The University of Oregon (UO) School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) will be partnering with the George Washington School of Media and Public Affairs and the San Jose State School of Journalism and Mass Communication to host the first-ever Newsroom U: A White House Student Press Briefing and Multimedia Weekend on May 5-9, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
Created by SOJC Professor Ed Madison and Imani M. Cheers, an assistant professor at George Washington School of Media and Public Affairs, Newsroom U has a dual purpose. “We created the event because there are two inaccurate but persuasive narratives to counter,” said Madison. “The first is that young people aren’t engaged in the political process. The second is that journalism is on the decline. We want students to experience their ability to make a difference.”
Twenty-five student journalists, including 23 from colleges across the nation and 2 from high school, will be selected to participate in Newsroom U. Madison is expecting to take at least three SOJC students to Washington, D.C., to participate.
The five-day Newsroom U event will kick off on Thursday, May 5, when students will pitch story ideas about how Washington Metro Area millennials affect, and are affected by, election-year issues to a panel of media professors and professionals. On Friday, participants will attend a press conference at the White House facilitated by Press Secretary Josh Earnest and many other top Obama administration officials.
Over the remainder of the weekend, the students will be immersed in investigating and reporting their multimedia and text stories, with deadlines Friday through Sunday. Event creators hope participants will get a real-life taste of the excitement and challenges of covering politics and news during the interactive event, which wraps up Monday morning. USA Today, CNN, NPR, Adobe, the Journalism Education Association and the Student Press Law Center are all partners in the event.
Students interested in participating in Newsroom U have until Sunday, March 20, to submit their applications, which should include a video stating why they are interested in reporting on national political issues. Those selected to participate will be notified by April 1.
Newsroom U also encourages all students, including those not applying for the White House event, to upload a “Selfie Video” to YouTube explaining why they are interested in reporting on our country’s pressing issues. Make the video public on YouTube, then email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in this unique social media event.
Story by Nikki Kesaris ’18