.

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