I've challenged the team to look at improving "conversations around news" - to use digital community-building tools to enhance people's connections to their local communities and to news and information about those communities. If the class is successful, the students will develop new ideas for building these community connections - and a new Web site or service that brings those ideas to life.
Here are the high-level goals for the class:
To understand the ways that journalism has historically helped enable civic engagement and provided a forum for conversations around news.
To understand the nature of people's interactions online and to apply that understanding to local communities and the role of media in a democracy.
To develop recommendations on how to approach news, online conversations and civic engagement.
To develop software prototypes for enhancing online conversations and engagement.
From the MediaShift Idea Lab