The 9/11 Student-Journalism Project

Welcome to the 9/11 Student-Journalism Project!

The 9/11 Student Journalism Project, or the 9/11 Project for short, is a cooperative effort by Rutgers University, the New Jersey Press Foundation (the educational arm of the New Jersey Press Association), and the Garden State Scholastic Press Association.

We are now uploading news stories, photographs, and videos that were taken by students who participated in the Project. Editors of New Jersey newspapers and media sites that are members of the New Jersey Press Association have access to the vast cache of material that was produced by the students and is intended to be included in 9/11 coverage around Sept. 11, 2011 and afterward.

There are several pages on this website that show the extent of the Project, and there are other hidden pages that are designed for NJPA editors to download articles, pictures, and videos that the students produced when they interviewed children of 9/11 victims. We thank everyone who participated, and we appreciate the chance to show the high quality of the journalism students' training in preparation for the Project.

The 911 Project
About the Project

Rutgers student Shannel Douglas, right, with Piscataway
High School junior Silvia Gunderson, center,
interview
Sarah Van Auken, whose parent died in 9/11.

 

The 9/11 Student-Journalism Project, or 9/11 Project for short, is a project that makes the reporter almost as interesting as the subject. It answers questions not contemplated before the Project was funded by the New Jersey Press Foundation.

The idea of the 9/11 Project is to have similarly-aged journalism students interview children whose parent died in the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center. Now that we are 10 years away from that day, we find that the children of these workers are coming of age. While some were babies when 9/11 happened, many were old enough to understand the implications. All of them have had to live with the loss of their parent and the turmoil that that experience brought to their family. The Rutgers journalism students who participated in the 9/11 Project happened to be about the same age, meaning the vast majority of 9/11 children and Rutgers students found they could speak to each other in a casual but surprisingly straightforward manner because there was no cross-generational barrier.

In carrying out the mandate of the Press Foundation, the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies, a unit of the School of Communication and Information, also worked with the New Jersey Press Association (NJPA), the Rutgers Journalism Research Institute (which administered the grant), and the Garden State Scholastic Press Association, an organization of high school newspaper advisers. These organizations cooperated to conduct a course for 20 college students and then to write, edit, and produce for publication 20 news stories, each about a different child of 9/11. The stories are on this website, though they are pass-code-protected so that only NJPA editors can get to them. These editors will be taking these stories and publishing them in various New Jersey publications, websites and other news sources, around the anniversary of 9/11.

The emotion of growing up without a mom or dad, combined with the constant reminder in the media of that terrible day, has had a severe and marked effect on many of the children. The Rutgers students were able, in every case, to find the facts to individualize these children (many of who are now in their 20s), take photos of them, create videos about them, and write sensitive and perceptive stories. Meanwhile, the children of 911 granted interviews, many of them for

Read more...
 
How to use this site — for editors

Instructions for member editors 
of the New Jersey Press Association

Welcome to the web site of the 9/11 Student-Journalism Project, also known as "The 9/11 Project," a cooperative effort by the Journalism Research Institute at Rutgers University, and its partner, the New Jersey Press Foundation. This article is for editors whose newspaper or other medium is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. If you are not an editor or member of the NJPA, you can read this article, of course, but you cannot extract the stories and photos created by the students at Rutgers University and the two high school students who worked with them through the Garden State Scholastic Press Association. You may, however, request that your local newspaper-member of the NJPA run one or more of these stories and photos, and, if it has a website, the videos shot by the students. The list of NJPA members appears at this link. Simply email, write, or call the newspaper to request that a story be run. You can see the list of stories here on this site (though the stories are available for download only by NJPA editors).

For editors: Click on the link above called "FULL MEDIA ARCHIVE" and put in the name and password given to you by the NJPA headquarters. Check your email or regular mail for a password for the site. From there, you can read a short blurb describing each story along with a list of the names and home towns of the subject of each story (Child of 9/11) and the writer(s) as well as their home towns. Under that is a short blurb describing the story and then links to download the actual story, the still photos shot by the students, any family photos given to the students and scanned, and the video(s) shot during the interview. These stories have been copyright-released to the New Jersey Press Association and Rutgers University and may be run as news/feature stories. The 9/11 Project, and the NJPA, of course, both appreciate your crediting the appropriate source of the story. We suggest:

Bylines:

In this format:

By Dan Rutgers
Student in The 9/11 Project, Rutgers University

or you can put the credit at the end of the story. It is completely your decision concerning how credits be given.

