Kent State University played host to 34 high school journalism teachers for the 2011 ASNE Institute. The two-week program is designed to provide high school teachers with knowledge to guide their students media writers into the world of reporting.
The participating teachers, which included attendees from all around the country including Florida and Texas, spent their time learning about different aspects of multimedia journalism such as digital photography and video editing and the legalities of reporting at the high school level.
Candace Bowen, a professor at KSU and coordinator of the workshop, said she wanted participators to leave with a new understanding of what students and teachers “should and shouldn’t do” in terms of a school publication. She specifically highlighted the need for student independence in journalism.
“I would hope that the teachers start letting the students make decisions,” Bowen said, adding that an early start in control of a publication would help students understand mass media more, even if journalism was not in their future. “It will be important for students to understand how the news works even as media consumers.”
The workshop also provided tips on helping high school newspapers report accurate and involving news stories while under the eye of an academic administration.
Student Press Law Center Director Frank LoMonte spent time at KSU to talk about the legal issues teachers faced in high school publication. Bowen said she hoped that the teachers would have a new insight into the legal and ethical aspects surrounding their jobs.
“Hopefully, the teachers can see that there are ways around the principal,” Bowen said.
The workshops are sponsored nationally, with different schools around the country playing hosting duties. KSU has been involved with the ASNE Institute since the program’s beginning in 2001.
Bowen said that continued positive feedback helps the program evolve year after year.