Jeremy W. Steele and Joy Visconti, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Crain Communications, Inc.
Each year, the Crain Michigan State University Detroit High School Journalism program mentors 200 to 300 students in some 14 Detroit high schools, using journalism as a tool to develop critical skills that prepare them for college. Students learn how to gather information, think critically, write, and create information visually. They are connected with professionals—MSU faculty members and journalism students, as well as professional journalist mentors—to produce newspapers and website content about the issues affecting the students’ schools, neighborhoods, and peers. 
Students in the program work one-on-one with a mentor or MSU Journalism faculty member to develop and produce their story ideas. Four times a year, the program distributes more than 10,000 student-produced newspapers to students in Detroit schools. 
The program began in 2015, when Crain Communications partnered with MSU’s School of Journalism to revitalize a decades-old Detroit Free Press program that taught journalistic skills to students in Detroit. The partnership provides sustainable funding, which allows the program to supply students with equipment and expertise to which they otherwise would not have access. In the first year of the partnership, Crain provided the participating class with 20 Chromebooks, two camera kits, and a production kit to allow students to create professional-quality work.