COVID-19 response: While the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg remains closed to the public, the campus is in operation for the 2020-2021 academic year. Learn how Pitt-Greensburg is building a healthy and resilient community. Campus Operational Posture:
Guarded Risk

Pitt-Greensburg student-journalists and advisors to discuss COVID-19 and other challenges

Montage of panelists for event

A recent New York Times story about student journalists on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak raises important questions about the role of journalism on college campuses during these unprecedented times.

With more than 214,000 COVID-19 cases linked to college campuses in the United States, the New York Times reports, "student journalists have found themselves playing a vital role in the pandemic, reporting stories of national importance and holding their administrators and fellow students accountable."

During a panel discussion on Thursday, November 12, the staff and advisers to Pitt-Greensburg’s student-run newspaper, The Insider, will discuss this and other challenges faced by today’s college journalists. The discussion, which will begin at 8 p.m. EST on Zoom, is free and open to everyone in the Pitt-Greensburg community and beyond.

Students or Pitt-Greensburg community members interested in joining or contributing to The Insider will also learn how to get involved. The Insider staff is particularly eager to hear feedback from their readers and anyone passionate about campus journalism and a free press.

The event is free, but registration is required.

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Meet the Panel:

Madison Jarnot is a junior Creative and Professional Writing and Political Science dual major. Currently, she serves as the editor-in-chief of The Insider. Madison writes anything and everything, but she enjoys covering politics the most. She received the 2019 Ida B. Wells Award as a freshman for her coverage of Pitt's unionization efforts. She is the first freshman in Pitt-Greensburg history to receive this award. In spring 2020, she went on to win the Joan Didion Award for her creative nonfiction. In addition to working with The Insider, Madison is the president and secretary of Pi Sigma Alpha, the campus's political science honor society.

Kyle Harper is a senior who is dual majoring in both Communications and Creative & Professional Writing. Kyle began writing at a young age, and is the author of the children’s book "The Adventures of Waffle Man and Butter Boy." Kyle joined The Insider team last semester. He typically writes Arts & Entertainment articles, with the occasional news story sprinkled in. This semester, Kyle has taken on the role of assistant editor and social media manager.

Nicole Cortino is a Creative & Professional Writing major who’s passionate about her role as an Insider reporter, even though she’s reporting from her home five hours away from campus. Her focus as a reporter is to understand the struggle and triumphs of individuals she may never have met. This is her first semester with The Insider and she enjoys researching and sharing the stories of people she interviews. She is particularly inspired by the way those stories convey the power of the Pitt community.

Bailey Weber is a sophomore Creative and Professional Writing major who’s completing her first term as a reporter for The Insider. Bailey has been writing for fun since she was about 13 years old. At The Insider, she’s covered COVID-19, quarantine restrictions, current events, and breaking news from around campus. She also writes for the Arts & Entertainment section.

Eleanor Withers is a sophomore majoring in Creative and Professional Writing and History. She began writing – and publishing – her work in high school. This is her first semester as a reporter for The Insider, where she covers Arts & Entertainment, as well as campus-wide events.

Faculty Advisers:

Brittany Hailer is an award-winning journalist based in Pittsburgh. Her memoir and poetry collection Animal You'll Surely Become was published by Tolsun Books in 2018. Brittany has taught creative writing classes at the Allegheny County Jail and Sojourner House as part of Chatham’s Words Without Walls program and now teaches creative writing and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg and Pittsburgh campuses. She is a contributing writer with the Pittsburgh Current. Her work has appeared in NPR, Fairy Tale Review, Hobart, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere.

Lori Jakiela is an award-winning journalist and the author of five books, most recently Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Autumn House Books), a memoir which received the Saroyan Prize for International Literature from Stanford University, and Portrait of the Artist as a Bingo Worker (Bottom Dog Press), a collection of essays about work and the writing life. Her essays and reportage have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Magazine, LitHub, Electric Literature, The Rumpus and more. She directs the Creative & Professional Writing Program at Pitt-Greensburg, where she is a professor of English. Her author website is

Publication Date

Monday, November 9, 2020 - 12:15