Connecticut pubcasters ink deal with local schools for unique media academy

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Connecticut Public Television and WNPR have signed an agreement with the Hartford, Conn., school system to establish an educational center at the network’s headquarters to provide a “hands-on” immersion lab for the city’s Journalism and Media Academy, reports the Hartford Courant. Starting with the 2013-14 school year, the academy’s 100 seniors will take all of their classes in the new Learning Lab in the CPBN building. In addition to core subjects, students will learn how to produce TV, radio and online media. Hartford faculty will teach the classes, said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, although the network’s broadcasting and media professionals will “co-teach” for media instruction. “No public broadcaster in the country has even suggested such a thing,” said Jerry Franklin, network president. The network’s initial investment will be $3.5 million to retrofit 20,000 square feet of space into classrooms and production studios. The network has raised about $1.6 million so far from corporate donors and foundations.