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28 March 2005

A Bold Venture:

Creating an 'Electronic Town Square' with Blogs
Ellen Simon AP Technology Writer

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) --
It's a journalist's job to ask questions, but they're usually aimed at outsiders.

At the News & Record, a 93,000-daily circulation newspaper in Greensboro, reporters and editors are asking tough questions about the paper itself.

The biggest questions: If the paper needs to change to survive, what changes should be made? What can it do, especially online, to make itself the electronic equivalent of a town square?

Seeking the answers, the paper has launched an audacious online experiment.

The News & Record's Web site features 11 staff-written Web journals, or blogs, including one by the editor that answers readers' questions, addresses their criticisms and discusses how the paper is run.

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parts is parts!

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Kids in the Thrall
by Anya Kamenetz
Congress defeats a minimum-wage increase, but at an indie coffeehouse in Brooklyn unionized employees are getting what they deserve.


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All PART Of The Game
Gary Bass and Adam Hughes

The Program Assessment Rating Tool, or PART, is a system in the President's Management Agenda that's supposed to be used to evaluate a program's effectiveness so decisions about expansion and funding can be more accurate.
But a little digging reveals that Fiscal Year 2006 budget cuts were made based on ideology—not on a measured, objective system. Gary Bass and Adam Hughes of OMB Watch explain.
Gary Bass is executive director and Adam Hughes is budget policy analyst at OMB
Watch, a nonpartisan government-watchdog organization in Washington, D.C.

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Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young
The Blue-Blood Revolution

A movement to help the poorest students grows—at the Ivies
by Anya Kamenetz

You've probably never heard of Gateway Community-Technical College. The fastest-growing of Connecticut's colleges, it occupies a former factory building on New Haven's waterfront but is due to move to a new downtown location next year. Thirty-seven percent of Gateway's 7,391 for-credit students rely on need-based grants from the federal and state government and the school itself, to fund nearly all their direct educational expenses.
Eighty-eight percent of the students work, 38 percent full-time, and most are quietly chipping away at a part-time course load, stretching their enrollment out over many years. The average student is a 29-year-old, white, single working mother.

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Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young
Borrow More Now! Pay More Later!

by Anya Kamenetz

The Greatest Generation had the G.I. Bill to pay for college. Baby Boomers got the Pell Grant program in the 1970s, and back then it paid for an average of 50 percent of a public university education, compared to 25 percent today.
Students these days are supposed to be grateful that Bush's new budget will allow them to borrow even more, raising the annual limit on federal student loans from $2,625 to $3,500 for freshmen.


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Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young
Feeling a Draft?

Poor kids of color fight the Pentagon
by Anya Kamenetz

Chris Dugan, 27, signed up for his future hitch in the marines while still in high school. "I wanted to be hard and serve my country," he says. "My grandfather was a marine." Dugan was lucky enough to serve in peacetime, from 1995 to 1999. Included was a short stint as a recruiter for high schoolers like himself, patriotic working-class kids without a lot of options to pay for college, get job training, or find work.

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