The Peninsula Press Club’s board met on March 21, and instead of the usual board-meeting format, a roundtable discussion took place with high school journalism advisers. The board is concerned about the declining number of high school newspapers and wanted to know how it could help keep journalism in the public schools. The following suggestions came out of the meeting:

    1. Mentoring/partnering: Allowing active and former journalists to mentor high school students and advisors. Mentorship training was offered by members of the California Scholastic Journalism Initiative.

    2. Creating an ad syndicate that would allow high school journalism programs to tap into bulk ads.

    3. Teacher training; having teachers intern at newspapers (preferably at the copy desk)

    4. Establishing scholarships for teacher training


    6. Meet with principals and/or superintendents and tell them what’s what.

    7. Creating on-line synergy.

    8. Having newspapers allow for student journalists to blog.

    9. Creating a speakers’ bureau of journalists available to speak at schools or give critiques.

    10. Job shadowing.

    11. Allow a newspaper venue for advisor socializing.

    12. Creating a way for advisors to communicate.

    13. Inviting advisors/students to PPC events like Bench/Bar media

    14. Approach foundations for financial assistance.

Additional suggestions from Susan Callahan:

    1. Have advisers give the Press Club a list of names, addresses, fax numbers of people in the district they want notified if they win an award from the PPC. For example, principal, superintendent, PTSA president, etc. It can be a simple form letter. From my experience, the school likes it when outside people take notice of accomplishments and then are more understanding and willing to support your program.

    2. Set up an agreement with local pro papers to allow student papers to re-print photos from their papers gratis. Maybe we should set a limit. I’m not talking about sports photos because the photog went to his girlfriend’s party instead of getting pics of the track team, but hard-to-get ones, like from maybe historical pics that we can’t get.

    3. Have a pro or college prof teach a workshop to students like design or something.

Some interesting information that came from the discussion included:

    1. Moves toward standardized testing means less “frills” in the classroom and less electives like journalism and art.
    2. Journalism teachers tend to be newer teachers who are less likely to want to take risks since they do not have tenure.
    3. There may be a way to get groups of high school newspapers to form a coalition to get the best bulk price on printing.
SF Press Club News

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