While spending ten days at Princeton University, we participated in a program designed to give us insight into multiple areas of journalism. Toward the end of the program, we spent some time talking about what we enjoyed and what can be improved. We are appreciative for the support from the counselors and speakers, and for the knowledge we gained. We also think that improvements can be made regarding scheduling, interaction time, and campus experience.
SJP’s reliable counselors and encouraging support system were major highlights of the program. We really enjoyed having SJP alumni as part of the staff; they provided the “inside scoop” on what to expect from SJP. The staff constantly encouraged us to believe in the potential of our abilities; we found their guidance on the college application process very insightful and full of tips. The counselors explained that the second half of the program starts after students leave Princeton’s campus, when students will be in constant contact with their designated counselor, who will assist them through the college application process. The program also provided us with a network of sources to help navigate journalism, which was also very useful. Students attended varying workshops, on topics including photojournalism, food journalism, sports journalism and investigative journalism. Students also attended talks on basic skills that a journalist will need—things such as interviewing, researching, remaining ethical, and writing opinions. After experiencing something new every day, students are now prepared to succeed in the world of journalism.
As a result of the super productive schedule that we had the opportunity to experience, lack of sleep was also a factor. Sleep deprivation is common and a genuine concern among students. Our argument is that, if you are going to have us working all day, at least supply coffee every morning. Lol. Moreover, students would have appreciated a full tour of the campus. Most of the program took place in two locations: the dining hall and the classroom. A campus tour would have provided students with a general idea of Princeton, and the beautiful aspects that make it a great place. Group discussions were popular among students, and we suggest adding more discussion time for bonding between students and counselors. Similarly, students wished for more social collaboration among their peers. Even though students were interested in listening to speakers during the workshops, we would have liked more time to interact with each other.
Over the past ten days, we—students from all over the country—have had the opportunity to learn about a field that interests us. We know we will be assisted in our college admission process this fall, and we now know the importance of sleep. We return home with strong mindsets—and the ability to seek knowledge and to document the world around us.
By Princeton Summer Journal staff
Journalism in general is a struggling enterprise, one which can unfortunately deter plenty of hopefuls. Historically popular media outlets have seen a steep decline in their finances, and many American public schools do not provide students with a course in journalism or media. The declining popularity of traditional journalism among the millennial generation may spell doom for the industry. However, there is potential for aspiring young writers.
By the SJP Class of 2016
It’s like the beginning of any race: Before the starting gun goes off, you feel nervous, uncertain and a little bit overwhelmed about what lies ahead. That’s how many of us felt when we first arrived at Princeton University’s Summer Journalism Program, flying in from Massachusetts, Missouri, California and everywhere in between.
But over the course of 10 short days and 10 long nights, we hit our stride, all becoming part of a vibrant community of curious students and intellectuals who’ve overcome their circumstances to chase their dreams. Continue reading
Brian Rokus :: The Princeton Summer Journal
By the Staff of the Princeton Summer Journal
Congratulations—and welcome to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.”
This was the first line in an email we all received in early May. The response was long awaited, but nothing could prepare us for the excitement looming ahead.
Our intellectual journey into the world of journalism started early. Azza, our program coordinator, bombarded us with an array of articles and probing questions in emails leading up to the week of the program. Our anticipation continued to grow.
When we first met, we began to put faces to names. Upon arrival, we conducted interviews with Princeton residents on their opinions of New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie. The following days were a medley of workshops, guest speakers during meals, and getting to know our counselors and peers.
After learning the basics of journalism, we took to the field to use our skills. We wrote reviews of movies and campus plays; we covered a baseball game; we conducted an investigative report. On our trip to New York City, the first visit for many, we toured the offices of Bloomberg, TIME, The New York Times, and The Daily Beast. These experiences in writing were invaluable to us as students interested in journalism. Continue reading
By the Staff of The Princeton Summer Journal
Ten days ago, we arrived at Princeton University for the start of the Summer Journalism Program. We came from all over the country with different backgrounds and cultures, but we shared a common interest in journalism.
Today, we leave Princeton as friends and as members of the broader SJP family. We have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience and formed long-lasting friendships cemented through long days of workshops and late nights in the newsroom. Continue reading
By the Staff of The Princeton Summer Journal
It is hard to believe we have been here for 10 days. It feels like we were just in our first workshop, with Richard standing at the front of the room, towering and intimidating. He asked us, “What is journalism?” It seemed like a simple question, and we all thought we had the answer. Little did we know the answer to this complex question would unfold during our immersive educational journey. Continue reading