Center for Scholastic Journalism receives two grants

Rebab Al-Sharif

The Center for Scholastic Journalism recently received two grants to advance journalism programs through a workshop for high school news advisers and to promote their mission focusing on student press freedom.

The center works toward helping high school students develop an understanding and appreciation for news, said Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism.

The first, a $30,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation in Chicago, was given to CSJ to direct a First Amendment, civic engagement and student free press experience study led by Goodman.

With the money, the CSJ will pick schools in urban areas that allow students to make content decisions to conduct a study. From this study, CSJ will determine why this works in those specific schools, and how it can be done in other schools.

The goal is to help students gain an appreciation for civic engagement and free press by making them a part of it.

“We teach the values of our Constitution by allowing young people to engage in them,” Goodman said.

The program creates opportunities for high school students and teachers, but it also creates an opportunity for faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, students and staff to engage in press freedom. It will give at least one graduate student and possibly one or more undergraduate students a chance to gain experience outside of a classroom.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation gave a grant to the American Society of News Editors. ASNE will receive about $4.5 million over the next five years to hold the Reynolds Institute, a program for high school journalism advisers, at five accredited journalism schools across the nation. Among the schools are Arizona State University, University of Missouri, University of Nevada and University of Texas.

Kent State has also been chosen as one of the sites and will host the Reynolds Institute workshop for the next five years. The institute is a two-week program in the summer that brings in 35 teachers and news advisers from inner city and rural areas all over the country.

JMC faculty along with newsroom experts from the Akron Beacon Journal, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Washington Post and other media outlets teach at the institute.

Diana Mitsu Klos, senior project director at ASNE High School Journalism Initiative, said Kent State was chosen for this program because of its reputation.

“We are proud to partner with Kent State,” Mitsu Klos said. “Its journalism department and Center for Scholastic Journalism has a terrific track record and is dedicated to doing this program.”

The selection process is very competitive, and everything from airfare to food and board is paid for.

Candace Perkins Bowen, director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism and assistant professor of journalism, runs the institute.

“We try really hard to blend educational aspects with real world media,” Bowen said. “What it’s like in the real world and how you go about teaching it in your schools.”

Bowen said the teachers are put into groups and asked to do multimedia projects. The program is very hands-on, and the advisers are able to learn these new things by actually doing them.

These teachers can then go back and teach multimedia skills to their students.

“Journalism is going through a fundamental transition,” Mitsu Klos said. “This program ensures a new generation of multimedia reporters, and also demanding news consumers.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Rabab Al-Sharif at [email protected].