iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) and the Daniel Pearl Foundation have announced the launch of PEARL (Prepare and Educate Aspiring Reporters for Leadership) World Youth News, an international news service with articles written, edited, and published by secondary school students from around the world. The first PEARL articles have come from certified student PEARL Reporters in Uzbekistan, Vietnam, the U.K., and the U.S., and can be viewed on the PEARL Web site at http://www.pearl.iearn.org/pearlnews.
Inspired by the life and work of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in Pakistan, PEARL aims to promote cross-cultural understanding by educating young people in the ethical principles and practices of professional journalism. Using secure and safe online forums, teenagers report on issues of interest to them. The news content is edited and published by student editorial teams in Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and the U.S.
Any school newspaper or magazine can internationalize their publication by downloading and reprinting articles from PEARL to add student-produced news articles to their local coverage. In addition, PEARL will stimulate students to create new school newspapers where they don't currently exist and to go into the field of journalism as a career.
High school students join the news service as PEARL Reporters after successfully completing an online training and certification course. (See http://www.iearn.org/pearlproject/reporters.html for more information.)
The certification course, which is being offered free of charge to students worldwide, has been developed with the assistance of Karen Freeman, from the editorial department of The New York Times, and Melvin Mencher, Professor Emeritus of Columbia University's School of Journalism. More than 60 students from nine countries are currently enrolled in the course.
A key aspect of this initiative is that student writing skills are being dramatically enhanced through both the certification process and in the peer editing of articles prior to publication on the PEARL Web page, the announcement states. Therefore, this collaborative online project meets important state and national education standards in writing, critical thinking, and social studies.
Founded in 1988, iEARN is a global network that enables young people in 115 countries to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.
Source: iEARN, http://www.iearn.org and http://www.us.iearn.org