The Classroom

Pearlpedia
Our Approach

We use a virtual database that we call Pearlpedia to store our research and reporting. The database allows us to share information easily with collaborators.

Here is our archives of documents and material related to Daniel Pearl.

  • April 2, 2002, Sindh High Court ruling on appeal of Omar Sheikh and his three co-defendants
  • 2002 Pakistan trial court judgment

For the first Pearl Project investigation, we used WikiMedia, the software used to develop Wikipedia, to create a private, password-protected wiki that acted as a virtual filing cabinet for the information that we gathered.

It was easy to create using one of many publicly available Internet service providers that support WikiMedia software. We used Site Ground because it offered prompt technical support. On our wiki, we posted classroom essentials, including our syllabus, class schedule, assignments and reading materials.

Students created their own pages where they posted sources, reporting strategies and story drafts. They created pages for each source and post contact information, questions, bios, articles and interview transcripts. While students developed one-on-one relationships with sources, they contributed their collective intellect to questions for the sources. We created a page with a chronology of the facts and a page for articles and documents related to the case. The Pearlpedia was an effective teaching tool because professors could edit student work and monitor student activity by examining the “history” of pages.

In addition to the Pearlpedia, students used the Google Groups listserv to share tips and breaking news with each other. To help solicit more sources, students established a tip line, made business cards and brochures and created a Facebook account. Students learned to share sources, tips and ideas, teaching them how to work together in a newsroom.