By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Judges and leaders in the news industry say an innovative project that allows college journalists to cover the federal justice system in Tennessee will give the students valuable experience, as well as hold federal officials more accountable.
Seven students from Middle Tennessee State University's College of Mass Communication make up the inaugural staff of the Seigenthaler News Service.
The initiative is named after John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and a former editor and publisher of The Tennessean, who convinced the newspaper's senior editors to allow the students to work out of the newsroom and publish their coverage of the U.S. District Courts and other federal entities.
Supporters of the project say it's unique because only a handful of journalism schools have similar initiatives, and none of them include coverage of federal courts.
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