Emerging Journalists Program hosts second on-campus experience with high school students from across the country

The 12-day residential journalism workshop, made possible through $300,000 in grant funding from the Scripps Howard Fund, supports high school juniors interested in pursuing careers in journalism and communications.

Elon University and the School of Communications will welcome its second Emerging Journalists Program Immersion cohort to campus on Monday, June 19, to kick off 12 days of hands-on journalism instruction. The 20 high school students hail from 11 states, including Rhode Island, California, New Mexico, Tennessee and North Carolina.

A generous $300,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Fund pays for the program, which will help students develop and enhance their skills in reporting, writing, multimedia storytelling, leadership and media management. Beyond instruction, the students will collaborate as members of a working newsroom, producing professional web content, a newspaper and a television news broadcast, as well as tracking audience engagement metrics.

EJP students Gabrielle Lashley (right) and Keely Garcia interview Elon Horticulturist Susan Tripp during the 2022 Immersion experience.

“Last year’s inaugural EJP was such a meaningful experience for participants and instructors alike,” said Senior Lecturer in Journalism Kelly Furnas, who serves as EJP’s curriculum coordinator. “But this year has the potential to truly cement the workshop as a signature program of Elon University and the School of Communications.”

The Immersion experience also features several off-campus activities. The students’ schedule includes media tours of Trailblazer Studios in Raleigh and WXII 12 News in Winston-Salem. They will meet with state Rep. Reneé Price and members of the press corps at the North Carolina State Capitol, and visit the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro.

“An exciting part of the program is getting the students off campus to meet with media professionals and to complete on-the-ground reporting,” said Colin Donohue, the EJP program director and School of Communications journalism instructor. “Working in the field allows them to collaborate, problem solve and interact with sources in new environments. There’s incredible value in that kind of first-hand experience.”

Students will earn one hour of college credit for completing the Immersion experience and be paired with two mentors – an Elon student and a working journalist – who will offer guidance and assistance as students work on their own projects back home.

The School of Communications established the Emerging Journalists Program at Elon in 2021 through a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Fund. Elon was one of two universities selected by the fund to receive the grant following a competitive application process.

The program is designed to educate high school students from diverse socio-economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds who are interested in pursuing careers in journalism and the media industry. It continues the collective commitment of Scripps Howard and Elon to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in the communications industries.

More than 100 students successfully completed the program’s virtual Exposure experience earlier this year, and participants were invited to apply for the summer Immersion workshop on Elon’s campus.

“You can’t overstate how supportive the Elon community has been in making this program happen,” Furnas said. “From helping with logistics to serving as sources for stories, people have gone above and beyond to ensure this will be a rich and positive experience for the students.”

About the Scripps Howard Fund

The Scripps Howard Fund supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on journalism education, excellence in journalism and childhood literacy. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the fund is a leader in supporting journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development and First Amendment causes.