News Decoder


By Nelson Graves

Students and faculty at Indiana University have been named “Decoders in the Spotlight” for contributing a distinctive body of work to News-Decoder’s website in December, including articles about UFOs, LGBTQ rights in Uganda, climate change and Japanese protesters.

Their contributions underscored the U.S. university’s strong support of News-Decoder’s mission to help young people around the world better understand big issues and events. The university, one of 14 partner institutions, has been working with News-Decoder since the inception of the educational news service 2-1/2 years ago.

Regina Mack

Regina Mack and Nick Trombola, both in their final year of undergraduate study, were co-winners in the university division of News-Decoder’s recent essay/reporting contest with on-site reporting from Japan and Uganda.

Mack’s winning entry discussed longstanding protests by Japanese women against a U.S. military base on the island of Okinawa. Trombola wrote about a transgender woman’s struggle in Uganda.

Nick Trombola

Proof that December was no fluke, two Indiana students — Danielle Castonzo and Samantha Schmidt — finished first and second, respectively, in the inaugural version of the contest in 2016.

Another current Indiana student, Emily Isaacman, leveraged her work for a News-Decoder webinar on climate change to write an article in December on steps Indiana farmers are taking to protect against warming temperatures.

Emily Isaacman

Emily Metzgar, a professor at the midwestern university, submitted her third article to News-Decoder, this one on how unidentified flying objects have caught the fancy of some mainstream media outlets in the United States.

It’s worth recalling that it was Metzgar, in an article we published last May, who alerted readers that Donald Trump, dismissed at the time by many pundits on the U.S. East and West coasts, was attracting support in Indiana and running a strong presidential campaign.

Emily Metzgar

Not one to follow the crowd, Metzgar followed up with a story that asked whether the mainstream U.S. media was whipping the public into a frenzy to delegitimize the U.S. president.

Keeping up the momentum, Carley Lanich, also in her final year at Indiana, was the first student to be published on our site this year with her own article this week on protests against a U.S. military base on Okinawa.


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Students in the SpotlightDecoder Spotlight: Indiana University stands tall