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Broadcast News: Young people's views of world events may get a higher profile with the launch of an international news bureau for student journalists by the Cable News Network and Turner Learning Inc.

The CNN Student Bureau, which was announced last month and will start operations in January, will assign stories to journalism and English classes and clubs at affiliated high schools and universities worldwide.

The stories potentially could air on CNN, CNN/Sports Illustrated, CNN en Espanol, or other news outlets of Turner Broadcasting Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

Most student stories, however, would air on "CNN Newsroom," a news program that U.S. schools usually record at 4:30 a.m. daily on CNN for use in their classrooms; a special World Wide Web site; or the access channels of cable affiliates.

Stories of regional, national, or international interest often will focus on young people's reactions to events, according to John Richards, the senior vice president and general manager of Turner Learning, which will run the bureau jointly with the all-news cable channel.

"If last week we were interested in the Brazilian election from a student perspective, we would ask [a Brazilian school affiliate] to cover that as a story," Mr. Richards said.

Research by CNN has found that younger viewers want to hear the voices of their contemporaries when they watch the news, he said.

The bureau will operate in some ways like other CNN bureaus, but will use a Web site to assign stories and coordinate editing and fact-checking. "We're expecting one, maybe two stories a month out of a school," Mr. Richards said.

The broader goal is to enhance the student press. "We're looking at improving the quality of student journalism worldwide," he added.

Schools in the program, which is free, must be sponsored by a local cable station or university that can give them access to modern news tools, technical and marketing support, and training and advice in journalism.

"It's a wonderful concept," Candice Perkins Bowen, the coordinator of scholastic media at Kent State University in Ohio, said of the program. "It connects students to the larger world."

Ms. Bowen was an adviser for the Youth News Service, a now-defunct wire service for student print reporting in the mid-1980s and early '90s.

The bureau expects to sign up at least 150 university and high school affiliates by next June.


Vol. 18, Issue 8, Page 5

Published in Print: October 21, 1998, as Media

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