Scholastic Journalism Week 2021
“What We Do Matters”
Feb. 21-27, 2021
The Journalism Education Association has scheduled Scholastic Journalism Week for Feb. 21-27, 2021. Apply to be featured on the national JEA Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during Scholastic Journalism Week. We also will send an email certificate your school administrators with props and kudos to the great work you are doing.
This year’s theme is “What We Do Matters.” Over the past few years, journalists and journalism have seemingly been under a growing microscope and unprecedented scrutiny with everything that comes out of their newsrooms. JEA and the Scholastic Journalism Week Committee want to emphasize the importance of The Fourth Estate, within the walls of your newsrooms and outside it.
Download the #SJW2021 graphic to display or share in your school.
Throughout the week, and throughout the year, we ask that you use the hashtags #SJW2021 and #WhatWeDoMatters when you share works of journalism from your staffs, reminding your community of the importance of scholastic journalism. You can do this on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
SJW daily themes and lessons
Sunday: Diversity Matters
Monday: Why Do We Do What We Do?
Tuesday: Local Journalism Matters
Wednesday: Issues Matter
Thursday: Beyond Scholastic Journalism
Friday: What They Did Mattered
Saturday: Leadership Matters
Friday, Feb. 26 is also Student Press Freedom Day. The Student Press Law Center shares several resources and lessons.
APPLY HERE TO BE A SJW FEATURED SCHOOLS
We want to feature schools, putting a major focus on the many ways in which scholastic newsrooms around the country are diverse. Click here to have your school featured on JEA Scholastic Journalism Week’s Twitter account. We want to focus at least one school every week going into #SJW2021, and even beyond.
Use this resolution template, created by Stan Zoller, MJE, to encourage your school board, city council, county board or even student council to declare the week Scholastic Journalism Week in your area.
JOURNALISM WEEK 2021 IDEAS for the journalism classroom and media staff to celebrate the week
SJW activities can take many forms and it is up to each staff to decide what works for them leading up to and during Scholastic Journalism Week:
The activities should:
- Use our daily SJW themes and hashtags to engage with JEA member schools on social media.
- Submit some of your published work and reflections to our SJW Staff Spotlight series. We will highlight work by student media from around the country each day during the week inspired by our daily themes.
- Reach out to the school and/or community from which a chapter draws its students.
- Work to have a broader impact in promoting the ideals of scholastic journalism. Involve local media.
- Hold an all-school program in which staff members teach their peers about ethical journalism and how it’s practiced in their publications; or how students can tell the difference between fake news and real news, and ethical reporting methods.
- Host a school journalism movie series or night, after which students and/or professional journalists can discuss how real-life journalists go about their jobs.
- Run a social media campaign to draw attention to pressing social issues among high school students.
- Publish some sort of photo essay mixed with writing and stories to show just how important journalism is. We could have reaction shots of students, parents, and community members reading our school newspapers, students laughing at the yearbook, etc, to show how much journalism, especially student journalism, can have an impact on society.
- What sort of work has been done in scholastic journalism because students have the freedom to publish?
- Tweet “Why the First Amendment is important to me.” “Why ethical journalism is important to me.”
- Conduct outreach to get people interested in consuming and/or producing journalism.
- Support New Voices by writing letters of support for schools/states who are working on student press freedom legislation.
- Hold a law and ethics crash course on the First Amendment.
- Work to produce profile pieces on students from different backgrounds, marginalized voices. #StudentVoice.
- Ask the same question to different students in your community & compare answers.
- Stand for and promote Truth, Leadership, Learning, Loyalty, Integrity, Initiative, Judgment, Friendship.
- Release simple, powerful statements that underscores the importance of “real” news and the process of verification.
- Promote #everydayjournalism — any story can make a difference.
More time consuming. May take more than a little effort
- Take some video of your upcoming deadline. Post it online, via Facebook or Twitter to show your community what a scholastic publication goes through to share all the news that’s fit to print, or record the memories that make the year.
- Portrait project: Draw attention to the week and your staff. Assign students a portrait project. Depending on access to photography equipment, students could check out cameras for a day with a partner or group and head out on campus to get their portrait taken (you could even specify that their portrait be taken with a cellphone camera for additional challenge). They then come back to the lab, upload their photos and chose one portrait of themselves that they feel encompasses their personality and who they are. Share them as a staff and then share them with your community. Mount them and put each staffer’s name on his or her portrait. Then use a wall outside your publication office or an empty trophy case to display the photos.
- Have an “Amazing Race”-style First Amendment scavenger hunt. Students are given clues related to each of the Five Freedoms scattered around the school (eg. “speech” clue hidden on the speaker). Kids have to find each item, then go on to the next clue. Prizes are given to the first three to complete the list.
- Hold a “Meet the Press” event at your school. Send out invitations (either tangible ones or email) and invite your school’s staff and administrators to a short after-school get-together. Buy or make Scholastic Journalism Week-themed cake or cookies, have soft drinks available, have your entire publication staff in attendance and schmooze it up. Send thank-you cards after the event letting those who attended how much you appreciate their support.
- Promote yourself. Use this week as a special way to recruit. Send out a celebration packet to your feeder schools, send it with some of your staffers. Create a brochure to advertise your program and suggest easy ways those in your community could get involved.
- Send thank-you notes to advertisers and/or other people in your community who consistently help you out.
- Have your students tweet about the First Amendment and moments during the week they think about those freedoms. Use the hashtag #SJW2021 so we can all follow your tweets!
- Celebrate the week by conducting short lessons on each of the Five Freedoms, one each day.
- Have your students take each day to conduct polls of the student body about those freedoms, what they know, but more importantly educating them on what they don’t know. Culminate the week with a penny drive for the Student Press Law Center.
- Change your profile pic on Facebook to the SJW poster.
- Write a status update during the week about why you consider scholastic journalism essential to your school, or why you continue to be a part of scholastic journalism. Share your passion, share your inspiration. What keeps you going?
- Celebrate yourself, at the end of the week, treat yourself to something special (whether it’s a cup of your favorite coffee, a pedi/mani, maybe a massage). You, as an adviser, do so much to support what your students do, you deserve to take some time to yourself.
- Have your staff attend the school board meeting during the week. PACK THE HOUSE! Maybe even be proactive and attend the meeting but also address the board about the value of journalism in the curriculum and of free and responsible student news media serving the community.
- Print posters from this page for the week and put them up all over your school the Friday evening before so students see them at the beginning of the week.
- Set up morning announcements for each day. Have them either read over the intercom or broadcast via your television broadcast class (if possible).
- Have your staffers wear their staff shirts, 45words or other First Amendment shirts, or anything and everything related to journalism at least once during the week at the same time. Need fresh swag to rep during SJW, find what you need at the JEA store.
- Have your students take a day to write a letter to your local paper about the importance of journalism to them, the school, etc.
- Do Something! Don’t let the week slip by!