Xavier students pursue change through investigative reporting
The XULA Investigative Stories Program brings together students and veteran journalists to examine some of our nation’s most critical issues and how they're playing out in the City of New Orleans.
We approach every story like a puzzle, scrutinizing evidence and reaching out to those whose experiences may not support official narratives. We collaborate with media outlets and non-profit organizations, and, for every project we produce, our students are credited as contributors.
Students in the program study classic works of investigative reporting, then produce their own video, print, and data visualization pieces. They also spend time in the field with professional journalists.
Each year, the program will focus on a single long-term project. Students and directors will work together on these projects like a special investigative team in a newsroom—pitching ideas, giving feedback, and helping one another when they hit a dead end.
Advanced students can go on to produce their own serial podcast, where they will showcase their work from class and interact with subscribers through our website and social media. Internships are also available through the program.
Our goal is to equip Xavier students with investigative skills they can use not only to pursue their own careers, but also to promote a more just and humane society.
Helen Malmgren is an investigative reporter and writer. As a producer at CBS/60 Minutes, she won a George Foster Peabody Award, two Emmys, a Society of Professional Journalists Award, a Hillman Prize, and a National Association of Black Journalists Award. She teaches investigative reporting at Xavier University.
Dr. Tia Smith is a writer and documentary film producer. Her research focuses on gender, media, and sexual culture, and she's trained journalists around the world how to cover taboo topics such as child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking. She currently heads Xavier's department of mass communication.
Dr. David Robinson-Morris serves on the City of New Orleans Human Relations Commission, where he co-chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Subcommittee. In 2018, he founded Xavier's Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit, and he is currently a regional director at Ochsner Health System.