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Nathalie Applewhite and Alex Stonehill Present Water Wars Educational Portal, Philadelphia 10/24

Event Date:

October 24, 2008 | 12:00 AM EDT

10/24 4:15-5:30 and 7:30-9:30p

Nathalie Applewhite, managing director of the Water Wars portal, and Water Wars journalist Alex Stonehill, will describe the Gateway project and show examples.

Go to Rebooting the News site for more details on the presentation.

About the conference

In spring 2005, the Carnegie Corporation of New York commissioned noted U.S. editor Merrill Brown to write a report, "Abandoning the News," which examined how the nation's news organizations, struggling with changing business models and demographics, were devoting fewer and fewer resources to newsrooms. But Brown also saw the problem as one of demand, not just supply, when he wrote:

In short, the future of the U.S. news industry is seriously threatened by the seemingly irrevocable move by young people away from traditional sources of news.

Indeed, American teen-agers are abandoning traditional news products in large numbers, or simply failing to engage with the news as they mature. In homes and classrooms, students are failing to receive the information they need to make informed decisions as voters and citizens. Yet they are highly engaged with media in multiple forms.

Over the last three years, some foundations and institutions have recognizing the significance of these changes on participatory democracy. They have launched new research or curriculum initiatives aimed at assessing or improving the situation.

This year, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) adopted news literacy as a critical focus for its membership. Stony Brook University's journalism of school is pioneering curriculum projects and plans a major conference in March, 2009. Together, Carnegie and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have committed $11 million to develop a new approach to journalism teaching at the college level.

At "Rebooting the News," we will observe and learn about these initiatives in the newsroom and the college classroom, but focus more particularly on the relationship between the news and K-12 education. Is it time to reconsider how America's schools engage young adults in our civic sphere, and how can the Internet, news -- and journalism -- help?

We'll build new connections, tap and energize the emerging consensus for a deeper relationship of shared aims, values and beliefs among America's journalists and educators. Both have a vital interest in teaching youth to be smart consumers -- and creators -- of civic media.