Illinois Press Foundation/Eastern Illinois University
High School Journalism Workshop/June 16-27, 2014
Program Description – The Illinois Press Foundation/Eastern Illinois University High School Journalism Workshop is a two-week residential program that provides students an intimate look at journalism as a career. The goal is to educate students about the journalism profession, including approaches by modern, digital news rooms. The workshop introduces students to the complete process of publishing news: gathering and validating information, substantiating and using multiple sources, writing news, editing, designing, and production. In addition, students are exposed to the concepts of news literacy and how to differentiate and establish fact from fiction in today’s sometimes frenetic, rush-to-report news environment.
Instruction – Professional journalists provide most of the instruction through brief presentations, in-depth discussions, and hands-on exercises. Students start reporting immediately, beginning with a story by the end of the first day. By the end of the 12 days, students will write at least three stories, have taken at least two news photos, reported through social media, posted stories on a news website, and edited/designed a news page in the print publication. More than 30 journalists assist each year, representing news organizations throughout Illinois and from nearby states. In past years, journalists have included those from the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald, Associated Press, (Champaign) News-Gazette, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, (Decatur) Herald & Review, Effingham Daily News, ESPN, Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette, Indianapolis Star, Jet magazine, Mattoon Journal-Gazette & Charleston Times-Courier, Peoria Journal-Star, (Robinson) Daily News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Taylorville Breeze-Courier, (Terre Haute, Ind.) Tribune-Star – and from many more.
Internship – In the second week, students intern in pairs at several newspapers. Sites typically include the (Champaign) News-Gazette, (Decatur) Herald & Review, Effingham Daily News, Mattoon Journal-Gazette & Charleston Times-Courier, (Robinson) Daily News and Taylorville Breeze-Courier. For three days, students are driven to participating papers, where they work with reporters and other journalists on assignments, ranging from coverage of murder trials to interviewing the governor to exploring county fairs.
Field trips – For entertainment as well as instruction, students will participate in several other field trips. Students attend several events that they will also cover, such as a professional theater production at the Little Theatre and public meetings. Students have also regularly toured the Ernie Pyle Museum, an Amish community, the Lincoln Log Cabin (once a working farm for Abraham Lincoln’s parents), and hiked through Turkey Run State Park.
Funding – The bulk of funds is provided by the Illinois Press Foundation. The Dow Jones News Fund and the McCormick Foundation are also significant contributors to the program. Housing, meals and tuition are paid from these funds.
Application requirements – To be considered, students must complete an application form, which is available from the Journalism Department, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL 61920 and that is online at IPFworkshop.wordpress.com. Other requirements are (1) completion of the sophomore year in high school by the beginning of the workshop, (2) a 500-word essay by the student describing his/her career goals and how the workshop would help the student achieve those goals; (3) submission of three samples of the student’s writing, preferably published news stories or other non-fiction; (4) two letters of recommendation from the student’s teachers/advisers. Final application deadline is May 8, 2014, but entries will be judged and internship slots may be filled earlier, depending on the quality of applications.
Need more information? Call Joe Gisondi, workshop director, 2014 IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop, phone at 217.581.6003, fax to 217.581.7188 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.