The portal to book a MediaWise campus correspondent for your class this fall is now open

In early March 2020, with funding from Facebook, I arranged for 10 students from across the country to travel to Poynter to train our first-ever cohort of Campus Correspondents (yes, do that calendar math). They came from places like Michigan State, Stony Brook and Mississippi State.

Our plan was for each of them to return to their campuses and form student groups like newspapers, sororities, and political clubs to distinguish fact from fiction online.

Did I mention it was early March 2020?

By the grace of God, none of these students fell ill from what would be an international crisis a week later. Instead, we made a plan B: virtual class visits. (Remember when this seemed new?)

Now here we are, two and a half years later, and we’re still working hard to train students to help their peers tell fact from fiction online.

Many of you have welcomed our students in the past. Others still want.

Here is your chance.

There are still a few spots open in our Campus Correspondents program for the fall where one of our trainers will Zoom or Hangout or Team up in your classroom for an engaging session on discovering what’s BS on the internet .

Just fill out this Google form and we’ll send you a link to the portal to book a time. It’s so simple.

If you don’t want to commit to a virtual tour, consider this five-part online educational resource that your students can navigate at their own pace. And if you are in a hurry, here is a video produced by our campus correspondents which highlights the best levels of our training.

We hope one of these tools works for you as we head into the midterms on November 8th.

When you book a Campus Correspondent, you are not only supporting Poynter and our work with colleges, but you are taking an important step in showing your own students the value of information and skepticism.

We invite you to join our network of educators who have moved away from our training with students who are savvier, sharper and stronger at spotting misinformation and disinformation online.

And God knows we need citizens who recognize a fake when they see one.

Now listen

Here’s an interesting insight from Murray State via Trusting News: “How journalism students are using audio boxes to explain their reporting process.”

Take this as an example

The Texas Tribune is hosting a clinic on audience-focused mid-stream reporting. “What You Can Expect From Our Election Coverage” contains voter guides, explainers, appeals and more. What do your students think? How is it different from other election coverage you’ve seen?

follow the money

What kind of tuition and fee hikes are planned for your university? Even if you’re lucky and don’t come across one, report it. And take it a step further – do you have a handy guide posted on your website that outlines the breakdown of tuition fees and what they are for? Schools often don’t provide this information easily, but it is extremely readable. Find an administrator willing to explain in detail, line by line, what the fees are, how long they’ve been around, how they’re adjusted, when/if they expire, and what students can do to keep those fees low.

Open competition

This from my friends at the Reynolds Institute of Journalism in Mizzou: The RJI Student Innovation Competition is now open.

They write: “The 2023 challenge is for students to come up with a utilitarian journalism idea to be tested in partnership with a local news source. Service journalism, also known as service journalism, aims to help communities solve problems, answer questions, and make big decisions in their lives.

The top prize is $10,000 and the entry deadline is October 15.

“Raw Chunks” – sounds crude but helpful!

I heard last week from Tammy La Gorce, an assistant professor at Montclair State University, who wanted to know where she could find unedited copying pieces for her students to practice editing. That’s an excellent question.

Wattpad looks really promising – you can copy and paste a few examples there, and these writers have made their work available to the public, although it’s mostly fiction.

Of course, you can use local newspapers or websites, but I think that sends the wrong signal to your students in most cases. Above all, do not use your student newspaper.

Sure, they’re probably not perfect and might be a good place to find typos and missing structure, but you run the risk of deeply embarrassing the hard-working students who write, edit, and layout their school paper – and they may be in your class.

And now a word from our sponsors

Did I help you, or did Poynter help you? I’m looking for a few teachers to give testimonials for our marketing materials. Send me a sentence or two about what works for you and I’ll get back to you with more details!

Go back to the very beginning at the start of your semester and have your students read Lane DeGregory’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, “The Girl in the Window.” Then, listen to DeGregory and his editor, Maria Carrillo, discuss the story’s 10th anniversary – its impact on them and their audiences, and hear some behind-the-scenes stories. It’s a proven winner in the classroom.

I love this comedian’s continuous comments/takedowns on gender reveal parties on social media. The internet is wild, man.

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