Imagine, for the first time . . .

A news network created by and for students in New York City’s public high schools.

Each participating school has a ”neighborhood” newsroom covering its own campus and surrounding area.  A select staff from all participating schools covers stories of interest to students citywide.  Their work, plus the best of the “neighborhood” sites, appears on a website designed to engage students across the school system.

Rigorous research, reporting and writing available nowhere else.

In-depth coverage of civic issues in school, legislative activity affecting teenagers and concerns in teenagers’ personal and social lives – all produced by students, in collaboration with journalists and professionals from related fields serving as mentors.

News produced by peers teenagers can trust, with frequent updates.

News, features and information available 24/7 online, with special print extras, a searchable database of all student reporting and forums where different schools can share information, ideas and solutions.

Special Unit Reports.

Coverage of news in city and state government; science and technology; arts and culture; education and learning, and after-school programs that impacts students but gets zero space in the news media.


Imagine these results . . .

A new school climate.

Many more students feel a sense of belonging.  They  learn that what they think and say matters, that they have a serious stake in school affairs.  More are inspired to become engaged, in and out of the classroom.  At-risk student journalists enjoy a fresh sense of pride, ownership and empowerment in the media they help to create.

An innovative approach to literacy.

Writing, reading and research become not just classroom assignments, but practical tools that enable students to take greater responsibility over their own lives.

A more interconnected school system.

Using interactive media, students in high schools across the city, which are now mostly isolated islands, engage in joint problem-solving, sharing information and ideas.  In buildings  that house multiple small schools,  the shared campus, served by a single media outlet,  becomes a laboratory for civic engagement among the various “neighborhoods”  in the building. Students collect data on life inside schools that is compiled nowhere else and becomes of use to educators.

A boost for the future of journalism.

As a student-driven press is nurtured and institutionalized in partnering schools,  young  people get an ongoing,  real-time lesson in  the value of  First Amendment freedoms, and the responsibilities of citizenship that come with them. The next generation of voting citizens also grows to appreciate the value that serious journalism can play in their daily lives.

A rise in minority journalists.

Many of our student journalists are minorities, and some will make it a career.

A vital school-business-government connection.

New York’s giant media industry has an opportunity to unite to help fund this groundbreaking effort to make community journalism an essential part of young people’s lives. In the process, they help achieve Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s goal of keeping the city an innovative world media capital in the 21st century.



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