I really liked the Newswire experiment that I ran in my journalism classes. Sifting through the feedback I got from my students, most of them seem to have enjoyed the process and learned something from it. (Of course, there were dissenters.) I’m looking forward to expanding on the idea in the spring when I teach journalism again.
Although very similar in concept, The Annenberg Onlinejournalism.com site linked above offers a little twist on what we did. Students there write their own stories/summaries which are subsequently edited and then posted. There is more in the way of summary and linking, which shows a bit more reporting than I asked my kids to do. But we could take it a step further without too much trouble. What if students find the stories for their beat, do the summary, link to relevant re-sources about the topic, dig for both sides of the story, peer edit and then post? They could even do some local reporting on the topic.
When I see this, the more I think about doing just one Web log in media class instead of smaller group ones. Stories are submitted in different categories similar to the USC site but offered with some pertinent research to go along with it. We’d have five posts a day dealing with various topics, but the authors would have to do more than just summarize.