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Six j-schools selected to run ASNE Institutes for high school teachers in 2004

Oct. 7, 2003

RESTON, Va. — As part of its ongoing effort to revitalize scholastic journalism, the American Society of Newspaper Editors has selected six accredited university journalism schools to administer ASNE’s highly successful two-week summer training program.

The six universities selected for the 2004 program are:

  • Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
  • Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of South Florida, Tampa
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.

A request for proposals was sent to accredited journalism schools. Twenty-seven journalism schools applied and competition was fierce.

Next summer, 175 high school teachers will attend ASNE Institutes: groups of 35 will attend Kent, UC-Berkeley, USF-Tampa and UT-Austin; Hampton and Winthrop will each host 17 teachers.

"The Institutes are a highly effective way to train and prepare dedicated high school teachers who in turn are inspiring and shaping the next diverse generation of journalists," said Peter K. Bhatia, ASNE president and executive editor of The Oregonian, Portland.

Funding for ASNE’s overall High School Journalism Initiative comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. ASNE has allocated approximately $750,000 plus materials toward the 2004 Institutes.

A concerted effort is made to target teachers from schools where scholastic media is foundering or non-existent. There is also aggressive recruitment in resource-poor urban and rural districts.

In its first three years, ASNE Institutes trained 554 teachers from 47 states, plus the District of Columbia. Of that group:

  • 108 teachers (20 percent) teach in big cities; 157 (29 percent) are from medium or small cities; 96 (17 percent) are from rural areas; 83 (15 percent) from small towns and 105 (19 percent) from suburban districts.
  • 209 teachers (38 percent) are from schools in which young people of color make up more than half of the student body. At schools where are least 40 percent of the students are minorities, the number of teachers increases to 250 (46 percent).
  • 129 teachers (23 percent) identified themselves as minorities.
  • Of the minority teachers, 68 (32 percent) teach at schools where students of color make up a majority of the students.

The ASNE Institutes seek to:

  • Better inform teachers about the operations of daily newspapers and practices, news values and ethical decision-making in the craft of journalism.
  • Impart the basic writing, editing, design, photo and graphics skills that teachers need to better advise students and to start or strengthen a school newspaper.
  • Shift the focus of many high school newspapers to fair and balanced news reporting and writing rather than essay writing, public relations and opinion pieces.

This is done through a hands-on and academically rigorous curriculum designed and taught by key university faculty, supplemented by scholastic journalism leaders and 50-60 newspaper professionals.

All key expenses for the participating teachers are covered, including transportation, housing, meals, tuition and registration fees, and three graduate or continuing education credits.

ASNE also gives each teacher media library materials that include texts, media ethics guides, a design handbook and subscriptions to several professional journalism magazines. Membership dues to the Journalism Education Association, Student Press Law Center and state or regional scholastic press group are paid by ASNE, and an academic-year NIE subscription to a local daily newspaper is also arranged.

A brochure and application listing specific dates will be mailed to all high schools in the U.S. later this month.

Other components of the ASNE High School Journalism initiative are:

ASNE Journalism Partnerships: Daily newspapers seek out local high schools to mentor and jointly submit an application to ASNE in the spring to launch or improve a student newspaper. Funding of up to $5,000 for computer hardware and software, digital cameras and other material.

www.highschooljournalism.org: A comprehensive Web site for students interested in journalism, their teachers/advisers, guidance counselors and newspaper editors.

my.highschooljournalism.org: Online school newspaper hosting that does not require special computer programs – content is cut and paste. A one-time registration fee of $25 covers the cost of journalism materials sent to the school. The hosting service is free.

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, based in Miami, supports organizations engaged in the education of current and future journalists.

For more information contact:

Diana Mitsu Klos
ASNE Senior Project Director
703-453-1125; dmk@asne.org