Veteran Journalists Share Knowledge with New Haven Students

Free Online Workshop Offered During Pandemic

The move to remote learning in the fall of 2020 gave students at two New Haven high schools the unique opportunity to learn journalism from among the best in the field.

The award-winning team from the Connecticut Health Investigative Team (C-HIT) offered the 12-week online workshop, which introduced students to the ethics of journalism, the craft of finding and developing news stories and how to use investigative techniques and resources.

Student journalist Vanessa Maida, as a senior at Common Ground High School, in 2020. Maida wrote about the disruption of an on-line Hispanic Heritage event. Contributed to C-HIT

“The students were really excited to listen and hear from working journalists who are actively doing as a career what we do in class. A number of the students really took advantage of the opportunity and made the most of it,” said Win Vitkowsky, who leads a capstone class at Common Ground that participated in the workshop.

Two Common Ground students in the workshop investigated and wrote about a “Zoom bombing” incident during an online assembly at their school. Their stories put a local spotlight on a national issue, and were published on the C-HIT website. Another New Haven student wrote about the present-day practice of child marriage, both around the world and in the United States. View student work.

The online class came about after the pandemic had forced C-HIT it to cancel its summer workshop at the University of Connecticut. The weeklong course in multimedia journalism typically draws students from around the country.

The students were really excited to listen and hear from working journalists who are actively doing as a career what we do in class

Win Vitkowsky / Common Ground Teacher

A 2020 grant from The Community Foundation was intended to give Greater New Haven area students the opportunity to attend the summer workshop for free. Faced with the quarantine restrictions, the C-HIT team pivoted, using the funding instead to develop an online course. The news organization ultimately worked with 21 students from Common Ground High School and 18 students from Cooperative High School, reaching a larger audience than they would in a one-week camp, which typically accepts 20 students.

C-HIT is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to producing original, responsible, in-depth journalism on issues of health and safety in Connecticut and the surrounding region.

For more information about and to support C-HIT, visit its profile on