Poster Title

Oral History in a Journalism Course: Sharing Stories and Reporting News About Public Education in Kentucky

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Murray State University

Department

Journalism and Mass Communications

Abstract

Oral history as a method of gathering information is nothing new. However, in journalism, the method is gaining acceptance as a new, enriching way to report news, showing how issues and topics impact people.

The Murray State University JMC 397 Reporting for Print Media class recorded community oral history as part of an intensive focus on education reporting in fall 2017. Although many facets of the education “beat” were explored, students devoted much of the semester investigating and reporting the issues and challenges facing public education in Kentucky, from the K-12 to higher education levels. For the project to become a meaningful gift for the community, students conducted oral history projects with local residents, asking them to recall their experiences and memories of how public education impacted them.

The students created a website filled with content from the oral history interviews including an audio scrapbook profiling how the education system impacted the interviewees. Using this information and local education news features, an ebook was created with a QR code that leads readers back to the website.

Through the multifaceted project outcomes, JMC 397 students received an enriching experience in preserving a piece of local public education history. Additionally, the community was educated on an issue that impacts everyone, from students to taxpayers.

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Oral History in a Journalism Course: Sharing Stories and Reporting News About Public Education in Kentucky

Oral history as a method of gathering information is nothing new. However, in journalism, the method is gaining acceptance as a new, enriching way to report news, showing how issues and topics impact people.

The Murray State University JMC 397 Reporting for Print Media class recorded community oral history as part of an intensive focus on education reporting in fall 2017. Although many facets of the education “beat” were explored, students devoted much of the semester investigating and reporting the issues and challenges facing public education in Kentucky, from the K-12 to higher education levels. For the project to become a meaningful gift for the community, students conducted oral history projects with local residents, asking them to recall their experiences and memories of how public education impacted them.

The students created a website filled with content from the oral history interviews including an audio scrapbook profiling how the education system impacted the interviewees. Using this information and local education news features, an ebook was created with a QR code that leads readers back to the website.

Through the multifaceted project outcomes, JMC 397 students received an enriching experience in preserving a piece of local public education history. Additionally, the community was educated on an issue that impacts everyone, from students to taxpayers.