Learn journalism from working reporters this summer — without leaving home.
Boston University presents a virtual classroom experience for high school students interested in journalism, writing or photography.
The Boston University Summer Journalism Academy gives students ages 14 to 18 the opportunity to expand their skills and prepare for college during a time of uncertainly and limited travel due to this year’s pandemic.
Each instructor is also a working journalist, so what’s taught is grounded in real-life experience. Each lesson is tied to its practical application, by giving students reporting assignments they can do from home. Each day is a sample of life as a news reporter.
Note: An on-campus, in-person session may be offered as the pandemic recedes. In this event, students enrolling in the online academy may opt to change their registration to the on-campus session.
What to expect Each day.
Classroom starts each day with a review of journalism fundamentals in a collegiate format. A university-level journalism textbook provides daily readings and writing assignments. Instructors cover: story ideas; sources and research; interviewing; writing leads; story structure; writing for broadcast and web; accuracy; libel; ethics; and more. Curriculum for students opting for the photojournalism track will share some topics but will focus more on the operation and use of the camera and the editing of their photos.
Newsroom divides students into reporter teams, each led by a professional journalist serving as their editor, to apply what they learn in the Classroom by reporting real news events near them. Students conduct interviews by phone, email and video to cover city council proceedings, political races, human interest features and the impact of this year’s pandemic. With guidance from their editor, students write three to four original stories over the two-week session for their personal portfolios. Stories are also shared on the institute’s news website, The Terrier.
Guest Talks offer students advice and insight from experts in specific topics, such as radio reporting, media law and studying journalism in college. Sessions feature three to four Guest Talks during each two-week session.
A typical day’s schedule.
- 12:30 pm Eastern / 9:30 am Pacific: Classroom: Instruction and activity focused on one skill.
- 1:30 pm / 10:30 am: Break
- 2 pm / 11 am: Newsroom: Story discussion and planning, followed by offline time for interviews, research and writing, as well as editing online with your in instructor.
- 5 pm / 2 pm: Guest Talks, when scheduled.
- Textbook (title to be determined), print or digital, purchase or as a rental.
- Computer, with a broadband internet connection, audio and camera for video-conference meetings.
- Phone, to conduct interviews with sources and story subjects.