Another summer is looming, and that means we’re planning another Minority Journalism Workshop!
The week-long program for rising sophomore, juniors and seniors from Roanoke and New River Valley high schools aims to introduce the participants to journalism and show them how their hometown newspaper operates. It happens this year from June 17-21. We cover their lunches and any transportation expenses.
I’ve been involved with planning the workshop since at least 2003, and every year, I’m impressed by what the students take away from the program. I say “take away” because it can be difficult to tell during the workshop what the students are learning (it’s hard to read teenagers, right?). But when they give their group presentation at the end of the week, I’m always surprised. They leave with an understanding of one another, of reporting and a better insight into themselves.
How is this accomplished? By giving the students first-hand experience as reporters. Through our partnership with Washington & Lee University (full disclosure, it’s my alma mater), the students get to sit in a broadcast studio and read a teleprompter. They also get assignments that teach them how to hunt for public records. They’re asked to interview one another — and perfect strangers — for other assignments. The students also spend time with Roanoke Times reporters and photographers to see what journalists do.
The workshop aims to make more minorities aware of job opportunities at newspapers so they may consider careers in the business. By minorities, we mean people of various backgrounds and with different experiences.
The deadline to apply is April 19. So if you know of a student who would benefit from this experience, please click here and scroll to bottom to download an application!
– Kathy Lu