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JEA awards Diversity Award to Alabama adviser

A comprehensive approach to advising journalism has led Barbara Bateman, CJE, of Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama, to be named the Journalism Education Association’s 2017 Diversity Award recipient.

Receiving honorable mentions are Camille Respess, editor-in-chief, and Erin Castellano, adviser, at Clayton (Missouri) High School, and Thomas Kaup, MJE, of Auburn (Washington) High School.

The Diversity Award honors a scholastic journalism teacher, student media adviser or scholastic journalism group demonstrating a commitment to cultural awareness and encouraging a multicultural approach with its student media staff, media production and/or community. The honoree must be in the forefront in promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena and must have taken steps to break down walls of misunderstanding and ignorance.

The awards will be presented April 8 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.

Bateman has been advising student journalism at Murphy High School since 2010. She teaches introduction to journalism and advises the news broadcast, The Hi-Times newspaper, The Mohian yearbook, The Mosaic literary magazine and photojournalism.

Murphy is a Title I school with a 70 percent minority population. When Bateman inherited the program, the staffs were small and exclusively white. She has diversified and built the staff into a fully converged, comprehensive program this year.

“When I talk about diversity in our program I do not mean just racial and ethnic diversity. I believe that journalism staffs should be as diverse as the general public,” Bateman wrote. “It should also have a place for special education, regular, honors, AP and IB students, because those are the types of people who make up the population. A diverse staff also means acknowledging that the student body consists of students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, all of which bring a different approach to stories.”

“Fighting against stereotypes, Bateman has encouraged her students to submit work to competitions and attend conventions,” wrote Sonya Sullivan, Social Studies Department chair.  “As Murphy’s students have received recognition for their work through state competition, they have grown to understand that journalism has no barriers except those that they put in place themselves.”

Bateman is one of two 2016 Alabama Advisers of the Year, a 2013 ASNE Fellow, a 2006 National Writing Project Fellow and the 2015 Youth Journalism International Journalism Educator of the Year.

The Journalism Education Association, founded in 1924 and the largest journalism education association in the nation, is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. The nonprofit organization supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities and by promoting professionalism in student media education and advising.

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