Create media opportunities.

Media opportunities can be created as well as shared. Sometimes, all that is needed is an additional twist or two to make a school concert or district event more newsworthy.

For example, while the annual food drive probably isn’t newsworthy, tying that drive to increasing hunger in local public schools and the negative impact of hunger on learning probably is.

These facts—combined with a class project to identify community food desserts, and a student’s plan to grow an urban garden in her neighborhood—increase the news value considerably.

Telling stories through people, sound bites (words), and pictures, and weaving more compelling narratives, will improve media coverage and public understanding of public schools.

Resources: “Americans Want More Coverage of Teacher Performance and Student Achievement,” Darrell M. West, Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, and E.J. Dionne, Jr., The Brookings Institute, March 29, 2011. www.brookings.edu/

Award-winning eSchool News columnist Nora Carr is the chief of staff for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools.