High school journalists from across the country have been coming to IU every summer for 71 years, but there’s something noticeably new about this year’s High School Journalism Institute.
They’re the first HSJI sessions to be held in Franklin Hall, the new home of The Media School.
“The access to technology will make life a lot easier, especially doing television work,” said HSJI director and Media School senior lecturer Teresa White. “The building is impressive. I think students will be excited about being here and excited about The Media School.”
Nearly 300 students will participate in this year’s HSJI workshops. The program spans 11 days – July 10-20 – and comprises two five-day session plus a weekend session in between them. The weekend session, which focuses on sportscasting, is a new addition this year.
The increased size of the building compared to Ernie Pyle Hall allows HSJI to be more concentrated than in the past, though some classes will still be held in the School of Education building, Wylie Hall and the Student Building. However, past years’ sessions were scattered across campus.
“It’s not nearly as strung out as it was before,” White said.
In addition to an increase in the number of classrooms, the program will also make use of the Franklin Hall Commons for large lectures and take advantage of the advanced technology the Beckley Studio, voiceover booths and other rooms in the building offer.
Students will use the studio and control room to run cameras and teleprompters. They’ll broadcast a Facebook Live feed of their news show and play it live on the TV screen in the Commons. They’ll create podcasts in the audio booth.
“I think they’re just going to be blown away by it,” head counselor Will DeWitt, BSK’17, said about Franklin Hall. He attended HSJI as a high school student and now splits head counselor duties with his wife, Tatiana DeWitt, an education major at IU.
Will and Tatiana both have memories from their days as HSJI campers. Will said his most distinct memory was the value of the classroom learning, especially being able to bring it back to his high school publication. Tatiana remembers the friends she made and the sense of independence she felt from staying at IU.
“I had never really been anywhere on my own for a week like that,” Tatiana said.
The action started at noon Monday at Spruce Hall, when students lined up to check in for the week, suitcases and pillows in hand. Tommy Callaghan, Jenna Williams and Sara Kress, all Cathedral (Ind.) High School seniors who hold positions on their student newspaper, the Megaphone, visited the check-in stations as a group. The three had driven down to Bloomington together from Indianapolis.
All three said they were looking forward to the week for two main reasons: the chance to meet new people, and the opportunity to learn more about journalism and take those lessons back to their high school publication.
“It’s a fun class, and it’s more fun when you’re better at it,” said Callaghan, who is enrolled in the web packaging workshop. “So it’s just good to spend time and practice.”