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.