High School Journalism Workshop/July 8-21, 2007
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 ultimate goal is to increase diversity in the journalism profession and in newspaper newsrooms particularly 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 the paper. Participants will produce three newspapers during the course of the workshop.
The first week is devoted to 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 Herald & Review in Decatur, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Herald-News of Joliet, Daily News of Robinson, The State Journal-Register in Springfield, the Charleston Times-Courier, 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). The week culminates in the production of a weekly newspaper.
In the second week, students intern in pairs at several newspapers. Sites typically include the Herald & Review (Decatur), The News-Gazette (Champaign), The State Journal-Register (Springfield), The Daily News (Robinson), The (Charleston) Times-Courier & (Mattoon) Journal-Gazette, and The Pantagraph (Bloomington). For three days, students are driven to participating papers, where they work with reporters and other journalists on assignments. These have ranged from coverage of murder trials to interviewing the governor to exploring county fairs. The remainder of the second week is devoted to production of two daily
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 a County Commission 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 bulk of funds is provided by the Illinois Press Foundation. The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Pulitzer Foundation and the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund are also significant contributors to the program. All expenses (including housing, meals and tuition, as well as transportation to the conference if needed) are paid from these funds.
To be considered, students must complete an application form, which is
available from the Journalism Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920. Other requirements are
■ completion of the sophomore year in high school by the beginning of the workshop,
■ a 500-word essay by the student describing his/her career goals and how the workshop would help the student achieve those goals;
■ submission of three samples of the student's writing, preferably published non-fiction or graded exercises;
■ two letters of recommendation from the student's teachers/advisers.
Final application deadline is May 5, but entries will be judged and internship slots may be filled earlier, depending on the quality of applications.
Need more information? Call Joe Gisondi, Director, 2007 IPF/EIU High School Journalism Workshop, phone at 217.581.6016, FAX to 217.581.2923 or e-mail to