Under the guidance of Dr. Lucinda D. Davenport and Joe Grimm, journalism students at Michigan State University began logging their sources for every single story they wrote and building simple tools for gathering and analyzing their source data.
They decided to measure sources by age groups, gender, politics, race and religion. They compared their sources for each story to Census and election data for their community. This helped them identify the groups missing in their stories.
When students saw what they were missing, they began to see the news from a different perspective. As journalists, they began to intentionally seek out all of the groups in their communities — changing forever how they tell stories and how they view their ethical responsibilities.
One student started calling this approach to reporting and communities “Fair Chance” coverage.
Dr. Davenport and Grimm are committed to helping MSU students offer Fair Chance News methods to professional newsrooms and to journalists who want to intentionally measure, analyze and seek representation of all the perspectives in their communities. This can help them fulfill their journalistic responsibilities to their communities.