Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism

Summer High School Journalism Institute students report from the Sony Television Studio at the Cronkite school.
Summer high school journalism institute students report
from the Sony Television Studio at the Cronkite school.

The Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism is a consortium of programs that provide support and training for high school journalism students and their teachers.

The institute includes long-standing Cronkite programs as well as several new ones. It is directed by Anita Luera, a longtime Arizona broadcast journalist and past president of the Arizona Latino Media Association.

Among the programs is the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, a two-week fellowship program for 35 high school journalism instructors from around the country that is administered by the American Society of News Editors through its Youth Journalism Initiative and funded with a generous grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Cronkite also does two full-immersion summer programs for high school students interested in journalism—the Summer High School Broadcast Institute and the Summer Digital Media Institute.

For several years, the Cronkite School has supported struggling high school journalism programs by providing equipment, training and support through its Stardust High School Journalism Program. In 2008, the school installed fully equipped multimedia newsrooms at five underserved Arizona high schools. Five more schools joined the program in 2009.

As part of the school’s ongoing outreach efforts, Luera visits dozens of high schools throughout the state each semester. She travels in a Cronkite School vehicle outfitted with a television camera and other equipment that can be taken into classrooms, job fairs and other events, allowing students to try out equipment and see themselves on camera. The program aims to encourage students who might not otherwise have had any exposure to journalism to consider journalism as a career.

In addition, the Cronkite School supports daylong workshops each year for high school students, working closely with the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association, the Arizona Latino Media Association, the Arizona Indian Education Association and Valley Teen Leadership.

The school’s array of programs is arguably the most extensive offered by any university in the country, according to Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan.

Many high school journalism programs have suffered in recent years, the victim of budget cuts and other priorities, especially at schools with large minority populations. This is despite the fact that studies have consistently shown that students who study journalism do better in both high school and college.

By building stronger high school programs, the Cronkite School hopes to create a pool of talented young people who will go on to study journalism in college and who will enter the profession, according to Callahan.

The Cronkite School’s high school programs are supported by a variety of individuals and foundations, including: American Society of News Editors; Arizona Broadcasters Association; Cronkite Endowment Board member Tom Chauncey; Dow Jones News Fund; National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; Donald W. Reynolds Foundation; Scripps Howard Foundation; Stardust Foundation and the ASU Foundation’s Women & Philanthropy group.