In August 2013, the D.C. Journalism Education Association began the Capital Student News online project to give public, private and charter school students an opportunity to learn and practice journalism. The CSN website gives students throughout the District a common space to publish their work and give voice to their experiences.
Teachers volunteered to facilitate the program with students they selected and mentored in their schools. Carol Lange, D.C. JEA Director (2010-16), organized the initiation of the project. Elizabeth Wilson, a former student webmaster at Annandale High School, did all of the technical work to prepare the site for student editors to assume positions and take leadership. Elizabeth also acted as the head of the IT Department to train student webmasters.
Through generous grants from Camayak (www.camayak.com) and Student Newspapers Online (http://schoolnewspapersonline.com), the virtual newsroom and online news sites were piloted in the 2013-14 academic year. The virtual newsroom was discontinued in the fall of 2015, but students from several schools with after-school journalism clubs began adding to content.
During the summer of 2016, CSN will serve as the main publishing site for HumanitiesDC Soul of the City | Pulitzer Centennial Campfire Initiative summer journalism workshop, held June 27-August 5, at Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts.
There are many ways that Capital Student News may work for you.
In schools where journalism programs and newspapers are established, CSN may be the online outlet for stories and/or a training ground before you have your own online student news program. It may be the place for publishing news briefs that link to your student website for the complete story and to bring traffic to your online school news site.
In schools where there is no journalism or media arts class, CSN may be the only place to publish the news, features, opinion and photography created by your students. Through virtual communication, students have a safe arena in which to work on their stories, have peers edit their pieces, arrange for photographs and informational graphics, and release to a desk editor for publication on Capital Student News. Teachers may offer suggestions for better coverage, but this is to be primarily a student-run, student-written publication.