For 33 years, The University of Alabama Department of Journalism has been committed to increasing diversity in America’s newsrooms with its Multicultural Journalism Program.
While still in high school, 15 to 20 students are selected to attend an intensive workshop held on the University campus each summer. The workshop emphasizes multimedia reporting, writing, editing, graphics, photography, production and basic communication skills, and participants produce the MJP Journal to showcase what they’ve learned.
Through partnership with the Alabama Scholastic Press Association, with offices at the University of Alabama, and other high school media organizations, we stay in touch with scholastic publications, advisers and workshop graduates year-round. We work with them to identify potential MJP students, but anyone is encouraged to apply for the MJW Workshop by the April 1 application deadline.
The resident workshop faculty is augmented by journalists from around the state and nation, so every student has an editor/coach. Many of these mentors stay in touch with their assigned youngsters throughout the year and into their careers.
The workshop is hands-on from the first day. In modern news laboratories, students publish a newspaper under the direction of the faculty and visiting professionals. They produce news stories, photos, editorials, columns, reviews and feature packages. Students then repurpose their newspaper copy for online and broadcast.
They also study reporting, editing, media economics, new media, and media law, ethics and history. They conduct interviews with newsmakers in Alabama cities, towns and communities.
We track graduates and invite them back to work in the summer workshop and as guest speakers during the academic year. We also host a reunion dinner in January for the previous summer’s class. The UAMJP director and department chair assist them in career advancement. Our database contains career information on hundreds of professionals.