“Whoever controls the media controls the mind.” – Jim Morrison
Home Economics, ceramics, and carpentry went first. Then music, art, and journalism. These days it is common to see science and social studies classes co-opted by the holy Mathematics and Language Arts, the subjects most subject to standardized testing (not true student acheivement), school performance ratings, and ultimately adults being able to keep their jobs. PUBLIC EDUCATION TODAY IS NO LONGER ABOUT CHILDREN. One by one enrichment programs, the classes that engage kids in hands-on learning, are cut. And one by one we put them back together.
While the noble purpose of the news media is to educate and inform, of course as businesses they need to make money, and do so mostly through advertising. This is where school based media gets really interesting. Kids will engage with things they think are cool- and if they make it or their friend makes it chances are it’s cool. Parents will engage with things their kids create, as will teachers. So student driven media content has a natural audience, which is valuable to advertisers. This provides leverage to the students, and with thoughtful creativity can add tremendous value to a school health program.
Consider this- parent/teacher participation in school health council meetings and activities is incentivized by coupons and discounts at local stores, be it the barbershop, supermarket, or hardware store. In exchange for these discounts is advertising space in student created media outlets- be it a newsletter, youtube channel, or twitter feed. This partnership is mutually beneficial- and provides holistic social benefit. Adults in the school save money, local business (deemed ‘healthy’ by student editors- a judgement that requires research and further learning) gain exposure to their target market, and a community thrives.