Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Speaking at the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative

Next week I will be speaking to the students of the West Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative about online journalism and the future of news.

The West Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a weekly program offered to sophomores, juniors or seniors from Bronx high schools.

Students will learn the fundamentals of writing, reporting, and photojournalism through classroom instruction but, more importantly, through hands-on reporting in their own neighborhoods. We will take them on field trips – including the newsroom of a daily newspaper. They will learn about community activism and civic responsibility, how their neighborhoods work (or don’t), who has power, who doesn’t and why.

I’m nervous, because I’m really horrible at public speaking. But also because I have no idea what these kids know.

What’s the level of computer/Internet proficiency? Do they have access to computers at home? Do they read news online, have blogs, read blogs?

James Fergusson, the program coordinator and Editor of the Mount Hope Monitor, has told me that they have not discussed online journalism in class.

I got some great advice from Mindy McAdams, who told me not to assume that the kids are technologically ignorant. Even if they don’t have computers at home, the public libraries offer free access.

She also suggested that I show “Not Just a Number” and “The Mac” as examples of stories told by people about their own communities.

I can probably spend a few minutes at first figuring out what they know without looking like a total hack. The problem is how to adjust what I want to say to their level. After beating college reporters over the head with the “good news” for two semesters, I’m not sure how to condense the message to half an hour.

Any advice? What should these high-schoolers know about online journalism? What do I tell them about the future of news?

  • Have you done this yet? If they have been studying journalism, they should know about what is happening at newspapers across the country. Ask them how they want to get their news? How do they see the news coming to them in 5 or 10 years? What do they think they have to contribute to the new wave of journalism that is definitely coming at us?

  • Have you done this yet? If they have been studying journalism, they should know about what is happening at newspapers across the country. Ask them how they want to get their news? How do they see the news coming to them in 5 or 10 years? What do they think they have to contribute to the new wave of journalism that is definitely coming at us?

  • Just did it today, and did speak about all the issues you mentioned. I’ll do a complete write-up tomorrow.

  • Just did it today, and did speak about all the issues you mentioned. I’ll do a complete write-up tomorrow.

  • kasumi

    well my advice is this.
    try to get to know each high school kid in the personal level. Ask them about their computer skills, and get them to think about the different kinds of media that is used to for news. You should ask them what kind of media they most often see, and how they can use many of this media to express what they view in the community, what they find as an interesting story.

    Good luck

  • Thanks Kasumi, I did ask them about their web skills and the media they use to find out about what is going on in the world. There was not enough time to get personal, but I covered the basics pretty well. See my follow-up post on this at Scaring highschoolers about the future of journalism

  • kasumi

    well my advice is this.
    try to get to know each high school kid in the personal level. Ask them about their computer skills, and get them to think about the different kinds of media that is used to for news. You should ask them what kind of media they most often see, and how they can use many of this media to express what they view in the community, what they find as an interesting story.

    Good luck

  • Thanks Kasumi, I did ask them about their web skills and the media they use to find out about what is going on in the world. There was not enough time to get personal, but I covered the basics pretty well. See my follow-up post on this at Scaring highschoolers about the future of journalism

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