EdCircuit Is the Latest Education News Site to the Table
If you have been looking for that singular place on the Internet or in any other medium that is the go-to spot for coverage and conversation about education, former cable-news producer Donna Krache believes she has it for you.
"As a former news producer and information junkie, I have searched for a space that incorporates all the diverse voices that lend themselves to the education conversation," Krache writes on a new site called EdCircuit. "I have yet to find that one place. So when I was asked to help create it, I jumped at the chance."
EdCircuit soft-launched in recent weeks with a range of news and opinion pieces (much of it aggregated from other sources), as well as original video reports from education conventions such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
"Everybody wants to be the one place" for the conversation about education, "and we're no exception," Krache said in an interview, acknowledging that other sites have also sought to claim the mantle. They include recent launches such as Bright.
Krache spent several years as a producer of CNN's "Student News" show, which was started by CNN founder Ted Turner as a commercial-free alternative to the ad-supported Channel One classroom news show. Krache also oversaw the Schools of Thought blog or section on CNN's website. (That site evidently dried up in 2013.)
So she perhaps understandably thinks about news and information in terms of cable channels.
"I would love EdCircuit to be the Food Network for education," she said. "They don't just cover one thing. They have Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,' then in the next breath you're cooking with the 'Barefoot Contessa.'" ("Diners" is lot of burgers and fries, while "Contessa," featuring Ina Garten, features more refined fare.)
EdCircuit has channels for decisionmakers, educators, business, and innovation. Since much of the content is aggregated from elsewhere, it's hard to judge where it will go. Krache says EdCircuit is ramping up hiring and will have more original content soon.
One promising area is video. EdCircuit has video reports from ASCD's recent convention in Houston and the BETT Excel show in London, a British education technology event.
"You have to play to your strengths, and my strength is in media production," Krache said.
EdCircuit was launched by MindRocket Media Group, a Washington-based concern that describes itself as providing "thought-leadership, marketing communications and public relations for the global education industry."
I asked Krache about the fact that several web sites offering news and information platforms on education seem to have a fuzzy line between journalism and more PR and marketing-oriented materials.
She said that while MindRocket, which itself is relatively new on the scene, will provide marketing and PR services, she aims to keep EdCircuit an independent, advertising-supported news site.
So while education news sites continue to sprout like fast-food joints on a suburban highway, it remains to be seen whether they will all be able to avoid the fate of two of every three contestants on the Food Network's most popular show: "Chopped."