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ASNE awards partnership grants to revive, strengthen high school newspapers

Jan. 10, 2001

RESTON, Va. – The American Society of Newspaper Editors Foundation has awarded $122,373 to 32 schools and school districts and 27 daily newspaper partners to revive or dramatically improve scholastic newspapers.

“The response to this project from newspaper editors across the country has been tremendous,” said Richard A. Oppel, ASNE president and editor of the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman. “It is just one measure of the commitment the professional press has to the next generation of journalists.”

ASNE Partnerships are formed when editors of daily newspapers seek out a high school or schools in their community that are interested in nurturing scholastic journalism. They then jointly apply to ASNE for a grant of up to $5,000 that is used to equip the school with the hardware and software needed to produce a student newspaper. A budget, statement of goals and timeline are required. In some instances, a local college or university journalism program has signed on as a third partner.

The daily newspaper takes the lead in training and mentoring students, teachers and administrators who are interested in journalism. Along with the ASNE grant, many of the newspapers provide additional funding to help with costs that run the gamut from printing to field trips.

The Partnerships are part of an overall ASNE high school journalism initiative launched in the spring of 2000 and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Partnerships include schools from urban, suburban and rural communities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. At each school, the newspapers have either lapsed, publish sporadically and/or are in need of professional support.

Of the 31 schools and school districts, 21 have minority student populations of 40 percent or higher.

“ASNE’s scholastic journalism initiatives are working to bring a diverse generation of young people into print journalism, while imparting a better understanding of and appreciation for the First Amendment among all teens,” said Susan Bischoff, chair of ASNE’s Education for Journalism Committee and deputy managing editor of the Houston Chronicle.

The 2001 calendar year ASNE Partners are:

  • Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, and Wakefield High School.
  • Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, University of Texas at Austin and Travis High School and Fulmore Middle School.
  • The Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette, University of South Carolina, Columbia, and Jasper County High School.
  • Boston Herald, University of Massachusetts Graduate College of Education and Dorchester High School.
  • The Bradford (Pa.) Era and Bradford High School.
  • The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer and West Mecklenburg High School.
  • Cheboygan (Mich.) Daily Tribune and Cheboygan High School.
  • Cordele (Ga.) Dispatch and Crisp County High School.
  • The Daily Journal, Kankakee, Ill., and Kankakee High School.
  • The Daily News Leader, Staunton, Va., and Robert E. Lee High School.
  • The Daily Review, Hayward, Calif., and Tennyson High School.
  • The Des Moines (Iowa) Register and Scavo Campus.
  • The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., Harrison High School and Sierra High School.
  • The Gazette-Times, Corvallis, Ore., and Philomath High School.
  • Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and Bryan Station Traditional High School.
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and South Division High School.
  • Missoulian, Missoula, Mont., University of Montana, Missoula and Loyola Sacred Heart High School.
  • North Jersey Herald & News, West Paterson, and John F. Kennedy High School.
  • Petoskey (Mich.) News-Review and Petoskey High School.
  • Philadelphia Daily News and William Penn High School.
  • The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., and Rubidoux High School, $1,700, and Cajon High School.
  • Record Searchlight, Redding, Calif. and Central Valley High School.
  • Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle and Benjamin Franklin High School.
  • Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Booker High School.
  • Savannah (Ga.) Morning News and Savannah-Chatham schools.
  • The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune and Durant High School.
  • The Washington Post, University of Maryland and DuVal High School; The Washington Post and Woodrow Wilson High School, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

Approximately 25 new partnerships for the 2002 calendar year will be funded toward the end of this year. Partnership applications will be mailed to the editors of all daily newspapers in August.

Other key components of the ASNE 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 High School Journalism Institute: Starting this summer, approximately 200 teachers committed to advising student newspapers will take part in two–week, for-credit summer programs at six accredited colleges of journalism across the country. For more information or to download an application, 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.