High School Students Develop Multimedia Skills, Produce Newspaper at Journalism Diversity Workshop

Fifteen high school students from around Arizona will develop multimedia skills and produce a newspaper at a journalism boot camp taking place June 6-17 in The University of Arizona School of Journalism.

The Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students gives students from diverse populations a chance to learn editing, newsgathering and other aspects of the journalism profession. Participants hail from seven different high schools in Tucson and schools in Sahuarita, Paradise Valley, Tempe and Phoenix.

The national project, sponsored by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, is an effort to help broadcast and newspaper newsrooms mirror the diversity of their communities. The University of Arizona School of Journalism has conducted this summer workshop since 1981.

As the journalism industry has shifted toward more multimedia reporting, so has the workshop. UA journalism alumni Nathan Olivarez-Giles and Nicole Santa Cruz, both writing for the Los Angeles Times, showed students slideshows and videos they had produced to enhance their reporting.

Throughout the workshop students work on a newspaper, called The Chronicle, which covers news from the Tucson community and issues and trends concerning teens and other individuals around the country. The high school students are paired with current UA journalism students, who serve as mentors, to pitch story ideas, as they would in a real newsroom.

UA journalism professors are offering workshops on reporting, interviewing, editing, blogging and computer-assisted reporting, among other topics.

UA journalism faculty teaching at the workshop include David Cuillier, the chairman of the national Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists; Gawain Douglas, former senior editor for presentation at the Tucson Citizen; Sal Quijada, a veteran broadcast journalist; Jeannine Relly, who studies access to public information in various countries; Terry Wimmer, a Pulitzer Prize winner; and Maggy Zanger, who trained Iraqi journalists who want to work for independent news media.

Local journalists taking part in the workshop include Josh Brodesky, Jamar Younger, Ryan Finley and Andrea Rivera of the Arizona Daily Star; Teresa Jun, KOLD-TV; Paul Birmingham, KOLD and KNST; Iraqi journalist Mudhafar al-Husseini, most recently with The New York Times; and Martin Rubio, Arizona Public Media.

The program is headed by Lisa Button. At the UA School of Journalism, Button teaches an online magazine production class and has taught beginning news writing and the capstone course for a bilingual newspaper. She also heads the school's internship program.

Before joining the UA, her high school journalism students at Green Fields Country Day School in Tucson won top newspaper awards in statewide competitions.

Co-director John de Dios has been the workshop's assistant director since 2004. Most recently he was a mentor at the Unity Student Convergence Project in July 2008 and has been involved with the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, hosted by the School of Journalism in January 2008.