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EIU Department of Journalism


Illinois Press Foundation/Eastern Illinois University  High School Journalism Workshop 

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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – The Illinois Press Foundation/Eastern Illinois University High School Journalism Workshop is a one-week residential program that provides students an intimate look at journalism as a career. The goal is to promote the journalism profession – and newspaper newsrooms – by sparking students' interest early. The workshop introduces students to the complete process of publishing newspapers: gathering information, writing news, editing it, designing and producing newspapers. The week will culminate in the production of a workshop newspaper.

INSTRUCTION – Throughout the week students will receive instruction and related exercises, including news-gathering field trips. Professional journalists provide most of the instruction. Dozens of reporters, editors, publishers, photographers and other journalists have taught in the program since 1993, representing more than 30 newspapers and news organizations throughout Illinois and from nearby states, including the Belleville News-Democrat, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Herald-News of Joliet, Citizen Newspapers of Chicago, Jet Magazine, National Public Radio, The Associated Press, Peoria Journal-Star, The News-Gazette in Champaign, the Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette, Indianapolis Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights), and the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. The week culminates in the production of a weekly newspaper.

FIELD TRIPS – For entertainment as well as instruction, students will participate in several field events that they will also cover, such as a professional theater production at the Little Theatre and a City Council meeting. Students have also regularly toured the Ernie Pyle Museum, hiked through Turkey Run State Park and toured the Lincoln Log Cabin, once a working farm for Abraham Lincoln’s parents. Past trips have included tours of Lender's Bagels Bakery in Mattoon (said to be the largest bagel bakery in the world), Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital (where students interviewed medical professionals), Coles County Courthouse (to meet judges and county officials), an Amish community, the Embarras River (for a canoe trip), and Lake Shelbyville (to go swimming). The specific field trips for the 2020 workshop have not been chosen.

FUNDING – The bulk of funding is provided by the Illinois Press Foundation. All expenses (including housing, meals and tuition, as well as transportation to the conference if needed) are paid from these funds.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS – Students must complete an application form. Other requirements: (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 non-fiction or graded exercises; (4) two letters of recommendation from the student's teachers/advisers. Final application deadline is May 1, but entries will be judged and internship slots may be filled earlier, depending on the quality of applications. 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 e-mail (

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