Tag lines:

We would also appreciate your also crediting the New Jersey Press Association with the following tagline:

This story was written under a grant from the New Jersey Press Foundation and was edited by an editor at the New Jersey Press Association. The story was written by a Journalism-and-Media-Studies major at Rutgers or a high school student working on his or her high school newspaper. The NJPF is commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by supporting journalism education while taking a look at what some of the children of 9/11 victims have been doing in the decade following the tragedy.

Using each story:

Although each story has been read and reread by journalism instructors at Rutgers University and edited by an editor from the NJPA, we strongly suggest that editors who use these stories read them carefully and, if necessary, check facts, grammar, and punctuation until they are satisfied the article meets all the criteria of a news or feature story. We did not upload any photos that have been altered or retouched, so you may find some of them dark or not properly color-balanced. You should correct the photos as you see fit. We did not do this so as not to degrade the photos from too much retouching.

Besides, each medium (newspaper, web, etc.) has different needs, size requirements, and levels settings. So we thought that the best way to provide the pictures was as they were collected from the cameras used by the students. The same is true of the videos, except in this case, we avoided editing the footage or selecting sound bites. Some of the students, however, submitted their edited video, and we uploaded these so each editor can decide if he or she wants to use them, and how. They will be obvious in the mix of videos.

We suggest each editor read through the story, look over the photos and watch the videos. In each section are files (usually in Microsoft Word) that describe the story or contain captions and photo credits. If the contact information is there for the student writer, editors or reporters may contact the student to elicit more information or to assign someone to write a story about the student him/herself. In some cases, the student contact information is missing because the student has graduated or is not available.

You may assign these stories to your staff to collaborate on similar stories, feature them in packages, or write collateral stories about the student or the subject. In some cases, the children of 9/11 may not be available for further interviews, and we thank them for the interviews they did grant to our writers.

You may address any questions to the New Jersey Press Foundation or to the Journalism Research Institute (a unit of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University).

You may address email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
How to use this site — for the general public

students workingFirst of all, we want to say thank-you to the children of 9/11 — the young people who lost a parent in 9/11 and agreed to be interviewed for this series — and to the many people who helped us to educate young journalism students by exposing them to a real-life drama. In learning to interview the children of 9/11 victims, these students worked with speakers who came into class. They also worked with professional editors, writers, and photographers, as well as other experts who helped the students understand the background of the attack on the World Trade Center and the events that followed.

Most of the students were about 10 or 11 years old in 2001. Their understanding of the events leading up to as well as following 9/11 were through the eyes of a child. Each college student who participated in this project had to take a rigorous course that required the reading of five books, attendance at various events in and out of the class, and a lot of writing!

The articles that resulted from all this work appear on this site, and you can click to see the titles here. But they are only available for download to members of the New Jersey Press Association. In this context, "member" means (in most cases) a daily or weekly newspaper or website. So, if you are not an editor of a New Jersey newspaper, you can see the titles and descriptions. If you want to read a particular story, we suggest you contact your local newspaper and request that it run the article.

You may address email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

You may address any questions to the New Jersey Press Foundation or to the Journalism Research Institute (a unit of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University). It is easy to locate your local newspaper or website if it is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. You simply go to this link and find your local NJPA member.

We hope you look for these articles in your local newspaper or website. We expect to see them in newspapers and on websites around Sept. 11, 2011.

Thanks to everyone who helped in this project, including:

  • the students in the 9/11 course (spring 2011);
  • the children and families of 9/11 victims who gave up their time and privacy to participate;
  • the speakers who addressed the students at various times during the course;
  • the New Jersey Press Foundation and the member editors and staff who helped us;
  • the Garden State Scholastic Press Association;
  • the deans and staff of the School of Communication and Information;
  • the Department of Journalism and Media Studies; and,
  • Prof. Elizabeth Fuerst, who was writing coach, lecturer, and editor of the 9/11 Project

— Ron Miskoff, principal investigator and lecturer

 

Frank Scandale of The Record addresses the class.

Frank Scandale of The Record addresses The 9/11 Project class.

 

Site developed by the Journalism Research Institute at Rutgers University.

Copyright © 2014 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.