About Student Reporting Labs

Student Reporting Labs is a hands-on student journalism training program that connects young people to real-world experiences and educators to resources and community.


We believe that thoughtful local reporting and the interdisciplinary work of video production are powerful ways for young people to learn, civically engage, and find their power. Including the youth perspective in news coverage (behind and in front of the camera) is critical. We work to amplify student voices so that their perspectives are represented and respected.

The journalism and broader media landscape needs more young, diverse journalists; we prepare young people to enter the professional world with confidence and agency. (And we know it’s important—check out this research from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center)


Student Reporting Labs offers young people the tools and training to report stories, lead conversations about the issues that affect their future, and recognize their power as journalists and as members of their local communities. Student Reporting Labs is a learning community for both educators and students — get connected by registering with StoryMaker, our learning platform with free lesson plans, topic prompts, storytelling resources, and tutorials. Participate through: 


Each school year, Student Reporting Labs accepts pitches on a variety of topic prompts that are important to young people. See the 2023-24 prompts here, selected by SRL’s inaugural 19-member Student Advisory Team.


Have something else in mind? Students can pitch their own reported stories on any topic here.


FOR EDUCATORS: SRL professional development workshops prepare educators to do this work.

FOR STUDENTS: The SRL Academy brings together students from around the country to grow their skills, and the Gwen Ifill Legacy Fellowship program connects students to local news mentors to flex their skills and produce a story in their community.  


Join our Facebook group to connect with other educators doing this work. And, once you register for StoryMaker, you’ll receive regular e-mail updates, announcements, and opportunities straight to your inbox. 


To support SRL students and educators throughout the process, youth media producers are available to consult with students on story pitches, scriptwriting, voice-over narration, rough cuts, and final videos. If you have a quick question, the fastest way to contact our team is to fill in this form. Have a more in-depth question? Book office hours with our community engagement team here to get help at any point during the reporting or production process.

Select student stories are published on the SRL website, shared on social media, distributed through partnerships, and aired on local PBS stations and the PBS NewsHour nightly broadcasts.



  • Title
    Project Description
  • What does it mean to fit in and feel American? If you or your parents were born in another country, how do you stay connected to more than one culture?
  • Students explore local stories about climate change and the environment.
  • Student journalists tell stories about young people participating in the 2024 elections.
  • The story of America is always evolving. How we talk about the country’s past plays a big role in shaping its present and future. Student journalists have a unique opportunity to uncover and share stories of American history that are often overlooked in traditional narratives.



  • Title
    Project Description
  • How does what you eat shape who you are? What kinds of dishes do you enjoy with your family and friends? How do these foods and recipes tell a story about you, your family, your culture, and your community?
  • On Our Minds is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning, student-led and student-produced podcast about the biggest mental health challenges young people face. In each episode, two teen reporters guide you through stories by high schoolers from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs about the teenage experience that connects, educates and inspires listeners of all ages.
  • How is school preparing you for your future? What’s working? What could be done differently? How is education adapting to our changing world? What do you want from your education that doesn’t currently exist? Hear from winners and honorable mentions of the Student Journalism Challenge.
  • Student reporters cover the 2022 midterm elections


  • Title
    Project Description
  • This school year, there’s a national conversation going on about how things like history, current events and specific books should — and shouldn’t —be taught in schools. But we know that young people are looking to sources outside of school — online and otherwise — to learn about the world, too.
  • A viral TikTok trend (known as the "devious lick” challenge) has swept schools across the country. What kind of TikTok-inspired acts have happened at your school and how is it affecting students and staff?
  • After a year of online learning, millions of students are heading back to school in person amid surges of the Delta variant.
  • SRL is producing the second season of our podcast "On Our Minds" about teen mental health! For this special reporting project, SRL has two opportunities: 1. apply to be a student host and/or 2. pitch and produce an audio story.
  • SRL is producing a digital special premiering on NewsHour’s platforms and distributed through PBS Plus examining how today’s biggest civic debates are impacting education. For this advanced storytelling assignment, SRL needs your help to produce video news stories or explainers for our education special.
  • Current high school students were born years after the September 11 attacks, but are surrounded by people with vivid memories of the events, either from the news or in-person on that day. How are students today learning about the attacks and the world events that resulted?
  • SRL wants you to share a time when you “felt seen” by something in pop culture or in the media (a movie, book, TV show, song, podcast, comic book, etc.)


  • Title
    Project Description
  • Students learn how to make their own podcast episode, resulting in an audio story about a young person and their experience with mental health.
  • Students explore justice in their own community, and use solutions journalism to produce a story about how people are working to create “justice for all.”
  • Students explore ways the pandemic has changed education by producing a 2-5 minute news story with interviews, b-roll, and/or voiceover narration.
  • Student journalists will find out how young people feel about our democracy: its fairness, its faults, and how they’d like to see it operate if they were in charge.
  • Students capture teen voices on race and injustice in the U.S. and will film and interview students from their school and community to find out how young people are challenging racism and creating change.
  • SRL reports on the effects of COVID-19 on their communities



  • Title
    Project Description
  • Youth journalists in STEM Student Reporting Labs explore how citizen scientists are advancing knowledge while Health SRLs investigate where students turn in a mental health crisis and show how peer to peer counseling programs build healthier school communities.
  • How are Americans experiencing art across the country? Find out in SRL’s latest series, Art in Real Life #artIRL.
  • For our series, "Opportunity in America," teen journalists produced stories that explore dreams, expectations and the barriers teenagers must overcome to achieve their goals.
  • Teen reporters from the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs across the country captured how teens feel about voting and the upcoming midterm elections.


  • Title
    Project Description
  • Youth journalists investigate how health care innovators across the country are shaping our future and redefining what it means to be “healthy.”
  • Youth journalists explore how engineering is reshaping our lives.
  • Youth social movements across America
  • Teens reveal impact and perceptions of misinformation
  • Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Jobs





  • Title
    Project Description
  • Concussion awareness in youth sports programs

If you are interested in supporting the Labs, please use our donate page.