Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 38

What did you learn from your experience as a participant in the EchoXtra 2015 celebration at Cantigny? Any insights about the potential of alumni voices? At the EchoXtra 2015 celebration at Cantigny, I probably talked to 40 dinner guests during the celebration and not one of them was making a living as a full-time professional journalist. There were lawyers, psychiatrists, college administrators, investment managers and even an astronaut, but not one person working in a newsroom. Yet they all felt a powerful sense of gratitude for their high school journalism experience. That tells me that there’s a potentially powerful network of supporters across all industries and fields, people who may never have pursued a news-gathering career but who still value journalism and want the next generation to have the same experience. That is a resource that could benefit every journalism program if we simply put in the effort to identify and to connect with our most natural allies. What does journalism lose when scholastic media alumni are silent about the value of their journalism education? Imagine what would happen if a school or a college tried to discontinue football. The booster community would rise up with such ferocity that the decision almost certainly would be turned around. But in the absence of ACTION: - To support SPLC efforts to expand freedom of expression laws to more states, use this link. • A tax-deductible donation of any size to the Student Press Law Center also rewards donors with free resources provided by the EchoXtra 2015 committee as availability permits. a fierce and well-organized “booster club,” journalism — which has civic benefits for the entire community far beyond those of athletics — is in danger of dying out at all but the most committed schools. We are living in a dangerous time for journalism because of the obsessive imageconsciousness of schools and colleges. Those who understand and appreciate journalism need to speak up and explain how journalism is a solution and not a problem. They must explain how journalism prepares students for workplace success, how it makes students more civically aware and participatory and how it teaches ethical publishing habits at a time when there is such a dearth of responsible online behavior. How could alumni be active supporters of freedom of expression and the efforts of the Student Press Law Center? Why should advisers encourage media alumni to become financial backers of SPLC? Whether it is through the SPLC or whether it is through a booster organization in their school community, we hope everyone who has realized professional success attributable to the training obtained in a student newsroom will repay that debt by sharing the wealth. The Student Press Law Center speaks for those in student media who are too frightened to speak for themselves, students and teachers who have been threatened for stirring up controversy or making uncomfortably candid observations about their schools’ shortcomings. Those who cannot donate financially can donate their time by joining or starting “New Voices” campaigns in their home states to enact laws that reverse the cancerous impact of the Supreme Court’s Hazelwood ruling. There are active New Voices organizations now in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin. In addition, organizations are being formed in at least 15 other states. Legislators need to hear from a diverse a cross section of citizens in every state that the censorship of students’ journalism work is an outdated educational practice that needs to be outlawed. Howard Spanogle Howard Spanogle, retired adviser of the Glenbard East Echo (Lombard, Illinois), was drafted as consultant for a celebration of Echo staffs, 1967 to 1993, at EchoXtra 2015. The event, which included raising money for Student Press Law Center, welcomed approximately 200 alumni. The assistant editor of Communication: Journalism Education Today found himself advising and being advised by former students who wrote creative essays, designed a conceptual memory book, produced an Echo History CD and created four YouTube videos. CONNECTIONS Retired Glenbard East adviser Howard Spanogle found new stories in every corner of the Cantigny banquet room. Before the event, Judy Coomes, a 1971 department editor and a French teacher in an innovative school in New Hampshire, began catching up with Echo history by reading the Teenagers Themselves Trilogy, published in the 1980s. She discovered her questions as an Echo leader had made a major impact on editors in later decades. Coomes learned she was part of a persistent Echo staff from 1967 to 1993. Photo by Ray Cubberley What did you learn from your experience as a participant in the EchoXtra 2015 celebration at Cantigny? Any insights about the potential of alumni voices? At the EchoXtra 2015 celebration at Cantigny, I probably talked to 40 dinner guests during the celebration and not one of them was making a living as a full-time professional journalist. There were lawyers, psychiatrists, college administrators, investment managers and even an astronaut, but not one person working in a newsroom. Yet they all felt a powerful sense of gratitude for their high school journalism experience. That tells me that there’s a potentially powerful network of supporters across all industries and fields, people who may never have pursued a news-gathering career but who still value journalism and want the next generation to have the same experience. That is a resource that could benefit every journalism program if we simply put in the effort to identify and to connect with our most natural allies. What does journalism lose when scholastic media alumni are silent about the value of their journalism education? Imagine what would happen if a school or a college tried to discontinue football. The booster community would rise up with such ferocity that the decision almost certainly would be turned around. But in the absence of ACTION: - To support SPLC efforts to expand freedom of expression laws to more states, use this link. • A tax-deductible donation of any size to the Student Press Law Center also rewards donors with free resources provided by the EchoXtra 2015 committee as availability permits. a fierce and well-organized “booster club,” journalism — which has civic benefits for the entire community far beyond those of athletics — is in danger of dying out at all but the most committed schools. We are living in a dangerous time for journalism because of the obsessive imageconsciousness of schools and colleges. Those who understand and appreciate journalism need to speak up and explain how journalism is a solution and not a problem. They must explain how journalism prepares students for workplace success, how it makes students more civically aware and participatory and how it teaches ethical publishing habits at a time when there is such a dearth of responsible online behavior. How could alumni be active supporters of freedom of expression and the efforts of the Student Press Law Center? Why should advisers encourage media alumni to become financial backers of SPLC? 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