/Submitted by Bill Densmore on Sun, 2007-09-16 20:26. (NEW STORY)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A new initiative to teach youth how to become "citizen journalists" has been launched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and researchers are asking teachers to share curriculum and project ideas at a Wed., Sept. 26 focus-group dinner in Cambridge starting at 6 p.m. Individuals involved in video, journalism or new-media projects involving youth are welcomed.
The gathering is part of MIT's "Center for Future Civic Media," funded with $5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It's a joint project of the school's media lab and its comparative media studies department.
"The goal of the focus group and the Center is to connect with some consistent groups of youth who are interested in working in this area and start some pilot projects (with the equipment and manpower support from MIT) in the area of citizen media with youth," says Danielle Martin, a former afterschool educator, now a graduate student, who is coordinating the gathering. To attened, contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ingeborg Endter (email@example.com ) at the MIT Media Lab (617-253-0311).
Endter says the idea is to explore how media including cell phones, websites and new online tools, can foster community> engagement. Supporting citizen journalism, social activism, and democratic process are a significant part of our focus.
"Right now we're looking for a few high-school or middle-school teachers who would be willing to help some researchers at the Center to engage youth - in journalism, civics projects, or community action projects," says Endter. "These will be real projects putting new and inventive ideas to the test." He adds: "We'd like the teacher(s) to come and brainstorm with us, and then involve some students in our projects."