December 2010

coaches2 Tyson 200x133The Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism is pleased to announce a $250,000 gift from Tyson Foods, Inc., for the Lemke Journalism Project, which gives high school students of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to write and produce their own newspaper with help from journalism faculty and mentors. “This is an enormous gift that ensures the success of this program for years to come,” says LJP founder and journalism professor Katherine Shurlds. “We cannot possibly thank Tyson Foods enough.”

Approaching its 10th year, the Lemke Journalism Project attracts sophomore, junior and senior high school students who are interested in writing about multicultural issues in northwest Arkansas. Primarily populated by Hispanic students, the program also has had participants from a variety of cultural backgrounds, including Marshallese, African-American and Caucasian.

The program, which runs for six Saturdays each spring, students learn about journalism from professionals who work in the field, called coaches, and from Fulbright College faculty members, called mentors.

“The increasing diversity of northwest Arkansas makes this program very important to our community and its evolving culture,” said Archie Schaffer III, Tyson’s executive vice president of corporate affairs. “The Lemke Journalism Project will make a lasting contribution to improve journalism in the region as well as multicultural understanding. We at Tyson are pleased to be able to provide financial stability to the program.”

The program also receives annual support from The Morning News, now a part of the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, which prints and distributes the Lemke Journalism Project’s newspaper, The Multicultural News, for free.