Essential to the distribution of information that strengthens the credibility of scholastic media and its integrity, whether by legacy media or multimedia, is sound information gathering and attribution.
Some interesting resources that can supply needed perspective and depth, build credibility and demonstrate leadership roles through reporting:
• Journalist’s Resource from Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy which provides access to sources for plenty of strong story ideas that can be localized.
• NewsU from The Poynter Institute. NewsU offers free (and some for pay) online courses where your students can learn everything from basic reporting skills to how to handle international reporting. Even better, the courses are not just all print, but cover extensive multimedia skills and topics. Students can self-direct through the courses or teachers can use them in class.
• The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press offers extensive research that can be used to localize stories. A link to a July 15, 2010 survey on political knowledge is especially interesting. Other Pew resources include Journalism.org which provides more research but also links to numerous resources, including the principles of journalism.
• Part 2 of a continuing series on missions of scholastic media and how to achieve them from The Center of Scholastic Journalism.
Credibility is a fleeting commodity.
A sound information agenda, using reliable sources, can go a long way to ensure credibility.
As we start the year, we sometimes need to find or in some cases, revisit, roadmaps. Two such roadmaps come to mind.
One involves stating or clarifying your mission. For an excellent exercise, and ongoing discussion about what this mission can entail, look at the Center for Scholastic Journalism blog today, and in the next few days.
The second is examining your beliefs – and your school’s practices – concerning prior review. JEA has long argued strongly against the practice as having no educational value. To revisit JEA positions and stances, go here and to the JEA Press Rights Commission website.
For a lighter way to emphasize a serious topic – attribution and news credibility – check out Journalism Warning Labels by Tom Scott.
Scott lists himself as a “geek comedian” but his warning labels speak eloquently to a serious issue: how to get journalism students – and even more importantly – their audiences to recognize sloppy and inadequate reporting.
With a little adaptation, creative thought and news literacy modification, his project could lead to some serious learning done in a fun way.
Now to figure out how to place labels on student websites, broadcast and social media reporting as well as on print.
Because scholastic journalism programs face tough times in the classroom and as viable activities because of financial and curricular crunches, it’s always good to have statements about the value of scholastic media ready for use.
Here are three that could come in handy:
• An NCTE Position Statement on the importance of journalism courses in English curricula.
• An Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC) Statement on the importance of scholastic media.
• High School Journalism Matters, research from the Newspaper Association of American (NAAF) that journalism provides clear evidence journalism-engaged students are more involved in civic activities, better educated and more involved citizens as they grow older.
Secondly, check out the written decision on the recent Churchill County High School, Nevada, case about a teacher’s lawsuit against the school newspaper.
Thirdly, download and discuss Randy Swikle’s Protocol for Free and Responsible Student News Media from the McCormick Foundation.
Is it coincidence that two brothers who are superintendents, one in Montana and one in Washington, are involved in student expression issues? Alex Apostle of Missoula, Montana, schools, is the older brother of Tony Apostle of Puyallup schools, Washington.
Maybe the two should talk about Tony’s ways to support scholastic journalism.
Part 3 coming tomorrow.