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Arizona State Journalism Students Collaborate With Citizen Journalists

8.24-CronkiteThanks to a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism now help comprise a new American Public Media Public Insight Network (PIN) hub.

What does that mean, you ask? Basically, ASU J-schoolers now have the opportunity to work alongside faculty members and media professionals as they correspond with PIN sources. The newest home of PIN, a thriving digital platform where more than 215,000 citizen experts have volunteered their expertise and angles to reporters across the country, will live in the Cronkite School’s downtown Phoenix campus building.

Organizations like the Seattle Times, NPR, the Washington Post, Columbia J-School and dozens of others utilize the PIN platform to find trustworthy information for news coverage quickly and to incorporate diverse views into their reporting. Surely, ASU’s implementation of PIN fosters a “teaching hospital” environment. Plus, usage of the PIN platform in Arizona benefits American Public Media, as it works to sustain the initiative in the future.

Said David Kansas, American Public Media’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, in a press release: “It will provide an important service to the industry and a rich educational experience and career pipeline for students while helping to position PIN and the networked journalism it fosters for long-term sustainability.”

First up for journalists-in-training at ASU? The students, who can work for pay or class credit, are already collaborating with media outlets of all kinds from Colorado to Connecticut and several states in between to foster usage of the PIN and learn how modern-day reporters can pull their resources online to vary their coverage.

Kudos to ASU for staying committed to making journalism school a place to prepare for the real world and encouraging immersion. The college’s journalism school has been known to push students toward entrepreneurship and innovation by creating a “startup culture,” and the latest partnership with the PIN accomplishes goals toward that end. Students will receive faculty instruction from award-winning Washington D.C. public radio alum Rebecca Blatt.

It only makes me think, how much stronger of a journalist would I have been coming out of college had I been afforded these kinds of opportunities? Did you have similar educational experiences as ASU J-school students, or wish you had seen more of a teaching hospital model at your university?

Image c/o ASU W.P Carey School of Business blog

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