Expand your skills. Experience college life. Explore Boston.
Boston University presents a once-in-a-lifetime experience for high school students interested in journalism, communications or writing.
Celebrating its 11th year, the Boston University Summer Journalism Institute gives students ages 15 to 18 the opportunity to expand their skills, experience college life and explore Boston.
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 on campus and in the city. Each day is an opportunity to taste what’s it like to work in the news field, live on a campus, and make new friends from all over the country.
What do students say about the Summer Institute?
What to expect: Each day, five blocks.
Classroom starts each day with a review of journalism fundamentals in a collegiate format. Boston University’s core 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 covering real news events in the city of Boston. Students fan out in small groups for city council meetings, political rallies, sporting events, features or police reports. With guidance from their editor, students share interviews and research to each write their own stories for personal portfolios. In addition, editors start students on in-depth investigations suitable to be tailored to their high school newspapers. Students opting for the photojournalism track will typically join one of the Newsroom reporter teams to shoot photos to accompany stories, while also pursuing their own assignments.
Special block presents learning opportunities beyond the Classroom and Newsroom: screening of the Academy Award-winning movie, Spotlight; tour of the Boston Globe and local NPR affiliates; guest lecture from experts on the Freedom of Information Act and media law; college tours of Boston University and other nearby schools; visit to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston Common and baseball’s Fenway Park; group opportunities for community service; and more.
Free block gives students unstructured time to conduct interviews, write and revise story drafts, and catch up on their reading assignments for the next morning. It also gives students the chance to hit the university gym (fee applies), explore Boston (during day hours), wander campus with new friends, or simply relax.
Meals are served at the Boston University dining hall. Students residing on campus each receive a dining pass for 14 meals. Campus offers numerous other options, from Starbucks and Subway to only-in-Boston eateries and cafés.
A typical day’s schedule.
- 7:30 am: Breakfast: Included, at dining hall.
- 9:30 am: Classroom: Instruction and activity focused on one skill.
- 10:40 am: Break
- 10:50: Newsroom: Story discussion and planning.
- Noon: Lunch: On your own
- 1 pm: Reporting: Interviews, research and writing — on campus and in the city.
- 4 pm: Free: Relaxing on campus, exploring the city or wrapping up a story.
- 6 pm: Dinner: Included, at dining hall.
- 7 pm: Activity: Enjoying city museums, shopping or historic sites.
- 9 pm: Writing and reading, as assigned.
- 11 pm: Curfew