STLPR Political Reporter, Jason Rosenbaum Visits Local Classroom
In the aftermath of the Jason Stockley verdict, Thomas Jefferson School teacher Lisa Gilbert was preparing to discuss the unfolding events with her class when she heard St. Louis Public Radio's political reporter, Jason Rosenbaum, in his guest appearance on NPR's 1A.
She tweeted to 1A:
Here's how my students will be preparing for our discussion about the Stockley verdict. Thank you @1a for providing such a thoughtful show! pic.twitter.com/PzCmo2h5Ql— Dr. Lisa Gilbert (@gilbertlisak) September 20, 2017
Jason Rosenbaum and Joshua Johnson, host of 1A, both took notice of the tweet. Jason said in his 11.5 years of reporting it's the first time his work has ever been used in a high school class. He then offered to visit Lisa's students and help facilitate discussion.
"I've done those types of appearances so often... I didn't realize how impactful it could be," said Jason.
Jason visited the school in late October. He discussed journalism with the students and some of the challenging and rewarding stories he has encountered in his career. They also discussed the Stockley verdict and issues facing St. Louis.
The teens, many of whom are from areas outside of the St. Louis region, were interested in public radio and the issues surrounding St. Louis. They were thoughtful and inquisitive, according to Jason, and they had done their homework. They had some challenging questions.
"How does it feel to be a white reporter reporting on an issue that's primarily circling around African Americans?" one student asked.
Jason said he's been reporting on these topics since 2014, and no one has ever asked that before. "I've been waiting for people to ask me that question," he said. It's definitely something he's thought about.
Students clearly valued the insight and wrote notes on a thank-you card for Jason about the visit. “I haven’t had a class speaker that went into such depth or detail about his or her opinions and experiences in order to teach our class,” wrote one student. Another said they “appreciated when [Jason] spoke about how race and privilege affect [him] personally.”
Jason called the experience "gratifying." The teacher, Lisa Gilbert, said the visit was a great way to kick-off a unit on the role of media in a democracy and that St. Louis Public Radio is a valued resource in the classroom.
My US Gov students were so excited to meet with @jrosenbaum of @stlpublicradio as part of our unit on the role of the media in a democracy! pic.twitter.com/0BugJBEeLi— Dr. Lisa Gilbert (@gilbertlisak) October 24, 2017