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news editor: The supervisor of the copy desk. At some newspapers, this title is used for the person in charge of local news-gathering operations. See also: copy chief. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Six journalism schools selected to run summer trainins Institute for high school teachers

RESTON, Va. — In a large-scale effort to revitalize scholastic journalism, the American Society of Newspaper Editors has chosen six accredited university journalism programs to administer a two-week summer Institute for high school teachers committed to advising student newspapers.

The six universities that will administer the ASNE High School Journalism Institute to a total of 210 teachers are:

  • Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., July 8-20
  • Hampton University, Hampton, Va., July 15-27
  • Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, July 8-20
  • University of Maryland, College Park, July 15-27
  • University of South Florida, Tampa, July 22-Aug. 3
  • University of Texas at Austin, July 15-27.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided ASNE with a $500,000 planning grant to pursue a trio of high school journalism initiatives, including the Institute. The other two initiatives, ASNE Journalism Partnerships and www.highschooljournalism.org, are described on the following page.

“Through the Institute, we hope to address a key factor that determines whether a student newspaper flourishes or falters – an adviser trained not only in basic journalism skills, but also knowledgeable about how journalists handle difficult issues and ethical challenges,” said Richard A. Oppel, 2000-01 president of ASNE and editor of the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman. “We are seeking teachers who are committed to inspiring a diverse generation of young people to pursue newspaper careers.”

The Institute’s overall goals are:

  • Producing teachers who are better informed about the operations, practices, news values and ethical decision making in the craft of journalism.
  • Imparting or enhancing the writing, editing, layout, photo and graphics skills that teachers need to better advise students and to start or strengthen a school newspaper. In addition, the business-side skills to enable a student newspaper to operate independently will be discussed.
  • Shifting the focus of many high school newspapers to fair and balanced news reporting and writing rather than essay writing, public relations and opinion pieces.
  • Instilling a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the First Amendment.
An important goal is high participation of teachers from school districts where journalism programs have disappeared or are under stress.

“High school is the single most important point for generating interest in journalism as a career, particularly participation on a high school newspaper,” said Susan Bischoff, 2000-02 chair of ASNE’s Education for Journalism Committee and deputy managing editor of the Houston Chronicle. “The high school years also offer the last best opportunity for instilling in large numbers of people the value of a free press to society, regardless of career choices.”

Response to the request for proposals was extraordinary, with 31 accredited schools of journalism submitting ideas, from which the six universities were selected.

Along with ASNE’s leadership, the selection committee included the leaders of several national scholastic journalism groups: Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, Journalism Education Association and Quill and Scroll Society; and at the collegiate level, the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Application forms for teachers who wish to apply to the Institute are being mailed now and may be downloaded at www.highschooljournalism.org

The other two key components of the ASNE high school journalism initiative are:

www.highschooljournalism.org: A comprehensive Web site for students interested in journalism, their teachers/advisers, guidance counselors and newspaper editors. Regularly changing content includes skill-building exercises, sample lesson plans, a spotlight on high school newspapers across the country, interaction with professional journalists and updates on scholastic press freedom issues.

ASNE Journalism Partnerships: Daily newspapers are urged to seek out individual high schools or school districts to jointly submit applications to ASNE for specific projects to launch a student newspaper or improve an existing one. Funding of as much as $5,000 is available if a clear need and attainable goals are demonstrated. The first 25 partnerships for the 2001 calendar year will be announced by mid-January. For more information on this or the next round of partnerships for the 2001-2002 academic year, please go to www.highschooljournalism.org.

With about 900 members, ASNE is the principal organization of the top editors at daily newspapers throughout the Americas. Founded in 1922 as a non-profit professional organization, ASNE focuses on the professional development of its members and journalism-related issues, including the First Amendment, newsroom staff diversity, journalism education, editorial innovation, journalism credibility and the newspaper’s role in providing information necessary to the informed practice of citizenship.

The Knight Foundation’s Journalism Program supports organizations engaged in the education of current and future journalists, journalism excellence and the defense of a free press worldwide. Since its first journalism grant in 1954, the Knight Foundation has made grants of more than $153 million to the field.