Previously known as the Kansas Journalism Instititute, our summer media workshop at KU was re-named for the 2016 workshop. Why make the change? Well, it’s all in a name.
On the campus of University of Kansas, the Jayhawk reigns supreme. Whether in the basketball mecca of Allen Fieldhouse or on KU t-shirts, the unique mascot is everywhere. The Jayhawk makes us different: it reflects the history of our campus, our state and our teams. Nothing is more singularly KU than the Jayhawk.
But the Jayhawk is also welcoming: any high school students — whether from within Kansas or beyond — is welcome to come learn at the workshop. We host students from as far away as California and as close as a few blocks away. And our journalism school reflects this as well: our students travel from many surrounding states to attend the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
We aim to help create smart, creative and cutting-edge high school students. Many of these students will return to award-winning student media at their high schools, from broadcast programs to yearbooks. Many students will hope to start up a new media venture at their school. And some students will leave with the enthusiasm and skills to start their own media project independent of their school.
Our partnership with School Newspapers Online helps schools transition from print-only publications to the web during their five days on campus. Other schools who are already online will sharpen the appearance, coverage and policies for their school website. We remain focused on journalism, but also strive to give students 21st-century media skills.
We called ourselves an “institute” for many years. But that doesn’t truly reflect the energy, collaboration and — FUN — that we have at our summer workshop. We program social activities that give the students a chance to meet someone new. We open our classroom doors to the surrounding city to cover something new. And yes, we will play some goofy games to get to start the day off with a laugh.