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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – The IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop is an 11-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 11 days, students will write stories, take photos, report through social media, post information on a news website, and edit/design. 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, 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, (Terre Haute, Ind.) Star-Tribune.
INTERNSHIP – In the second week, students intern at several newspapers. Sites typically include the Champaign News-Gazette, Charleston Times-Courier & Mattoon Journal-Gazette, Decatur Herald & Review, Robinson Daily News, and Effingham Daily News. For two days, students are driven to participating papers, where they work with journalists on assignments, which range from coverage of murder trials to interviewing the governor to exploring county fairs.
FIELD TRIPS – Students typically will travel to Springfield where they speak 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.
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 the student describing his/her career goals and how the workshop would help achieve those goals; (3) two letters of recommendation from the student's teachers/advisers. If possible, email all materials as documents, scans or PDFs to the email address below. Final application deadline is May 20, 2018, but entries will be judged and internship slots filled as applications roll in. So apply early. Graduating seniors are eligible to participate.
Need more information? Contact Joe Gisondi, workshop director, 2018 IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop, by phone (217.581.6003), fax (217.581.7188) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).