Coronavirus: San Jose State students adjust to life as student-journalists during pandemic

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Journalists from around the world are covering the coronavirus pandemic, it's what they've been trained to do.

But what happens when you're a journalism student, suddenly learning from home and covering the same global event?

You learn on the fly.

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Update News and the Spartan Daily are the San Jose State University Journalism and Mass Communication's department television and newspaper classes.

This year graduation came early, metaphorically speaking.

"As a journalism student, you always suspect that if anything were to go down, especially during a pandemic, you're kind of one of the first responders," SJSU Journalism student Vicente Vera said. "Journalists are there to capture what's going on and to get information out to people."

"You have to take it seriously," SJSU Journalism student Christian Trujano said. "You have to take it as a job and not as a class or you won't be able to take advantage of it."

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While working from home, the Spartan Daily is releasing three papers online each week.

The Update News reporters are turning two television stories, that run exclusively online, weekly.

They're working for a grade, but taking this as a real-life assignment.

"It's exciting and inspiring that the students are out there still working, producing and not giving up," SJSU Journalism Studio Engineer Juan Serna said.

"I'm really proud of them because it's a frightening time for everyone," SJSU Journalism Professor Dianne Guerrazzi said.

"You haven't had a lot of students just using this as an excuse to get lazy," SJSU Journalism Professor Richard Craig said. "They've seen it as a challenge and they've really upped their game in a lot of ways."

"These guys are students and they have other classes and other stuff to do, and yet they make this their priority and I'm proud to see that," SJSU Spartan Daily Production Chief Mike Corpos said.

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These students are doing their journalistic job from home, no matter what city or state that may be in.

Because this is the career path that they've chosen and this experience will prepare them like no other student before.

"At first I was kind of seeing this as a negative thing," SJSU Journalism student Andrea Briseño said. "But now, I'm learning how I can make it better. So having this experience, I feel like I'm going to be better prepared."

"We are part of that thread, giving people information in this time where we all feel so isolated," SJSU Journalism student Chelsea Nguyen-Fleige said. "It has given us that 'umph' that we believe in what we're doing."

You can read the latest edition of the Spartan Daily here.

You can stay up-to-date with the Update News stories on their Facebook page here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

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