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Guidelines for Student Reporters

News coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital, and the School of Communication and Journalism offers the following guidelines to keep students safe, and help the rest of us stay informed, through student-reporting projects.

If you are taking a hands-on reporting class, please follow these guidelines.

If illness prevents you from completing reporting assignments for a journalism class, please contact Undergraduate Director Irene Virag. She will help you notify your professors.


Your safety is more important than the story. 

During the pandemic, we've seen some incredible reporting, including stories from your classmates. You can be a good reporter without putting yourself in harm's way. 

Conduct interviews responsibly

Above all, keep your distance from your sources.

If a source seems ill, politely excuse yourself and leave.

As much as possible, conduct interviews via phone, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or similar platforms.

Find information from other places

Build your document research skills. These skills are always important for reporters.

Use your social media reporting skills.

Ask sources to create voice memos and send them to you as mp3 files. 


Protect yourself and those around you.

Practice safe social distancing. Keep six feet apart from others, including your sources. Don't shake hands.

Wear a mask at all times.

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds often. If soap isn't available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Download and use the Campus Clear App

Learn more here.

If you think you may be sick:

Contact your primary health provider, or Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740.

If you, or someone around you, is experiencing a physical or mental-health emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room of the local hospital.