Detroiters Work to Document Education Meetings

A Chicago-based civic media organization has been working over the last few months to have Detroiters document important meetings in the city.  City Bureau has trained a group of residents to attend public meetings on education and report on what happened.

Ada Nicole Smith is an education consultant.  Eleanor Catolico is a freelance journalist with a background in education.  Both signed up for the documenters program, which is covering education meetings during its first phase. 

Smith says she heard about the program from a friend and was intrigued.  She says providing important information to Detroit residents can prevent problems in the educational system from festering.

When you think about things that sometimes get people riled up as it relates to education  — school closings or shortage of funds, teacher walkouts over pay”, says Smith, “things that get people riled up.”

If you took the time to educate folks before we got to that point, maybe sometime we won’t get to those points.”

Citizen Detroit and WDET have partnered with Chicago-based City Bureau on the project. 

Documenters will report on a Detroit school board sub-committee meeting Monday evening.

You can follow live tweeting from the meeting at #DetroitDocumenters.

Hit the audio button above to hear an interview with Ada Nicole Smith and Eleanor Catolico about their experiences in the Detroit Documenters program.

Image credit: Jerome Vaughn

This post is a part of Detroit Documenters Project.

This fall, City Bureau will pilot a Documenters project in Detroit, in collaboration with WDET and Citizen Detroit. The project will include free public trainings in a range of journalistic skills reframed for the public, including social media reporting, mobile photography and on-site notetaking. In August, City Bureau, WDET and Citizen Detroit will host a Public Newsroom workshop open to all Detroit residents. This free and public event will introduce the Documenters program, retrace its history in Chicago and lay out plans for a Detroit launch in 2018. The Public Newsroom will also preview City Bureau’s latest web tool — Documenters.org — which will collect, standardize and share public meetings in Detroit in a single location, and allow Documenters to log-in, claim assignments and submit documentation for a new public record.

About the Author

Jerome Vaughn

News Director & WDET Host, All Things Considered

Jerome Vaughn joined WDET in 1992 to help chronicle Detroit’s comeback and let people around the world know the truth about his hometown.

jvaughn@wdet.org   Follow @jvdet

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