What started as an experiment has become a passion.

For the last 10 weeks, 17 journalism students at Florida International University have spent hours each week covering Liberty City for the South Florida Times.
When they started the work that’s lead to the stories you see on this page, they also created personal blogs on which they documented their experiences venturing into new turf, learning about a community and learning what journalists do in the world outside the university.

Several have agreed to let Times readers see their blogs, hoping they’ll offer insights into what it’s like to go where they’ve not been before, and into what goes on behind the curtain we journalists often hide behind.

FIU’s spring semester is over, but half a dozen of what I call my “Liberty Kids” are staying with the project. And with the summer session in gear, they’ll be joined by a new crop of student reporters whom the veterans will help guide.

We started the Link on the premise that Liberty City is more than the 3 F’s and 2 C’s.

It’s more than Food, Fun, Festivals, Crime and Corruption. It’s a vibrant, thriving, and, yes, troubled community that deserves the same kind of coverage as Hialeah, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale or Plantation.

From time to time, we’ll offer up links to other student’s blogs. For now, unedited and uncensored, read what these Liberty Kids have to say:

Paola­ Rebellon

Erica Loret De Mola

Katie Lawrence

Ryan Morejon

Pedro Cortes

Latoya Burgess

FIU journalism professor Neil Reisner edits Liberty City Link. Reach him at Neil.Reisner@Fiu.edu­