KNOXVILLE — Several East Tennessee high school students will have the opportunity to sharpen their journalism skills this week with some coaching from an editor of The New York Times.
Jack Topchik, a Times editor and 1967 alumnus of UT’s Journalism and Electronic Media program, will conduct a Minority Journalism Workshop at UT July 26-28.
“This is the pilot program for what we hope will become an annual statewide journalism workshop for high school students,” said Sam Swan, interim director of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.
Students in Knox, Sevier, Anderson and Blount counties were invited to participate in the workshop. Teachers and guidance counselors recommended the students based on academic merit and interest.
The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Participants will write news stories, practice conducting interviews, discuss topics such as recognizing and overcoming bias, and visit UT’s student newspaper, The Daily Beacon. At the end of the workshop, the students will have a full portfolio of work reviewed by Topchik.
“We hope this workshop will introduce high school students to the field of journalism and encourage them to continue their education at the University of Tennessee,” Swan said.
Topchik has worked at The New York Times for almost 40 years. He is an editor The New York Times News Service which sends news, photos and graphics 24 hours a day to more than 600 newspapers and government agencies worldwide.
Topchik has conducted summer workshops for high school journalists for more than 10 years, most recently at the University of Missouri and the University of Mississippi. This workshop is the first he has conducted for his alma mater.
The workshop is provided at no charge to its participants. It is sponsored by UT’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media with support from the university’s “Ready for the World” initiative.
“Ready for the World” is a long-range plan to transform the campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century. As part of the initiative, during the next few years, UT will devote upwards of $1 million to faculty recruiting and new initiatives, campus programming, transforming the curriculum, new scholarships and study abroad opportunities and further support of campus diversity efforts.
UT’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media is one of four schools that make up the College of Communication and Information. The other three schools are the School of Advertising and Public Relations, the School of Communication Studies and the School of Information Sciences. Students in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media can choose one of five tracks — traditional and online print journalism; broadcast journalism; science communication; sports journalism; and a magazine option which covers both editorial and management functions.
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