Blog Post

Student Journalism 2.0

Whew! What a season for the SJ 2.0 project. We’ve come so far it’s hard to believe that it has only been a couple months since we started the second phase of the project, and not even a year since we were awarded the original project funding by the DML Competition.

I’d like to thank our participating schools and teachers for their amazing work both in and out of the classroom. Ellen Austin, Paul Kandell, and Esther Wojcicki (also chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors) at Palo Alto High and Michelle Balmeo at Monta Vista High in Cupertino, CA have been fantastic and helpful research subjects, as well as great facilitators for my conversations with their students. They’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in spreading the word about Creative Commons among high-school journalism advisers and teachers. And thank you to Tracy Sena at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, CA for her input and participation at our project meetings.

In the first half of the project we came up against some large legal and technical barriers to the students using CC. We got through it with our project partners, and will be reporting on our findings in the forthcoming research report. We hope to publish that report by the beginning of June. In the second half of the project, which we will be wrapping up in the next couple months, we identified many of the possibilities for students and teachers to use CC licenses as a journalistic and educational tool. We gathered a lot of useful video and audio data, some of which you will get a chance to see with an upcoming video I put together (we respect student privacy and just need to get legal clearance to share it).

The students’ excitement and dedication to being good journalists and telling important stories within their communities has been inspiring. They’ve embraced the philosophy of sharing and digital participation by adopting CC with open arms. Preliminary data shows hundreds of their stories have been posted with CC licenses. And they’ve recognized many of the challenges associated with reusing copyrighted content online and have begun to reuse CC licensed content in their own work. Students from both schools have even taken it upon themselves to spread the word and collaborated on a presentation about Creative Commons and this project at the 2010 Columbia Scholastic Press Association convention (going on now!).

We’re looking forward to sharing our research findings so that other schools and programs will have a leg-up in implementing these kinds of practices.

You can find student articles from Palo Alto High on the Paly Voice and Monta Vista High at El Estoque.

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