Field Trip to CNN: Cool Cat Teacher Style

Right now I am blogging from the eleventh floor in the Omni Hotel in Atlanta where two students and I will soon be settling down for a little rest and perhaps a few giggles after a great day.

Tomorrow, we are going on a VIP tour of CNN where we will learn first hand how they are integrating citizen journalism, podcasting, and social media into their work to break, make, and share the news around the world.

My students have been researching the reporters we will be meeting tomorrow and presented to the class last week using Google presentations. Of the most interest to me was iReport, the citizen journalism arm of CNN that allows anyone to submit the news with the potential that it may be run on CNN.

I find it fascinating that our society has come to this. You or I, cell phone or camera in hand, can witness something and have our video on the evening news. It is a matter of place and connection.

Lies, Mistakes, and Bad Days can ruin our life now
This is a place in which things which happen come to light much more quickly and graphically than ever before and liars are increasingly finding it harder to hide. Additionally, it is a place where we are also less likely to be allowed to make mistakes, either — when one lapse of judgment or a bad day could literally ruin the rest of our lives as our mistake is shown throughout the world.

I don't know if we comprehend or are ready to live in a world such as this… where every citizen is a journalist. For do citizens naturally know the ethics of what they do? Or do we understand that just because we can doesn't mean we should?

I will be fascinated to see how a professional, ethical news organization grapples with such issues as they bring citizen journalism into main stream media.

Today has been a great day — we came up early to see the Atlanta Braves win against Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 (and even saw their manager ejected.) We enjoyed Bison at Ted's Montana Grill and my students frolicked in the Olympic Fountain. It was truly a most memorable, exciting, and fun day.

I have a purpose and objective here, but sometimes, letting students sniff the fragrant air and inhale the scent of life itself is truly rewarding.

Now, I shall lean back and inhale and tomorrow we shall learn.

And yet, somehow, I think we've been doing that all day.

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2 thoughts on “Field Trip to CNN: Cool Cat Teacher Style

  1. I will be a high school business teacher and ethics is such an important aspect to emphasize in the world of business. Since things such as Enron happened, it is important to go painfully into detail to students about what is good ethics and what is simply unethical. I am taking a business writing class right now and the book we are required to read for class goes into such deep detail about the rules and regulations for writing. If students were required to take such a class they would learn proper ways to write and how to know if what they are saying is ethical and alright to publish/turn in/present. With a class such as this required for high school students everywhere, I believe we would have citizens and professional journalists writing a lot more ethically.

  2. This idea of citizen journalism is something I witnessed first hand two weeks ago.

    After being attacked and detained by Greek riot police simply for taking pictures during a peaceful demonstration I posted my experience on my blog. Within hours other blogs had picked up on it. Within days I was doing interviews with newspapers, radio stations and TV channels about my experience.

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