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EIU Offers Free Summer Journalism Workshop for High School Students


High school students can learn journalism hands-on from award-winning reporters, editors and photographers at the Illinois Press Foundation workshop taking place at Eastern Illinois University June 22 through July 1.

Applications for the 10-day workshop, which is funded by the Illinois Press Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation and EIU, will be accepted through May 18, 2016.  Eighteen students will be selected to participate in this free journalism experience.

Graduating seniors are eligible for this workshop as are those currently in their sophomore or junior years.

Held on the EIU campus in Charleston, this residential program provides students an intimate look at journalism as a career by immersing students into approaches used 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.

Students do not need journalism experience to apply.

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 1991, representing more than 50 newspapers and news organizations throughout Illinois and across the country.

Students then practice what they have learned. For two days, students are driven to newspapers, where they work with reporters and other journalists on assignments. The remainder of the second week is devoted to producing a news website.

Students will also travel to Springfield where they will interview newsmakers and news journalists at the state capitol.

The Illinois Press Foundation has sponsored this event at Eastern Illinois University since its inception more than 20 years ago. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is also a significant contributor to the program. All expenses, including housing, meals and tuition, are paid from these funds.

To be considered, students must complete an application form, which is available online at EIU’s department of journalism website. For further information, contact director Joe Gisondi.