“Our Ethanol Debate,” is a community resource website about a proposed ethanol plant in Bridgewater Township, MN, a rural area a few miles south of Northfield in Rice County, Minnesota. The website began as a collaborative effort between three classes in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, along with Carleton’s Acting in the Community Together (ACT) Center and others.
The purpose of the website is to provide information about the proposed plant, ethanol, and related issues. Topics covered include local, environmental, economic, agricultural, energy and political aspects of the ethanol debate. In addition to articles by Carleton students, the site features video interviews and documentaries with Northfield and Rice County citizens.
The idea for a website was conceived in the winter by Cinema and Media Studies Professors John Schott and Michael Griffin. They assigned class projects to create material for the site, from interviewing township residents to researching the far-reaching aspects of the ethanol debate. Since then, other classes have contributed.
“We think of it as citizen journalism,” said Schott. He noted that the project benefits both students, as a way to hone their research and media production techniques, and township residents, as a hub of information about ethanol issues. “It’s crucial for the college to use its academic resources in ways that benefit the community.”
The website is also accepting journalistic and viewpoint articles from township residents who have special knowledge of the plant or the issues surrounding it. The site welcomes diverse opinions that contribute to a better understanding of the issue. Submissions will be reviewed before posting to insure that they are within the informational intent of the site and not redundant with other papers.
Submissions may be sent to John Schott. [firstname.lastname@example.org]