There is only one solution for political bias in the media — and that is to get more viewpoint diversity into its ranks.
Enter The College Fix, published by the Student Free Press Association.
John J. Miller, executive director of the nonprofit association, recently shared the ins and outs of the operation with Giving Ventures podcast host and DonorsTrust Vice President Peter Lipsett.
The March 22 episode, titled “Freedom in the Press,” featured Miller, as well as leaders with Young Voices and Franklin News Foundation’s Center Square as it delved into “carving out a voice for taxpayers and conservatives in the media world.”
“We use our College Fix website to do hard news reporting on what’s really happening on college campuses,” Miller said. “We report on cancel culture, we report on abuses of free speech and religious liberty, and we do it in a hard-news way. We get students to do this reporting for us and have them tell us the facts.”
“The other thing we are trying to do is find young people who have a flair for this … so we can bring them into the profession,” Miller said. “We are on the hunt for raw talent.”
For Miller, the passion for student journalism runs deep.
“I’m a product of the right-of-center campus journalism movement,” he said, noting that 30 years ago he was editing the independent student newspaper the Michigan Review at the University of Michigan.
As a writer at National Review, he helped oversee interns, a task he said he enjoyed. However, in that position, he said he came to understand there was a better way to spot talent and launch journalism careers.
In 2010, the Student Free Press Association debuted a virtual, national campus newspaper — The College Fix — with the tagline “your daily dose of right-minded news.” The low overhead, online approach created a flexibility that was, at that time, a novel approach to bringing up the next generation of independent, liberty-minded journalists.
It allows the association’s experienced editors to connect with a student at a campus from anywhere across the nation, “and we can work with them, train them up, and then make further investments in fellowships and career counseling,” Miller said.
Asked about its track record, Miller noted that about 60 percent of association alumni continue to work as journalists, and another 14 percent work in a related field such as book publishing, public relations or speech writing.
“We have a great group of alumni,” Miller said, noting it’s to the point where former SFPA alumni are now hiring its latest journalism fellows.
“I owe my professional life to these organizations that have invested in young people,” Miller said. “I owe a debt to it, but also wanted to be a part of it, and try and find the next generation of great journalists.”
The podcast also featured Center Square, which reports on concerns facing taxpayers across the nation and provides readers with the latest goings on in their statehouses. Several College Fix alumni write for Center Square.
Young Voices was also featured. It works with young adults seeking to write opinion pieces in outlets across the nation. It helps them by editing and pitching their work.
Disclosure: DonorsTrust and its clients have provided financial support to The College Fix.
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