Today, NNS published "Gamble Pays Off for Snyder, Northwest Side CDC." It's by Ethan Niquet and Eva Sotomayor and the eighth and final #loweclass effort for the news service this fall. It's also the third consecutive semester my students have these produced two-minute multimedia packages that include a 650-word story. As always, this class assignment take them to new places – literally and figuratively. For example, after once again having to redo some aspect of their project, Sotomayor posted in the class Facebook group that Niquet said: "I feel like I'm running up Bowser's never-ending staircase and I don't have enough stars to get to the top."
Anyway, Casby Bias and Jacob Born had their project, "Martin Drive Neighborhood Events Aim to Bring People Together," published on November 19, well before the rest of their classmates. Among the valuable journalism lessons this pair learned: An assignment that diminishes based on circumstances can be resurrected after a consultation with editors, but then requires expediency so its newsworthiness doesn't expire because of timeliness.
Here are the other #loweclass efforts for NNS this term: "Urban Anthropology Celebrates Diversity, Seeks Artists," by Stephanie Graham and Courtney Perry; "Menomonee Valley Partners Works to Lure People to 'Discover' Valley," by Kaitlyn Farmer and Ben Greene; "Dominican Center Combats Lead Poisoning," by Paulo Acuna and Matthew Barbato; "KANDO Landlords Help Neighbors Feel 'More at Peace,'" by Christopher Chavez and Monique Collins; "Silver Spring Teen Programs Inspire Students to Dream of College," by David Tukesbrey and Alexandra Whittaker, and "Northcott a 'Home Away From Home' For Half a Century," by Patrick Leary and Caitlin Miller.
Let me say again how much my students and I appreciate the wonderful opportunity that McGowan and NNS present #loweclass. Next semester, I will teach Digital Journalism III (JOUR 2100), in which telling stories with video is taught along with using text, audio, images and social media. Noting here that NNS has published work by 13 of the 18 students enrolled. As we continue to work to make the experience mutually beneficial, me and McGowan agree that we will push the students even harder in terms of their reporting and, especially, writing.
For now, let me share these sentiments McGowan expressed to me via email: "I'm very pleased with the amount of effort that your class put into their projects for NNS, as well as the final products. I enjoyed working with each of the students and appreciate their openness to constructive critique and eagerness to improve their skills."