If we want to teach our students genuine collaboration skills, we could spend more time teaching journalism from the point of view of enabling storytelling as opposed to focusing solely on being a storyteller. The Tiziano Project could be an excellent way to experiment with developing a different mindset among students.
The Tiziano Project recently won a $200,000 Knight News Challenge Grant for its work in creating a platform that enables people to tell their own stories. The project’s mission statement acknowledges the link between reporting stories and improving lives; between having the right equipment and having the right affiliations:
The Tiziano Project provides community members in conflict, post-conflict, and underreported regions with the equipment, training, and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives.
The Tiziano Project uses a classroom metaphor to present its tools and learning modules — which could lend itself to using in a basic journalism school classroom as well as classrooms on the street.
The future of journalism is collaboration — collaboration as a means of presenting all sides of a story and providing every individual, whether in a conflict zone or on Wall Street, with the ability to present their voice to the world.
In the most connected era of human history, it is a return to the humanization of the events surrounding us. Iraq is no longer a war thousands of miles away, but the story of a girl who is learning how to drive or the fastest go-kart racer in the country, who has no arms.
It’s not that we are merging activism with journalism; in many ways, that was done long ago. What we are doing is spreading the opportunity for communities to share in the global conversation about their own societies and to help shape perceptions about the world in which they live.