Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Online Youth Network Partners with PBS NewsHour With to bring Youth Perspectives to National & World News Coverage

iEARN-USA announced the first ever collaboration between a major news organization and a global educational network. iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is the world’s largest online K-12 educational network that daily connects over two million students and 35,000 teachers in 130 countries.

Youth voices are seldom heard on national and international news broadcasts in the US. Through an innovative partnership between a premier news program and a global network of youth and young journalists, those voices will become clearer. iEARN-USA and the PBS NewsHour on PBS have signed an MOU, noting that they share common interests to enhance journalism skills among young people and provide quality information and opinions to the US public in order to enhance global awareness and understanding of issues facing young people around the world.

iEARN, through its organizations, structures and member schools worldwide will invite young people in its network to submit articles on specific topics of news interest identified by the NewsHour. These articles can be used in further story development, interviews and reporting on the NewsHour. Further, students who have been certified as PEARL Reporters through the PEARL World Youth News will be invited to submit stories for possible use by News Hour segments. The PEARL program is a partnership between iEARN-USA and the Daniel Pearl Foundation. (

"Never has there been a more vital need for a free flow of viewpoints voiced by the youth of the world. This exciting partnership will enable young journalists around the country and throughout the world to share perspectives and local stories that otherwise would not be heard in the news media,” said Ed Gragert, Executive Director of iEARN-USA.

“Working with iEARN will enable the NewsHour to solicit quality stories and perspectives on issues we are covering internationally,” noted Quinn Bowman, Assistant Editor for the Online NewsHour.

The program is open to individual students aged 14-19 and students in high school journalism classes who become certified PEARL Reporters. Students participate in a self-directed rigorous online Certification Course, during which they are mentored by journalism students at Columbia and NYU and other top journalism schools. The Certification Course, developed by iEARN-USA in collaboration with the New York Times and Columbia University’s School of Journalism, enables students to explore professional ethics and practices in both print and broadcast journalism. Certified PEARL Reporters then contribute stories, features, videos and photographs to the PEARL World Youth News website. To date, hundreds of students from 22 countries have become certified PEARL Reporters. They now have the possibility of having their perspectives on a major US news program.

About iEARN

iEARN was launched in 1988 as a pilot project between the US and former USSR to demonstrate that students could use emerging new technologies to work together on meaningful educational projects that enhance the quality of life on the planet. It is iEARN’s vision that if students start working together globally from the earliest ages (5-19), they will learn to communicate more effectively through direct online dialogs with peers in other countries and learn how the world’s issues can be solved through collaborative solutions. iEARN has grown to become the world’s largest educational network for project-based learning, with programs in more than 125 countries. iEARN-USA was awarded the 2003 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education and is a 2004 Tech Museum Laureate winner for “technology benefiting humanity.” Please visit and iEARN-USA is based in New York City.

About the PBS NewsHour

For 30 years, millions of Americans and citizens of the world have turned to MacNeil/Lehrer Productions for the solid, reliable reporting that has made the PBS NewsHour one of the most trusted news programs in television. The PBS NewsHour is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. Please visit

About the Daniel Pearl Foundation

The Daniel Pearl Foundation was formed in memory of journalist Daniel Pearl to further the ideals that inspired Daniel's life and work. The foundation's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications. Visit:

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