Why We Do What We Do
When the Lemke Journalism Project was first created, it was intended as a way to train more journalists to provide a diverse viewpoint in Arkansas newsrooms.
As a result, several LJP participants have earned a degree in journalism.
However, another effect of the workshop has been particularly encouraging.
Students have become better informed consumers of news. They learn to judge the source of what they are reading and hearing and they ask questions they might not have asked before.
The LJP is a program of the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism and J. William Fulbright College at the University of Arkansas, it is funded by Tyson Foods Inc. and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers Inc.
Students are coached by volunteers who work with the students on their writing and story ideas. They are reporters and editors from local newspapers, news producers from broadcast stations, and UATV, student-run television. Many of them are members of the local Society of Professional Journalists, a national organization that encourages work with high school journalists.
Leaders in northwest Arkansas come to speak to the students, to inspire them to ask questions and to inspire them as role models. When funding allows, the project also brings in speakers from around the country.
Members of the UA journalism faculty direct, teach and coach the LJP.
Local volunteers from northwest Arkansas high schools are invaluable to the program. They recruit, encourage students and chaperone buses.