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Aspiring journalists learn newest skills for media jobs

Published: July 21 2014


Aspiring journalists learn newest skills for media jobs

Aspiring journalists from high schools around the world came to the University of Florida this summer for a week-long immersion in the information industries.

The annual Summer Journalism Institute, known as SJI, which has been a staple of the college’s outreach efforts since the mid-1950s, doubled in attendance this year with 200 students from 19 states and three countries.

“You can’t imagine how happy we are seeing 200 of the world’s best young journalists on our campus learning the basic skills and setting them on a path to make our global community more informed,” said Steve Johnson, the camp’s director and visual coordinator for the college. “We spend months planning every detail of the camp, yet each year we are surprised at how the camp takes on a spirit of its own with new and returning campers connecting, learning and sharing stories — the SJI network is stronger than ever.”

The students spend a full week at UF learning from professors and professionals in the communications fields. They wake up at 6:30 a.m., eat breakfast at Gator Corner Dining and begin full days of newsroom classes, writing workshops, keynote speakers and specialized electives in meteorology, video storytelling, photography and anchoring. This year’s program added another full day of courses to the program, and gave students more flexibility to select topical electives in the afternoons.

With a staff of more than 30 UF alumni, professors, adjuncts and students, the camp is a 24/7 operation from when the first future Gator arrives to the last flight home.