Friday, August 3, 2012

A “teaching hospital’ model to journalism education

Friday, August 03, 2012

The McCormick Foundation is among the leading journalism funders calling for reform of journalism education.

In an Open Letter to University Presidents, the foundation leaders recommend a “teaching hospital’ model that blends professional practice with research and scholarship.

The release of this letter was timed to the annual meeting of the Association for Education and in Journalism and Mass Communication, which begins August 9 in Chicago.

Journalism and communications schools need to recreate themselves if they are to succeed in playing their vital role as news creators and innovators, a group of foundations said in anopen letter to university presidents.
The foundations, all of which make grants to journalism education and innovation, urged more universities to adopt a model that blends practice with scholarship, with more top professionals in residence at universities and a focus on applied research.
“In this new digital age, we believe the ‘teaching hospital’ model offers great potential,” as scholars help practitioners invent viable forms of digital news that communities need, said the letter, signed by top representatives of Knight FoundationMcCormick Foundation,Ethics and Excellence in Journalism FoundationScripps-Howard FoundationBrett Family Foundation, and Wyncotte Foundation.
The model was described in the 2011 "Carnegie Knight Initiative for the Future of Journalism Education" and is practiced at the Arizona State University, where student-powered News21 has become a major national news source. But it is by no means widespread.
The funders said they would support efforts by The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications to modernize standards, including the integration of technology and innovation into curricula, and would not support institutions that were unwilling to change.
 “Simply put, universities must become forceful partners in revitalizing an industry at the very core of democracy,” it said. “Schools that favor the status quo, and thus fall behind in the digital transition, risk becoming irrelevant to both private funders and, more importantly, the students they seek to serve.
Schools interested in the ‘teaching hospital model’ could start by reading the Carnegie Knight report and New America Foundation’s report on journalism schools becoming community content providersThe University of Missouri boasts the nation’s oldest journalism program, runs a community newspaper as well as commercial television and public radio stations where journalism students learn by doing. Other examples of student-produced journalism include Neon Tommy at USC, the Medill News Service from Northwestern Universeity, Mission Loc@l by UC Berkeley students, reesenews at the University of North Carolina and the New York World by Columbia University students. Universities also may apply to participate in News21.  -- By Eric Newton, senior adviser to the President at Knight Foundation 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

GlobalGirl Media in Chicago

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Chicago’s GlobalGirl Media (GGM) class begins with yoga and ends with hands-on youth journalism. The course teaches girls how to stretch their comfort zones, ask questions, find stories and share what they’ve learned with broader audiences, among others. According to Elizabeth Czekner, GGM program director, the girls have been arriving to the 4-week workshop around a half hour before class even starts—eager to get started each morning.

The McCormick Foundation-funded organization is dedicated to empowering girls from underserved communities around the world through media, leadership and journalistic training to have a voice in global issues. Chicago’s program, in partnership with Free Spirit Media (FSM) and Chicago Public Schools, launched July 9 and will consist of a four-week summer training academy designed to inspire community activism and social change through youth journalism.

Students who’ve expressed an interest in journalism and/or writing were chosen from schools around the city and range in age, from high school sophomores to seniors. By the end of the school year, the 15 students will complete a package of stories that will be featured on GGM’s website, including investigations into teen pregnancy, gun violence, health issues and the prison system.

“At this point, each of them has been in front of and behind the camera at least once,” Czekner said. “They’re in essence a news bureau.”

Along with GGM groups in Los Angeles, South Africa and Morocco, Chicago’s team has been having conversations about media and news literacy.

“The goal is that [the groups] start to collaborate as well as report on stories in their own neighborhoods,” Czekner said.

To do that, the girls in all three groups are trained in a wide variety of mediums, including print, broadcast, photography and online news. Each student maintains an ongoing blog where she records her experiences over the course of the school year.

“My teaching philosophy is theory and practice,” said GGM/FSM program coordinator Ovetta Sampson, an experienced journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The San Jose Mercury News, among others.
“I’m so proud of them because they’re doing it all.”

At the end of the day, the girls show how media-savvy and literate youth already are. As part of GGM, they’ll learn to focus that innate knowledge on their future pursuits.

According to 15-year-old J’doria Taylor, her particular goal for the school year is “to inform other people and let other teens know that they can do the same.” 

Check out the following pictures from out trip to GGM's week two workday at George Westinghouse College Prep High School. For more info, videos, pictures and stories from GGM please visit their website and/or blog.

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