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Category Archives: Scholastic Journalism

kidreporter-fbI got interested in studying youth journalism because I was involved in it when I was a kid. Even at a very young age, I knew that I wanted to do something in journalism.
Well before my high school journalism experience, at age 10, I got an opportunity to volunteer at an NPR station in Columbus, Ohio. When we moved to Indianapolis, my dad helped me get business cards that said “kid reporter” on them, which we thought I could use to find other media volunteer opportunities.
So, I submitted an application — with my business card — to Children’s Express, where I learned even more about journalism and got some pretty amazing opportunities. 
Children’s Express became Y-Press several years ago. In 2008, I got the opportunity to spend several days as a chaperone/adviser with Y-Press kid reporters covering the Republican National Convention. It really was an amazing experience that reminded me of the value of youth journalism and media programs.
Today, I received an envelope from Lynn Sygiel, the director of Y-Press who has been there since CE started and since I joined the group in 1993. In it, she included this photo and business card. 
Unfortunately, amid financial challenges, the Y-Press board decided to dissolve the organization. I am so saddened by this news. Y-Press and organizations like it are so vital to teaching civics and promoting a strong youth voice in media. I hope — somehow — that youth media organizations find a way to survive, and that funders see the benefit of these important programs.

I’ve just spent the last few days at the National High School Journalism Convention in Minneapolis. As usual, it was great seeing all my scholastic journalism friends and seeing so many students and teachers coming together to learn new things and to celebrate accomplishments.

One of my favorite moments this weekend was seeing my good friend Aaron Manfull win the Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year award. In his speech on Saturday, in true Manfull style, he thanked all those who have helped him — mooching, he called it. As he said, it’s not stealing; it’s sharing and a way toward improvement. He created a web site — The Next 26 — to encourage such sharing and collaboration among journalism educators. He gave a great speech. If you get a chance, check it out here.

In light of that call to action to share, I’m posting my JEA presentation, “Living in the Journalism Ecosystem.” I’ll need to change the name of this session for the future (as a friend told me, he said the current title of the session sounds too science-y or earthy). The presentation is about how thinking of media as a diverse ecosystem helps us tell better stories. So here it is. And by the way, in the spirit of mooching, a couple of the examples here are from Aaron.


I am slitting this summer up a bit spending this first part of it in Odenton, Md., with Renee. Of course, she works during the day, which gives me a bunch of time to work on all the other things I have going on. Here’s a list of the major items on my summer to-do list:

So far, I’ve kept up with my comps reading schedule, so I’m pretty happy with that. My goal is to take the exams in September sometime.

This coming weekend, I’ll head to Boston for the International Communication Association conference. I may try to blog a bit next week about my experiences there.

In addition to the work this summer, Renee and I are planning a weekend back in Indianapolis in June, and from there, I’ll head back to CoMo for the rest of the summer.