Calling all young journalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Be a better writer, photographer and multimedia ninja. Learn about the news business from the inside, from local journalists and Poynter’s expert faculty. Understand why journalism matters and how you can be a part of it, whether or not you plan to pursue it as a career.

Apply to be one of a prestigious group of high school students in the Tampa Bay area selected to participate in this intensive Poynter program. This one-week workshop will improve your writing and photography, teach you new ways to use social media and digital storytelling tools, and hone your understanding of journalism’s role in a democracy.

No prior journalism experience required — just an interest in the world around you.

Accepted participants in the High School Journalism Program will:

  • Work with globally-renowned Poynter faculty and prize-winning local journalists
  • Wrestle with journalism ethics
  • Discover secrets to good storytelling
  • Write a personal narrative (perfect practice for your college application essay!)
  • Create interactive online elements that could become part of your personal or school media website

The High School Journalism Program is one of the longest-running programs at The Poynter Institute. Founded along with the Institute in 1975, its goal is to give young people the chance to learn about writing and the values and craft of journalism. In fact, six participants from the 2018 High School Journalism Program later joined our MediaWise team as summer interns, helping fact-check information on Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

We realize many students in this program won’t go on to pursue careers in journalism. We know, however, that all of them will learn through this program about the critical role of journalism and freedom of the press in a democracy.

Who should apply?

All students who are in 8th through 12th grades who are interested in journalism, writing, photography, or storytelling with video are welcomed. This workshop is excellent for students who work in student media or are considering majoring in journalism, mass communications, or integrated marketing communications.

Applicants do not need to live in the Tampa Bay area but need to make their own housing and transportation arrangements. Priority goes to local students. Class size is limited to 35 students.

Application process

The application asks you to write an essay, 50 to 100 words, telling us about your interest in this program and why you’d like to participate. This is the most important component of your application, so please spend some time on it. Tell us about your involvement (if any) in student media, your interest in journalism and storytelling, and how you hope this workshop will help you.


Tuition for the week-long training is $350 per student and includes supplies, a workshop T-shirt and lunch each day. We’ll meet in Poynter’s comfortable, airy classrooms. You’ll want a digital camera to use (a smartphone is fine), and a tablet or laptop (if you have one).

Students applying for financial aid may request it in the online application as part of their “essay of interest.” Tell us whether you qualify for free or reduced school lunch and any special circumstances you want us to consider.


We’d love to hear from you. Email us at Visit to apply.

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