Blog: The Educated Reporter
‘Our First Job is to be Human. Our Second Job is to be a Journalist.’
Award-winning reporter John Woodrow Cox shares insights on covering children and gun violence
(EWA Radio: Episode 171)
From first-graders in rural South Carolina to high schoolers in Las Vegas, The Washington Post’s John Woodrow Cox paints searing portraits of the impact of gun violence through the eyes of the survivors themselves.
After District Error, Reporters Publish Hidden Details on Parkland Shooter’s History
Broward County School Board wants Sun Sentinel reporters held in contempt for publishing redacted details
For reporters, it’s second nature to hold up a redacted paper document to the light to see what might still be visible. Two reporters at the South Florida Sun Sentinel are facing a possible contempt of court charge for using a digital version of this technique on a report — commissioned by Broward County Public Schools — about the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
This School Lets Teachers Decide Discipline. Is It Working?
A social-emotional approach to classroom management that's gaining steam nationally (EWA Radio: Episode 168)
What would happen if teachers had the flexibility to handle classroom discipline issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than following top-down mandates from the district or the principal’s office? Writing for The Atlantic, Katherine Reynolds Lewis visited Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, where an effort to rethink approaches to bad behavior appears to be paying big dividends.
Petrified by percentages? Or mesmerized by math?
No worries. Experts assembled for a recent Education Writers Association panel shared strategies to enlist data to tell your story, and how to convey it visually, with tips for math phobes and number nerds alike.
Data is simply a collection of structured stories, said Alvin Chang of Vox Media. Think of every row in a chart as a story, and every visual element as a sentence, he advised. Then ask: How is it better than a sentence? (If it’s not, maybe it shouldn’t be a chart.)
Five Tips for Reporting on Infants and Toddlers
An award-winning journalist explains how, and why, to cover early childhood education
If you think about education reporting as covering schools and the students who attend them, you might be scratching your head as to why infants and toddlers are newsworthy subjects. But if education reporting is really about covering learning, then children under age 4 are some of the best subjects you could imagine.
Want Reporting With More Impact? It’s Complicated.
In age of Trump, researchers look to high-quality journalism as tool for bridging divides (EWA Radio: Episode 176)
At a time of deep political polarization in the United States, how might journalists play a role in bridging the divide among Americans? Complicate the narrative, suggests veteran journalist Amanda Ripley. “We need to find ways to help our audiences leave their foxholes and consider new ideas,” she writes in a new piece for the Solutions Journalism Network.
As Some Schools Drop Textbooks for ‘Open’ Resources, What’s the Cost?
Experts discuss the potential of OER, but also the challenges
Outdated textbooks with crumbling bindings often serve as a symbol of underfunded classrooms.
With the advent of open educational resources, educators have the ability update their curriculum in real time, for free — kind of.
If you’ve been confused about what the data and research say about school segregation — whether it is growing or shrinking – you’re not alone. Scholars argue over this, too.
Summer Reading List: ‘Little Soldiers’
What happens when an American boy enrolls in a Chinese school?
(EWA Radio: Episode 175)
Around the time that China’s Shanghai province was drawing international attention for top scores on a global exam, U.S. journalist Lenora Chu and her husband moved into their new Shanghai home. They lived just blocks away from a highly-regarded primary school that she calls a “laboratory for Chinese education reform,” and managed to secure a spot for their young son. The next few years gave Chu an inside look into Shanghai’s elite school system, and sparked a deeper interest in education in China.
Covering LGBT Issues in the Classroom
Shifts seen in textbooks to reflect gay, lesbian historical figures
When the new academic year begins for California public schools, for the first time instructional materials will be available to ensure every K-12 classroom has access to accurate and unbiased depictions of the sexual orientation and gender identity of historical figures.
The FAIR Education Act – FAIR stands for Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful – requires history and social studies curriculum to include references to contributions by people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.
Researchers at Michigan State University and Teachers College, Columbia University, tackled an intriguing question in a 2016 study: How much influence were large, national donors having on local school board elections?
The study’s abstract stated that large donor networks had “nationalized” local education politics in Los Angeles, Denver, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Conn.
Early childhood education is rarely a beat education journalists can cover exclusively. But the need for quality coverage is great, especially as more and more state governments, private foundations, and districts zero in on early childhood education as a place for greater investment.
Experts weighed in on one issue in particular last month at the Education Writers Association’s national conference: How can journalists cover communities that are “child care deserts?”