Students report, FNC decides

Uses stories from thePalestra.com

When the devastating Southern California wildfires became big national news during the weekend, Fox News Channel was able to bring a different perspective.

The channel's coverage included on-the-scene reports from Malibu and San Diego thanks to the efforts of college student journalists whose pieces for thePalestra.com have appeared on Fox News Channel and FoxNews.com.

Pepperdine University student Stefan Holt — son of NBC News correspondent Lester Holt — and University of San Diego student Shelby Holliday reported about evacuations at their schools and interviewed students who were affected.

It's the first pieces in a content partnership between Fox News and thePalestra.com, a 3-year-old Web site that, among other things, features student-produced video reports aimed at the millennial generation. The reports from more than 100 schools nationwide are sent to thePalestra's headquarters at Ohio State University and edited there by graduate-level student journalists. The ones for Fox News are reviewed by Fox News producers.

Fox News senior vp development Joel Cheatwood said Tuesday that the content will appear on Fox News Channel and online, depending on the news. A story last week that appeared on "The Fox Report With Shepard Smith" was about a 59-year-old student who made the football team this year at his small Texas college. It was Cheatwood, a former CNN executive, who began working with thePalestra.com when he worked at CNN.

ThePalestra.com — which comes from a Greek word meaning a public training and practice place — was co-founded by former NBC affiliate sports anchor and Ohio State professor Joe Weasel.

"There was a great opportunity to tap into a section of the (cable news) audience that we really don't get to touch very often," Cheatwood said. "The amazing thing is that they are absolutely information junkies. They just don't seek out traditional delivery mechanisms."
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