The Devil's Dish

2014 Cronkite High School Summer Journalism Institute

SJI connects J-students to possibilities

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism’s Summer Journalism Institute allows students to explore the journalism field

By Yulissa Quintero

Students who know what is going on in the nation, like to write, want to produce and edit videos and photos, and are high school students should consider applying to the Summer Journalism Institute (SJI) at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Student Luis Torres reviews a story he wrote earlier that day in one of the Cronkite building’s many computer labs. Photo by Olivia Rendon

It is a rewarding and unforgettable experience that prepares prospective student journalists. SJI is a program known nationwide with students coming from out state to get real-life experience, so it’s not hard to imagine how important and prestigious the program is.

The applications are available in March and the application calls for a high school transcript, one letter of recommendation from a journalism or media teacher, and samples of journalistic writing or broadcasting.

Approximately 130 students from all over the nation applied this year, the program accepted 26 of the applicants.

As the young journalists-to-be arrive at the program, they divide into two different groups: Print/Digital Media and Broadcast Media.

Print/Digital Media focuses on the writing process associated with AP Style and the ins and outs of running an online media source. The students create their own blogs and learn the necessary skills to increase readership.

Broadcast Media focuses more on the writing of scripts and translating ideas into a visual form to be presented on a televised or broadcasted program.

SJI Counselor Mike Smith, with students Monica Harkins and Delaney Drew discuss footage to include in their Broadcast project. Photo by Olivia Rendon

SJI Counselor Mike Smith, and SJI students Monica Harkins and Delaney Drew discuss footage to include in their broadcast project. Photo by Olivia Rendon

As a whole, students get the opportunity to search for news and develop them into a print, web, or script format.

Students get professional advice from exemplarity members of the journalism community at Cronkite: Jacquee Petchel, Yvonne Wingett, Kevin Curran, Richard Ruelas to name a few. Students also get individual help from professors and professionals alike.

The opportunities this summer program presents are innumerable and as Juan Juarez  – an alumnus of SJI 2009 – said, “This program helps you network with people from the industry. Students shouldn’t be afraid of asking questions or introducing themselves.”

Juarez was a participant the SJI program and is now interning in New York City for NBC.

Al McCoy, who paid the students a visit, summed it all up, “Always keep going, set your goals very high. You’re not going to achieve them on your first try, but great things do happen.”

Anybody interested in attending in the future can email Anita Luera – director of high school programs at Cronkite – at



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