Coyote Student News Reflects on Success

By Michael Uselding

Coyote Student News, the College of Southern Nevada’s online student newspaper, celebrates its third anniversary. The publication was started in 2012 and since has turned out many professional journalists.

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Founders of Coyote Student News fall 2012

Ricardo Torres, who was a copy editor for Coyote Student News fall 2012 and editor-in-chief spring 2013, learned the journalistic process in JOUR 105 News Production I—the class whose students write for Coyote Student News.

When Torres first came to the class he didn’t know he wanted to be a journalist. After he took the class, he knew. “If it wasn’t for that class, I probably wouldn’t be a writer right now.”

Torres is currently a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal covering police and crime stories. His recent article “Charge Dropped, but Teen Struggles” got front page of the A section of the RJ on Sept. 20. It wasn’t the first time one of his articles made headlines. He also covered the CiCi’s Pizza shooting. That local story went national with some of Torres’ reporting.

Coyote Student News saw success in its first four years since inception. There are nearly 85,000 views from readers in more than 120 countries including far-off nations like Uzbekistan. Most of its readers come from the United States, Canada, China and Mexico. Through the seven semesters the program has been running, approximately 126 students have taken the course and produced articles for the website.

Other students found Coyote Student News as a launching pad for their careers.

Fabiola Marzano, who was a staff writer fall 2012 for Coyote Student News, went on to become a broadcaster for MundoFox and now works for News 3 as a producer. She covered breaking news nightly at 5 and 10 p.m. for nearly two years and now works the early morning news broadcasts.

“Coyote Student News helped me find myself and find my passion,” Marzano said. Her experience at the publication gave her courage to go after tough stories. It started with her first piece she wrote for the website called “CSN Baseball Revitalized by Coach Garritano.” She managed to get a highly-sought after interview with the popular new coach. That article is one of the most well-read pieces on the site.

Ashton Hall, who was managing editor spring 2013 for Coyote Student News, went on to work at Vegas Seven magazine, a Las Vegas lifestyle publication, and goHunt, a website that covers the outdoors and hunting. She is now an associate editor using her writing and editing skills daily.

“My time at Coyote Student News was definitely a huge learning experience,” Hall said. “It was something that prepared me for the things that I’m doing now.”

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Adviser Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell (formerly Sequeira), CSN journalism instructor and adviser of Coyote Student News, was charged with the task of creating a new print and online program at the College fall 2012. She went digital with the newspaper to expand reach and access. Her goals were to teach students how to craft ethical and accurate journalism. She holds the students to a rigorous reporting and fact-checking process and spends countless hours working with students to increase their skills.

 

“This program works,” Mitchell said. “Many of my students have come through my classes, worked hard at producing great articles and images for the website and gone on to the professional world.”

“It has been a labor of love,” Mitchell added. “I am very proud of the journalism program here at CSN. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Coyote Student News.”

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