Photograph by Kate Ripley

Student Reports is a Bloomington Alternative feature that showcases the work of IU School of Journalism students. The multimedia story packages are conceived, written, edited and produced by classes taught by Alternative editor Steven Higgs.

The classes featured are sections of J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, and J261/303: Online Journalism. In each, students were assigned to find stories on the "beat" of their choice in the Bloomington community. Campus sources were only acceptable if they were legitimate sources in a community issue.

J261 and J303 are the latest incarnations of the J201 prototype, with an increasing emphasis on multimedia aspects of online journalism. As its Course Description explains: "J303 is a 'backpack journalism' class in which students explore and write about the Bloomington community, armed with story ideas, audio recorders and cameras, both still and video." The end result is a student-produced online news magazine called The Bloomington Beat.


The following stories were written for J303: Online Journalism, Fall 2011 semester, and were originally published inThe Bloomington Beat, a publication of the IU School of Journalism.
  • Cooperative grocery stores grow across the nation by Emily Peters
  • Hospitals incorporate alternative therapy treatments by Melinda Elston
  • Bloomington struggles to support local artists by Kelsey McNeill
  • PROFILE: Community orchard, from idea to reality by Emily Peters

    The following are story links from The Bloomington Beat, J261: Online Journalism, Spring Semester 2011.
  • Local environmental activist not afraid to speak mind, by Colleen Sikorski
  • Bloomington schools provide unequal opportunities, by Kelsey Holder
  • The hard-knock life of a Bloomington hard rock star, by Joshua Fleck
  • Local, small businesses need more options for recycling , by Aliya Mood
  • Indiana sex ed varies by school corporation, by Lindsey Mohlman

  • The following are story links from The Bloomington Source, J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, Spring Semester 2010.
  • Young workers struggle to pay the rent, by Clinton Lake
  • Bloomington ‘supportive’ of street buskers, by Laura Sargent
  • Elimination of Asperger’s set for DSM-5, by Bradford Raths
  • Fans try to resurrect local heavy metal, by Nico Perrino
  • Bloomington faith communities think green, by Carson Gerber

  • The following stories and links are from J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, Fall Semester 2009.
  • Visual art goes green in Bloomington by Haley Cole
  • Local educators emphasize environment by Mary McConnell
  • Homeless shelters adapt to new climate by Kate Ripley

  • The following stories and links are from J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, Spring Semester 2009.
  • Brown County landowner protects trees, makes money by Jordan Arnold
  • Sandberg uses theater to rehabilitate inmates by Katherine Hagan
  • Black adapts to downtown student market by Benjamin Roberts

    The following stories and links are from J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, Fall Semester 2008.
  • Grad student helps Pages help inmates by Kerri Richardson
  • Local food supports community, environment by Amy Frye
  • Special-needs adult stays active in community by Lauren Gores

    The following stories and links are from Spring Semester 2008.
  • Bryan Park naturally by Mal Hackleman
  • Volan on cuckoos, cars and cities by Emily Schlatter
  • Increased HIV prevention comes to Bloomington by Risha Koli

    The following stories and links are from J201: Reporting, Writing and Editing, Fall Semester 2007.
  • Luxury housing and rising rents cause changes downtown by Nicole St. Pierre
  • Jail overcrowding a constant challenge by Jonathan Benedek
  • Bloomington a center for comedy, new acts and old by Meredith Enkoff
  • Harmony fosters school reform across the country by Joanna Barnett
  • Baas shares passions for music, teaching Sarah Bloom
  • Middle Way's Zietlow draws on experience by Kaitlin Shawgo
  • Moroccan restaurateur shares her culture by Morgan Brown
  • Downtown parking discussion continues by Katheryn Wickham
  • A turtle master's love of art by Kayla Bell