by Le Anne Wiseman
Director, Youth Journalism Initiative
American Society of News Editors

ASNE’s Youth Journalism Initiative is funded by grants from the Knight Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
ASNE continues to seek future funding opportunities as well as the potential to partner and collaborate with organizations across the secondary school curriculum.  

Launched in 2000, ASNE’s Youth Journalism Initiative’s goal is for every student to learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st Century citizens. We continue to administer the following programs:

* Reynolds High School Journalism Institute — a two-week multimedia journalism and news literacy training program for 175 high school teachers. During the decade the  program has run, more than 2,000 teachers have benefitted from this premier training opportunity. This program is funded through June 2014.

* ( — ASNE’s educational resource website for teachers and students is getting a “makeover” with a launch scheduled for this fall. It will offer resources and lesson plans on news and media literacy, journalism and nonfiction writing, civic engagement and action, and the First Amendment.  All lesson plans from our archives will still be accessible.  Additionally, educational resources formerly found on RTDNA will be available at

* The new “National Edition” — Weekly cash prizes will be awarded this fall to students for excellence in journalism. All students at any U.S.-affiliated school are eligible to submit stories, photos and videos. A monthly contest will recognize long-form, narrative journalism on topics of global interest with cash prizes. All winners and honorable mention submissions will be published on  Surprise guest judges will be featured.

* Naming contest — Students can help name the new “National Edition.”  The winning student receives $250 and their school journalism program receives $250.  The deadline for submission has been extended to July 31.  Students can enter as many times as they like at

* ASNE/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service — an exclusive arrangement with McClatchy-Tribune provides this service.  Content may be utilized in the school newspaper, online news publications and in journalism class.

* Partnership Program — News organizations that commit to mentor a local high school to start or improve student news outlets can help the school receive a grant of up to $2,000 for classroom hardware/software. First Amendment poster

You can download First Amendment posters at

* First Amendment Posters — downloadable at and upon request from ASNE.

The ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative also supports the following programs:

  • Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest — contest sponsor.
  • Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism — subsidizing printing costs.
  • Tinker Tour through the Student Press Law Center — sponsor.
  • Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association — sponsor Adviser Reception at fall and spring conventions.

ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative will discontinue online news publication hosting as of Sept. 15, 2013

We’ve enjoyed helping more than 5,000 schools develop an online media presence these past 12 years. But technology and times have changed since our “cut and paste” system was built on a DotNetNuke platform. We see this change as an opportunity for students to learn valuable 21st Century skills by becoming knowledgeable about WordPress, web design and other evolving digital technologies as well as honing their journalistic ethics and skills.

Precisely when will the site shut down?

We will discontinue as of Sept. 15, 2013.

What assistance is ASNE offering for sites migrating away from

We’ve sent several emails to all schools on our database offering to answer any questions about this transition and offering help in learning how to continue a student news publication online.  We’re asking anyone with questions to please contact me at lwiseman (at) asne (dot)org or 573-884-2689 or Megan Schumacher at mschumacher (at) asne (dot) org or 573-882-3792.  

Schools can also download any previously posted articles and media (photos, videos and audio) by logging onto Schools should then go to the “Account” drop down menu, click on dashboard and read the instructions for exporting in RSS, CSV and html formats and can then be imported to a new website. The export function is available until September 15, 2013.

School Newspapers Online (SNO) has also offered any school that has ever hosted on the discount below.  For information, please contact Tom Hutchison at tom (at) schoolnewspapersonline (dot) com or 612-460-7776. Please note for all K-12 programs, SNO does charge an annual fee of $300 for website hosting and unlimited support, which will apply to the first year of service and each subsequent year thereafter.

If schools sign up with SNO between now and Sept. 15, 2013, you will receive a $150 discount off the normal setup fee.

We encourage schools to also look at options such as and ISONN.

Please let us know if there is other information you or Scholastic Press Associations would like to know about the ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative.

If anyone wants to be added to our email list, please email Megan Schumacher at mschumacher (at) asne (dot) org

Editor’s note: Thanks to Le Anne for this blog post that discusses (and expands on) the information she shared at the Scholastic Press Association Roundtable at the JEA/NSPA convention in San Francisco.