April 19, 2012
The UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication received a grant to provide a digital news service that advances the national conversation around the need for more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in America.
Carnegie Corp. of New York awarded the school and its Reese News Lab (reesenews.org) $50,000 to create the 100Kin10 Digital News Service to develop stories that engage audiences and take action on STEM education issues. The one-year project will begin Aug. 1.
The 100Kin10 initiative, first announced at the June 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting in Chicago, invites stakeholders to apply resources strategically to address the shortage of STEM teachers and improve learning for all students. It includes more than 100 organizations collaborating to reach the goal of 100,000 new STEM teachers in the classroom over the next 10 years.
The digital news service will distribute content to 100Kin10 partners and other media organizations on various platforms, tracking audience engagement with the stories in order to inform future coverage and approaches to reporting.
John Clark, executive producer for reesenews.org, said the STEM project creates the opportunity for deeper audience research and analysis to identify content that extends discussions and stirs people to action.
“This is a natural fit for reesenews.org,” Clark said. “The newsroom is there to tell great stories in innovative ways – and to discover through research what works best to really connect and interact with an audience.”
Susan King, dean of the school, said journalists can play a central role in the STEM effort by ensuring that debate on the issues is framed by accurate, timely and complete information and that the topics are presented in ways that are engaging and clear.
“Our student journalists will explore a range of STEM issues raised by scientists, educators, policy makers and the general public,” King said. “They won’t necessarily report the same news that would be covered in mainstream media. They will find new ways to tell the complex stories that underpin STEM education.”