Immigration is a hot-button issue in the U.S. right now. Between the Arizona law, violence in Mexico, and cash-strapped law enforcement agencies, there are new, urgent stories every day. But how can you tell which of these stories are credible? Which news sources provide the best coverage on this topic?
To help us all learn more about this heated issue, NewsTrust has partnered with five universities across the U.S. for a project we call Border News -- a student-powered news site on immigration. We are also hosting an Immigration News Hunt this week with the wider NewsTrust community, to join forces with our educational partners. Read more about both projects below.
In a ground-breaking collaboration called Border News, NewsTrust has partnered with faculty and students from Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University, Columbia College, the University of Alabama and the University of Nevada at Reno to find good (and bad) journalism about immigration. From September 13th through November 14th, over 235 students from around the country are posting, reviewing, and discussing news stories about the social, economic, and political challenges surrounding immigration in the U.S.
As part of their course work, the students are reviewing a wide range of news and opinion on immigration, and sharing the best stories with each other on a news site called Border News -- a special "group page" which only features their work. NewsTrust Groups is a new application we are developing to enable groups of NewsTrust members to create their own customizable social news sites on topics they care about (read more below). You can also follow the student's findings on Twitter, where they are sharing recommended stories under the hashtag "#bordernews."
The Border News project is off to a great start (see our photos from SFSU, featuring professor Venise Wagner and her 100+ journalism students). Santa Clara University professor Sally Lehrman, who initiated this partnership and is hosting it with her journalism students, shared her observations about the first four weeks of this groundbreaking collaboration:
"I was delighted when San Francisco State and the other universities agreed to jump on board with SCU. Now NewsTrust gives students the opportunity to interact thoughtfully with immigration news in real time and with others in their age group around the country. So far, I've noticed greater awareness of the perspectives embedded in the news and the code words that help shape these."
NewsTrust editors have also been impressed with the work of the Border News students so far, and we look forward to sharing the results of this exciting collaboration on this blog in mid-November.
Immigration News Hunt
In conjunction with the Border News project, we are also hosting an Immigration News Hunt with the wider NewsTrust community this week, from October 11th through October 17th.
Help find some of the best (and worst) news coverage of immigration with us and our educational partners. Our immigration topic page features a variety of important stories, news comparisons, and the latest Truthsquad on Immigration, so there are plenty of ways for you to participate in this project. For ideas on where to find good news sources for this topic, check the results of our earlier Immigration News Hunt with USA Today.
We also encourage you to join in the conversation, welcome our students and add constructive comments to their reviews if you can (the best way to find student reviews is on the Border News page).
We just launched a first beta version of NewsTrust Groups for this project. This new application makes it easy for communities of interest to share news stories with each other on our site. To see our first group in action, check the Border News page we set up for students and our educational partners.
Groups have their own page on NewsTrust, where group members can share their recommended stories. A group page only shows stories reviewed, posted or starred by group members, and their group ratings are shown with blue Trust-O-Meter icons (you can also compare them to the site-wide NewsTrust ratings). A group usually has one or more hosts who can curate news listings, edit group settings, validate new members, and moderate discussions. Hosts can decide whether group membership is open to all or invitations-only; they can also control whether or not to make their group pages public (accessible to anyone), only visible to NewsTrust members, or private (for group members only).
This first release of NewsTrust Groups is only for schools and educational partners, but over time we will support a wide range of different groups of members (e.g.: your friends, editors, journalists, political or affinity groups).
In coming weeks, we'll be rolling out more features -- and introducing different types of groups. We think Groups will enrich the experience of sharing and curating the news together on NewsTrust. Stay tuned for more...
-- by Jon Mitchell and Fabrice Florin