The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication will send at least three students to report the Olympics in Brazil this summer.
The students will receive personalized training before heading off to Rio de Janeiro, said Kevin Robbins, senior lecturer and program supervisor. The school has partnered with the director of communications for the Rio Olympics, so the students’ reports will be featured on the official 2016 Olympics website, according to a press release.
“This is the first time the School of Journalism has sent students to the Olympics,” Robbins said. “I will train the selected students to write sports reports like professionals and help these articles be published in newspapers here in Texas.”
R.B. Brenner, director of the School of Journalism, said the selection process will be very competitive.
“We are still developing our criteria for selecting students,” Brenner said. “There are a lot of interests, as you might expect. We’ll likely be looking for upperclassmen who have written for publication.”
According to Robbins, the University has raised $40,000 to cover student and instructor expenses for the entirety of the games. University faculty members have donated to help reach this amount, said John Brejot, director of development for the journalism school.
“The donors will not be allowed to recommend students,” Brejot said. “The participants will be chosen on merit alone.”
According to Brenner, the program is designed to offer students the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment and make international connections.
“It is definitely a great opportunity for young journalists to broaden their horizons and sharpen their reporting skills,” Brenner said.
These opportunities and resources help UT compete with the best schools in the nation, journalism freshman Alexandra Procell said.
“Sending these reporters out is something new, something that college newspapers, and colleges in general, really don’t do.” Procell said, “UT expanding its reach on what its reporting will set it apart.”
The program will enhance the University’s reputation as a journalistic school, advertising senior Connor Claver said.
“It’s a rather big event a lot of people are involved in and a lot of people follow,” Claver said. “When we have more students reporting on an important topic in our lives, it definitely brings attention to UT.”