Mar. 25, 2020  

SPJ Florida offers business Zoom account to student newsrooms in need

By Kristen Grau

Over the past couple of weeks, college professors have scrambled to make their weekly classes virtual. I’ve scrambled to take Florida Atlantic University’s entire daily online student newspaper operation virtual.

With a core staff of roughly 15 and dozens of coronavirus stories to assign and edit, figuring out costs of programs to use for staff meetings was the least of my worries as editor-in-chief. So when SPJ Florida started offering our business Zoom account to college newsrooms in Florida, it saved me time and money that I didn’t have.

And now we want to save you time and money, too.

College editors in Florida, you can now request a time slot for our Zoom account by emailing with when your newsroom need it.

The advantage to our account over the free version is you’re not limited to 40 minutes.

We were inspired by seeing The Washington Post report on UF’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, having to switch from Zoom to Google Hangouts after their 40 minutes were up.

Alligator editor-in-chief Christina Morales told the Post: “The fear and the panic is something that I think about. I’m really scared of getting the coronavirus as much as anybody is, and we also have to go online with our classes, we also are being told to leave the area. I think it’s a really complicated position for student journalists to be in right now.”

They’re still printing weekly with help from our Zoom account.

We’ve since shared our account with The Alligator and FAU’s University Press.

“Thank you so much,” Morales wrote SPJ Florida after her team’s first meeting with our account. “Zoom is so much better than Google Hangouts.”

I know you’re busy covering coronavirus nonstop — even miles away from your campus — because I am, too. So let us take this one thing off your shoulders so you can worry about the important stuff.

Kristen Grau is SPJ Florida’s student rep. She’s a senior at Florida Atlantic University where she serves as the University Press’ editor-in-chief.

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