Local Students' Investigative Report Supported by Journalism Faculty

Razvan Sibii
Razvan Sibii
Kathy Roberts Forde
Kathy Roberts Forde

An investigative report by Amherst Regional High School’s student newspaper, “The Graphic,” on the use of prison labor to reupholster auditorium seats in the middle and high schools has been covered by a range of regional and national media. The students received support from faculty in the UMass Amherst department of journalism.

The New York Times,” “Teen Vogue,” and “The Marshall Project,” all featured stories on the report.

Razvan Sibii, senior lecturer in journalism, and Kathy Roberts Forde, associate professor of journalism, both provided advice on the reporting project and both visited English teacher Sara Barber-Just's journalistic writing class at Amherst Regional High School.

Sibii guest taught about prison reporting, including information on the journalism department’s social justice journalism class.

Forde guest taught about the roots of convict labor in the American South and the role of the white southern press in building and protecting white supremacist political economies after the Civil War.

Students read and discussed the work she has published with her undergraduate journalism research partners in “The Conversation” and “Made by History” in the “Washington Post.”