Mapping Main Street Goes to College

The Center for Innovation in College Media has decided to make Mapping Main Street the focus of its multimedia training at the National College Media convention in Louisville in October.

60 student journalists will spend 4 days immersed in the latest tools of documentary production. They will be divided into 12 teams, and given 12 hours to collect stories on 12 blocks of Louisville’s Main Street.

Chris Carroll, Director of Student Media at Vanderbilt University says, “The Mapping Main Street project is an absolutely perfect fit for our collegiate multimedia workshop. As college student media continues to transition from exclusively traditional delivery systems to more digital, mobile and collective methods, one of the models we advisers promote is collaborative efforts that share content among journalist and non-journalist communities. As an active collaborative documentary media project, Mapping Main Street provides us the opportunity to practice what we preach.”

The MQ2 pilot project also offers students a chance to have their original content seen and heard by a wider audience. “Knowing their work will wind up in the Mapping Main Street site will enhance the experience for students,” says Carroll, since “the work they produce will be contributed to something real and relevant, rather than creating lab practice pieces that will be thrown away unseen.”

Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky is a vibrant commercial and tourism hub. West Main Street was voted one of the “10 best streets in America” by the American Planning Association in 2008. The Main Street business association even has its own oral history project. According to wikipedia, “the buildings of West Main Street in downtown Louisville have the largest collection of cast iron facades of anywhere outside of New York’s SoHo district.”

It will be up to student journalists to avoid the predictable tourist spots and dig below the surface to find unusual, edgy and memorable stories to tell.

You can get a sneak preview of Louisville, Kentucky’s Main Street by checking out the content already contributed to Mapping Main Street.