Education/Newsletter/April 2014/Educational programming continues on Wikinews

For a fifth semester, a university-taught journalism class is participating on English Wikinews as part of the project education program. Chad Tew is using the education program extension with his course found at Education Program:University of Southern Indiana/Online Journalism (Spring 2014). Like other semesters, all student work is reviewed prior to publication. At this early stage, it appears that the biggest problem with student contributions is the tendency of student journalists to plagiarize. Feedback is being provided to encourage the students to not plagiarize, and explain how "scuffing" up one or two words in a sentence does not work in terms of not plagiarizing. The United States journalism class is the first university class to use the extension on English Wikinews. This is the second time Tew, a journalism professor at the University of Southern Indiana, has used Wikinews as an online journalism lab. Another university that has been using Wikinews is the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Featured work: The USI journalism students have collaborated, as well as worked on individual reporting projects. This semester, they have produced one Featured Article and another nominated article. Featured Articles is a collection of the best work published in Wikinews. Students collaborated on a Featured Article report about a trend in Andy Warhol photography exhibits around the United States and used their USI campus exhibit as an example in the news item Warhol's photo legacy spread by university exhibits. The nominator of the Featured Article, Blood Red Sandman, wrote, "I love this. Expansive, collaborative, with original text, photos, video, and audio." Students also collaborated for a Wikinews exclusive interview with Indiana state senator Mike Delph. Around the time of the interview, Senator Delph was a news maker and appeared frequently in the media throughout the state of Indiana. A portion of Wikinews interviews Indiana State Senator Mike Delph was used in syndication by the WSWI AM radio station. At this time, the interview has been nominated as a Featured Article at Wikinews. The nominator Pi zero wrote, "[Covers] the news event comprehensively, and without rambling." In early April, the journalism course reported about the death of the last female Sumatran rhinoceros at the Cincinnati Zoo. The Wikinews original report Death of captive rhino halts propagation efforts in US was constructed around a lecture appearance on the USI campus of researcher Dr. Terri Roth within a week of the rhino's death. Roth is the director of Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati zoo and worked on propagation efforts there.

Currently, both USI and UoW students are submitting individual reporting projects at Wikinews.