As if having the New York Times pick up on their reporting wasn’t great enough, the student reporters at Claremont McKenna College’s Claremont Port Side newsmagazine are drawing national praise for their role in reporting the manipulation of student SAT scores by administrators at their college. Port Side editor-in-chief Alyssa Roberts and senior reporter Jeremy B. Merrill spoke with USA Today about their big scoop.
Roberts: I guess we knew it would be as big as it has become. (Last) Tuesday, when our campus was flooded with national reporters, some of the evening newscasts, TV cameras, they wanted student perspectives. People love a good scandal. And [a scandal at a] very selective liberal arts college makes for an interesting story. People like to follow that. I’ve definitely been surprised and also been pleased with the credit the Port Side’s been given– especially by the New York Times. They’ve been very, very good saying that we first broke a few of the stories we were able to break. That was very exciting for us.
Merrill: I was incredibly excited the first time that the New York Times linked to us. Actually, it came through as a pingback into my email. That was really very exciting. I posted a Facebook update about it and misspelled some words because I was so frantic to post it. People thought that was very funny. But it’s been very exciting, flattering to have my coverage be out there so much. I’m just glad to be doing a good job and have that be affirmed.
Among the Port Side‘s many achievements was landing a tough interview with Claremont McKenna President Pamela Gann, after she had already turned down the New York Times. Nice work!