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Creating a scholastic journalism network


Students will research other scholastic journalism programs in their local area, state, regional and nation that could join a communication network allowing for more support of scholastic journalism programs, advisers and student journalists.


  • Students will research other scholastic journalism programs in their local area, state, region and nation.
  • Students will examine the benefits of networking with other scholastic journalism programs, teachers/advisers and students.
  • Students will develop a mini-project that would be beneficial to share with people in the network they create.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.


Two 50-minute classes and one to two weeks for independent research


Access to computers for research (1:1 if possible)

Presentation rubric

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Explain to students that today they’ll begin a research project to find other high school media staffs around their local area, state, region and country.  The purpose of doing this research is to build a network of advisers and scholastic journalists who you can turn to for help and support when you need it.

Explain that students are going to do research to find out what schools in your local area, state, region and country have journalism programs.

2. Think-pair-share — 10 minutes

Pair up students and ask them to create a list of the reasons why we might want to develop a network of schools/teachers/scholastic journalists.

Questions to consider:

– How will we find out what schools have journalism programs in our local area?

– How might we find out what schools have journalism programs in our state?

– How might we find out what schools have journalism programs in our region?

– How might we find out what schools have journalism programs in our nation?

– Why do we want to build a network of journalism teachers/students?

– What will we do with this network once we have it?

3. Whole group discussion — 30 minutes

Come back together as an entire class and compare your brainstorming lists.  Have someone write on the white board or document camera the answers to the questions you’ve discussed in your pairs.

4. Independent research — one week

Each group will be responsible for finding other publication staffs. Assign one group your local area, one your state, one your region and one the nation.

Sample Resources to use might include


– Athletic Director/Principal – will know schools in your county, district, region of your state

– Local Press Association

– Yearbook company reps

– Local professional publications that have “newspaper in education” programs

– Local TV stations who might work with area broadcast programs


– Scholastic Press Associations or adviser groups who might already have a network within the state

– State Press Associations who might already have connections with public and private schools

– State High School Leagues who govern high school activities/competitions, etc.

– State Principal Associations

– State Superintendent Associations

– Universities who might be connected with high school journalism programs


– Regional Scholastic Press Associations

– Universities who might be connected with high school journalism programs


– National Scholastic Press Associations (you can find lists of similar publications that have won awards like Pacemakers, Gold Crowns, Gallup Awards; a list of high school publications found on, etc.)

What information do you want to gather to include in your database? Decide as a class, but consider the following information:

– school name, address

– publications/media offered at the school, names of publications

– names of adviser(s)

– names of student editor(s)

What do you want to do with your information once you’ve gathered it? Develop a list of activities you can use your network for once you’ve created it. Ideas you should consider as you brainstorm:

– List of people/schools you want to exchange your print publication with (what can you afford? Do you have access to bulk mailing?  How many publications do you want/can you afford to send out?)

– Have a regularly scheduled meeting for student journalists and advisers in your county to discuss common issues, successes, etc.

– Plan an educational event like a local, regional or state journalism conference, camp or jDay

– Plan a journalism competition (like write-offs or carry-in competitions) in conjunction with professional publications, high school league, press association, university, etc.

– Plan a celebration for Scholastic Journalism Week, Constitution Day, etc.

5. Group presentations to class— 50 minutes

Each group will present their findings to the class by providing us all with a copy of their paper, which includes their network information, the results of their research, and a detailed plan for using their network to advance scholastic journalism on the level they have researched.

6. Follow-up — 50 minutes

As a class, decide what you will do with the networking plans you’ve developed and organize the execution of those plans.