Ohio University

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Published: July 11, 2019 Author: University Communications and Marketing

Since 1946, Ohio University has hosted the Scripps High School Journalism Workshop in Athens, Ohio, making it the nation’s longest running program of its kind. The 74th annual workshop, currently in progress from June 10-13, is being attended by nearly 100 students on the main campus of Ohio University.

The workshop, cosponsored by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Visual Communication, both in the Scripps College of Communication, is also bolstered by diversity scholarship funding from the Scripps Howard Foundation in Cincinnati. This year, more than half of the attendees are on diversity scholarships.

“I’m pleased that we have so many participants joining us because of the diversity funding from the Foundation,” said E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Director Bob Stewart. “Of note, we have several students attending from Zenith Academy, which serves Columbus’s Somali and other immigrant communities. It’s very important for us to continue diversifying our workshop attendees, as journalism is an industry that benefits from reporting and storytelling from every angle and perspective.”

During the workshop, registrants attend presentations on topics such as investigative reporting; diversity; coding, design and data journalism; and covering suicide, and also sessions from a chosen track: broadcast, magazine, news writing, photojournalism, sports, advertising and public relations, design, virtual reality video (VRV) and podcasting. Workshop faculty include alumni, faculty from both journalism and visual communication, staff from WOUB and current OHIO students practicing in the industry.

For rising high school sophomore Morgan Spearman, of Boardman, Ohio, the workshop is giving her a chance to see the Ohio University campus, which she says is one of her top choices for college in a few more years.

“I’m learning so much and meeting so many new people,” said Spearman, who hopes to become a sports broadcaster. “My parents heard about the program while here on a college visit with my older brother.”

The workshop has long served as a recruitment tool for the school.

“So many of our top grads from the school got their first real introduction to our program and this campus through the workshop,” said Stewart. “It is one of the great legacies I inherited when I became director almost ten years ago.”

Thirteen OHIO alumni are among the workshop faculty and many return each summer to help. For Ugonna Okpalaoka, BSJ ’12, an associate producer at NBC’s TODAY Show, the workshop is a chance to give back to those who helped her at Ohio University.

“It’s the connection with students that keeps me coming back,” Okpalaoka said. “They remind me of why I chose this field. The energy and the looks on their faces help me to become excited about journalism again. Selfishly and self-servingly, I love to help because it’s great to have an excuse to be able to come back to Athens.”

Okpalaoka first returned to help with the workshop in 2013. This year marks her fifth workshop.

Follow workshop coverage online with the hashtag #HSJW2019. For more information, visit http://scrippsjschool.org/hsjw/. A look at the coverage of the first High School Journalism Workshop at Ohio University can be found at http://scrippsjschool.org/hsjw/1946.php.

Podcast

High School Journalism Workshop attendees learn about podcasting from Lukas Moore, BSJ ’19, center, during a session in Podcast Studio One in Schoonover Center on Thurs., July 11, 2019.

Diversity Panel

High School Journalism Workshop presenters Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, left, and Larry Seward, BSJ ’02, right, look on as Ugonna Okpalaoka, BSJ ’12, discusses diversity in the journalism industry in Schoonover Center on Wed., July 20, 2019.