When teens create the news: examining the impact of PBS/news hour student reporting labs

Renee Hobbs, University of Rhode Island / Media Education Lab


The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program (www.studentreportinglabs.com) connects middle and high school students to local PBS stations and broadcast news professionals in their communities to report on critical issues from a youth perspective. Through a project-based, active learning model, students learn how to synthesise information and investigate important topics, while building media literacy, communication and problem-solving skills necessary for the knowledge economy of the 21st century. The program involves more than 50 schools and community centers across the country and each site has adapted the pro- gram to meet the particular educational needs of its students, faculty and community. The intended goals of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program are to help students gain a better understanding of what constitutes news; evaluate the credibility of the information they receive via news content; strengthen their appreciation for the norms of professional journalism; and build skills and confidence as communicators through learning how to produce news content in a collaborative real-world environment where what they create may be viewed by an au- thentic large audience and publication becomes the ultimate assessment. Findings from pre-post quantitative research conducted with nearly 500 high school students who participated in the program reveal the development of media production skills that involved gathering and synthesising information, using digital media and technology to communicate ideas in the format of a broadcast news package, and engaging in cycles of revision and feedback to polish their work. This study found significant increases in collaboration and teamwork competencies, including intel- lectual curiosity, the ability to give and receive feedback, and confidence in self-expression and advocacy.

Keywords: journalism, media, media literacy, education, high school, secondary educa- tion, public broadcasting, news, partnership, program, evaluation

When teens create the news: examining the impact of PBS/news hour student reporting labs by THEAJEUK


Reporting International News in a Changing World

The Significance of International Relations in Journalism Education
Rex Li

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Despite the expansion of International Journalism (IJ) courses in the UK in recent years, there is no debate on what constitutes the knowledge base for IJ education. This article puts forward the argument that International Relations (IR) provides the most appropriate subject knowledge and understanding for journalism programmes that have an international focus. It argues that journalism educators can draw on the rich insights of IR scholars in building the knowledge base for International Journalism courses. Through a thorough consideration of the links between the academic knowledge of IR and international news reporting, the article has demonstrated that IR plays a very significant role in the education of journalism students and IJ students in particular. A review of existing journalism courses in the UK indicates that there is a greater awareness of the relevance of IR to journalism education. But the current approach is rather fragmented lacking a coherent approach to the integration of IR teaching and international journalism training. This article has advocated an integrative approach to the teaching of IR to journalism students. It provides a detailed discussion of an IR syllabus that has been incorporated into an undergraduate IJ programme. A survey of the students who have recently graduated from such a programme shows that they are appreciative of the value of having a good knowledge of IR in their journalism education.