Nov. 9, 2010
PBS NewsHour Launches Student Reporting Lab Website
ARLINGTON, VA (November 9, 2010) - The PBS NewsHour has launched Student Reporting Labs, a program connecting students with professional mentors at their local public broadcasting station to produce original news reports with youth perspective on important national issues.
The website, studentreportinglabs.com, includes a collaborative space where students interact with professional journalists as well as their peers from around the country who are working on the same topic. The program also includes a news literacy and digital media curriculum designed to nurture students' understanding of news, build a foundation of civic engagement and spark a life-long interest in current events. Developed by the Media Education Lab at Temple University, the curriculum features a total of 9-15 lesson plans that emphasize a process-based learning approach, a meaningful focus on understanding the role of journalism in society and broader communication skills, such as listening, asking questions, public speaking, as well as finding, analyzing and evaluating the quality of information.
The Reporting Labs were made possible in 2010 by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In the pilot year, the PBS NewsHour worked with six local stations: LPB in Louisiana, KUEN in Utah, CPTN in Connecticut, KLRU and KUT in Texas, WHYY in Philadelphia, and WETA and WAMU in Washington, DC. To date, 230 students produced 15 news reports that looked at important national issues including climate change and the Supreme Court from local, youth-oriented perspectives. For example students in Austin, TX interviewed a judge, a law professor and a parent about life sentences for juveniles, students in Salt Lake City, Utah interviewed constitutional experts about the difference between the rights of minors and the rights of parents, and students in Philadelphia surveyed their classmates to see how many knew who newly-appointed Judge Sonia Sotomayor was.
This semester they are tackling the economy, immigration, drop-out issues and fallout from the Gulf Coast oil spill.
In the second year, Student Reporting Labs aims to expand the number of students participating in the program, focus on at-risk school and community settings, and "youth-source" stories for national producers. The program will also work to develop a "rapid response" model for national events that receive significant news attention, such as the Gulf oil spill.
"The Student Reporting Labs are a natural extension of the NewsHour's commitment to education, quality journalism and the transformation of public media," said Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education, The PBS NewsHour. "Each student who participates in the Lab gains information and media skills, news savvy and curiosity about national and community issues. They experience the power of getting and telling a story to an authentic audience."
PBS NEWSHOUR is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, in association with WETA Washington, DC, and THIRTEEN/WNET in New York. Major corporate funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by Chevron, Bank of America, BNSF Railway, United Healthcare and Intel, with additional support from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation the MacArthur Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
Contact: Anne Bell 703-998-2175.