New School News

Free Press Journalists Take the Long View

The Free Press’ Miles Kohrman edits Rey Mashayekhi’s hair at the Associated Collegiate Press Convention in Chicago. Photo by Miles Kohrman, 2012.

Make room, Seymour Hersh; aspiring New School reporters have an eye towards careers in investigative journalism and they’re already making news.

With a new emphasis on long-form stories, The New School Free Press picked up two prestigious Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) 2012 awards at the annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Chicago this November—firsts for the publication. Six members of the Free Press editorial board accepted the Newspaper Pacemaker award for four-year, non-daily newspapers and the Online Pacemaker award for schools with an enrollment of 5,001–10,000 students.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the win,” says Free Press editor-in-chief Miles Kohrman, a senior at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. “We are a very young paper with a limited budget; many of the other finalists come from much larger schools than ours, so it’s no small feat. We are very proud, and hopefully the rest of Eugene Lang College is as well.”

Kohrman isn’t the only Free Press staffer pleased with the win; the awards have already been framed and mounted in the Free Press newsroom, where there’s space for more. “It’s not just that our paper is only five years old,” adds news editor Rey Mashayekhi. “We’re like these goofy kids from New York—it’s a bit overwhelming.”

Writing for the Free Press is a course led by Heather Chaplin, assistant professor of journalism, and Andrew Meier, assistant professor of writing  at Lang. This semester, the Free Press boasts a large class of 27 student reporters who, in addition to their duties to the paper, have packed academic schedules.

Under Kohrman’s leadership, editors encouraged students to write longer-form articles like those usually seen in magazines. Kohrman credits the ACP wins in part to this change of focus. “We needed to be smart about our resources,” he says. “The feedback we got from the [ACP] convention is that this switch to a print monthly has produced a higher quality of journalism. We hope the model sticks.”

When addressing the format of the Free Press and what the shift to long-form stories offers students pursuing careers in journalism, Kohrman is enthusiastic. “I think we as students at the paper are in the ideal situation to explore forms of journalism and what it means to be journalists today,” he says. What sets the Free Press apart from its collegiate competitors? Philosophy and content. “First, this is not just an exercise of putting out a paper: We put our hearts and souls into it,” says Kohrman. “And second, our stories are nontraditional, like this institution.”

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