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Annual High School Journalism and Media workshops allow students to experience college life [PHOTOS]

More than 150 students visited the Athens Campus over the four days

Two of Ohio University’s most anticipated annual high school workshops took place, July 11-14, at the Athens Campus.

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism hosted its High School Journalism Workshop, while the School of Media Arts & Studies concurrently held its High School Media Workshop.

Since 1946, the High School Journalism Workshop has allowed participants to choose from a variety of learning tracks. This year, the tracks included broadcast, magazine, news, photojournalism, sports, public relations and design.

More than 90 high school students from 15 states had the opportunity to learn from established journalists and Pulitzer Prize winners while engaging with their peers.

“The workshop is a chance for our current students to network with high school students and convey to them first-hand what it is like to be a Bobcat journalism student,” said Dr. Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “We also have about a dozen alumni who come to campus to teach our workshops, so it’s a great way to engage with them.”

Several students said they attended the workshop to explore the different tracks and figure out if journalism is something they wish to pursue.

Olivia Sweeney, a senior from Columbus, Ohio, said she attended the High School Journalism Workshop to gain valuable skills to take back with her as the editor of her high school newspaper. She said her favorite aspect of the workshop was “splitting off into smaller groups and meeting like-minded people with similar ambitions.” 

Dr. Stewart said the main goal of the workshop is to inspire young students to consider a career in journalism.

"We are very grateful for a Scripps Howard Foundation's endowment that helps support diversity scholarships for the workshop,” Dr. Stewart said. “This is a significant investment on the part of the Scripps Howard Foundation and shows a commitment to making news organizations more diverse. About one-third of our participants receive the diversity scholarship, which covers the entire cost of the workshop.

"Our workshop gives high school students the chance to get to know us while giving us a chance to get to know them. We want them to think about us when applying for college, and the workshop is a great way for them to experience what Ohio University has to offer.”

The School of Media Arts & Studies’ fifth annual High School Media Workshop introduced high school students to the media industry and allowed them to explore topics such as audio, music, video, animation and social media.

“As opposed to previous years with nearly 100 students, this year we limited enrollment to 60,” said Dr. Karen Riggs, a professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies and the director of the MDIA High School Media Workshop.

Dr. Riggs said the reduced number of students allowed the workshop staff to focus on a quality experience. She said that because media is such a hands-on field, the students were able to gain much more knowledge by working on a smaller scale.

She also emphasized the importance and impact of the program’s student ambassadors and leaders who guide the workshop’s participants.

“When the students are learning from undergrads, they get exposure to what it is really like at Ohio University – to truly occupy that space and mindset of being in the Media School,” Dr. Riggs explained.

Anthony DiRienzo, a student leader who attended the first MDIA High School Media Workshop while he was in high school, talked about the impact it had on him.

“When I first did this workshop, I knew I was going to Ohio University, but I was still unsure about what I should major in,” DiRienzo said. “After the program was over, not only was I sold on the University, but I knew I belonged in the School of Media Arts & Studies. And now, years later, I am leading students who are in the exact same position that I was.”  

Dr. Riggs said the biggest takeaway is that the students get to work on tangible, creative projects in Athens that they can take back home and be proud of.

“I think this year’s workshop was our best yet,” Dr. Riggs said. “The student leaders raised us to a new level and were a tremendous influence to the participants. We’ve gotten numerous emails from attendee’s parents who were so impressed and expressed their relief of not having to continue to look at other colleges.”

Bob Stewart

Dr. Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, addresses the participants during the High School Journalism Workshop, which ran July 11-14.

Larry Seward

E.W. Scripps School of Journalism alumnus Larry Seward (blue suit) speaks with a High School Journalism Workshop participant on July 11. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native is a general assignment reporter for KHOU 11 News in Houston. 

Brian McIntyre Scholarship

High school students (L-R): Camryn Stallworth, Jonathan Weaver and Graca Gordon were the 2018 recipients of the Brian McIntyre Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship provides funding for students to attend the annual High School Journalism Workshop. Alumni and friends of McIntyre (BSJ ’91) established the scholarship after the former TV reporter died from cancer in May 2012. 

Students at the Athena Cinema

One of the activities the High School Journalism Workshop attendees enjoyed was a July 13 trip to the Athena Cinema to see the movie, "The Post." 

E.W. Scripps high school students

The High School Journalism Workshop attendees pose for a group shot in front of the Class Gateway on the Athens Campus on July 11.


Student teams each wrote, performed, recorded, and produced an original song during the School of Media Arts & Studies' High School Media Workshop.


Students learned to use cameras, microphones, editing software and other tools to produce their own short films during the four-day High School Media Workshop.


Teams of high school students produced some creative and humorous animations during the 2018 High School Media Workshop. 


The High School Media Workshop students learned how professionals make movies by recording their own dialogue and sound effects to replace the sound in a video.