City College News

CCN’s Reporter Training Program


To provide a brief, basic vocational training program for first-time student journalists that will allow each to develop their full potential in a nurturing and structured newsroom environment.


The Student Newspaper Vocational Training Model was first developed at The Daily Collegian, Pennsylvania State University’s student newspaper, back in the 1970s. The program is now known there as the Candidate Program. This program is an effort to involve first-time reporters in a training program that blends hands-on training with classroom theory.

At MCTC, students who wish to become staff writers for the student newspaper are required to complete a five-week training program modeled after the Candidate Program. Beginning in Fall 2020, the entire program is available online and is self-directed. Candidates are expected to complete five sessions: Orientation, News Gathering, News Writing, Feature Writing, and Ethics & Law. Candidates must also complete quizzes on each session, take a final test, attend weekly staff meetings as able, and publish at least one story before joining the staff. This hands-on work in journalism is central to the educational process.

Can I participate in CCN without going through the program?

Yes, in a variety of ways. Anyone can contribute articles and photos to CCN, but only trained staff are eligible for stipends and editorial positions. In addition to reporters and photographers, CCN is always looking for ad sales reps, and layout designers, and the requirements for joining the staff in those positions are different.

Why would I want to participate in the program? It seems like a lot of time and effort.

There is a time commitment–though it’s designed to be highly flexible–but there are also payoffs. You’ll get free training in the basics of journalism, feedback on your writing from people with writing and reporting experience, an opportunity to be paid for your work, and the possibility of becoming an editor.

How do I start?

Click on this link to access Session 1. You can begin any time! If you would like to participate in interactive, synchronous training (same material offered in real-time on Zoom), it will be offered from 4 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday. Please email Ben Lathrop, CCN’s faculty adviser, at [email protected] to register if you prefer this option.

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CCN’s Reporter Training Program