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EIU School of Communication and Journalism


Illinois Press Foundation/Eastern Illinois University High School Journalism Workshop

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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – The IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop is a 7-day 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 newsrooms. 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 presentations and hands-on exercises. Students start reporting immediately, beginning with a story by the end of the first day. By the end of the seven days, students will have written stories, taken news photos, reported through social media, posted information on a news website, edited stories and learned how to better design news pages. Dozens of 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, 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, Pinckneyville Press, Lebanon Advertiser, Taylorville Breeze-Courier, and (Terre Haute, Ind.) Star-Tribune, among others.

FIELD TRIPS – Students have traveled to Springfield where they spoke with reporters, politicians and other key state employees at the state capitol to develop stories after a tour of the historic building. In past years, students have visited the Ernie Pyle Museum, a local Amish community, Lincoln Log Cabin (once a working farm for Abraham Lincoln’s parents), and hiked through Turkey Run State Park. Student also travel to local cities and regions, where they uncover and report on news from these communities.

FUNDING – The bulk of funds is provided by the Illinois Press Foundation. Housing, meals and tuition are paid from these funds.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS – Students must complete an application form. Other requirements: (1) completion of sophomore year in high school, (2) a 500-word essay by student describing his/her career goals and how the workshop would help achieve those goals; (3) two letters of recommendation from student's teachers/advisers. These materials can be sent to either the email address listed below as documents, scans or PDFs or through the post office to the physical address cited below. Entries will be judged and internship slots filled as applications roll in; the final deadline will be announced soon. Graduating seniors are eligible to participate.

Need more information? Contact Lola Burnham, workshop director, 2020 IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop, by phone (217.581.7143) or email (

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School of Communication and Journalism

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