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SPJ, JEA bring journalism into classrooms through #Press4Education initiative



Rebecca Baker, SPJ National President, 203-640-3904, rbaker@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists and Journalism Education Association are looking to match journalists and K-12 teachers in a nationwide effort to bring more journalism education to schools.

The project, #Press4Education, provides lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and other resources to journalists who want to volunteer to share their knowledge about:

• Reporting Basics
• Media Literacy/Identifying Fake News
• Ethics
• Editing
• Online Reporting
• Data Journalism
• Visual Journalism
• Broadcast Journalism
• Social Media

“I’ve already spoken to more than 100 high school students across New York City. These young people not only were eager to understand what journalists do, but also how and why they do it,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. “Any journalist who participates in #Press4Education will help the next generation become better informed citizens.”

SPJ Journalism Education Committee Chair Becky Tallent explained that the Committee’s 2014 survey of high school journalism teachers showed there was a real absence of journalism professionals in the classroom. The survey findings were published in the book "Still Captive? History, Law and the Teaching of High School Journalism."

“We have been looking for ways to cure that issue,” Tallent continued. “Thankfully, this year [Baker] wanted to make outreach to K-12 education a priority, launching #Press4Education. We are hopeful this will lead to a renewed commitment for journalism education in the country as well as an improved understanding of our profession.”

The goal for the project is to not only provide a great resource for scholastic journalism educators, but to strengthen the future ranks of journalism practitioners, said JEA President Sarah Nichols.

“The Journalism Education Association is thrilled to be part of SPJ's #Press4Education initiative and connect teachers and their students with professional journalists,” Nichols said. “Our students are among the best and brightest, and more than ever we need them to go out and pursue careers in journalism. What better way to nurture that interest and provide authentic connections than from industry professionals directly.”

Journalists interested in sharing their passion for journalism and the First Amendment to students should fill out this volunteer form. Volunteers will then be matched with a teacher who has requested a journalist to visit their classroom. Educators who would like to request a journalist for their classroom should fill out this form.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.


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