High School Journalism Program (June 2021)

Who fights to make public COVID-19 data, such as how many cases have been reported in your school district or the infection rate at your grandparent’s nursing home? Who holds politicians accountable for their policies and promises on issues like climate change or gun violence? Who can say what is happening on the ground when bystander and official reports conflict? Journalists!

If you want to affect change, shine a light on issues that affect your friends and family, and have a passion for finding facts, journalism might be the path for you. We invite you to apply for the Poynter Institute’s prestigious High School Journalism Program this summer.

You can expect personalized instruction from globally renowned Poynter faculty and award-winning media professionals delivered in a high-production online learning environment. You’ll get a cutting-edge journalism 101 education that can launch you into a journalism program in college, set you up for an internship, or help you apply to your student paper. And importantly, you will develop relationships with your class and form valuable connections with working journalists across the country.

By the end of the intensive, 10-day online program, you will have produced a written personal essay, narrative audio package and video-based fact-check.

Program History

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Tens of thousands of professional journalists train with Poynter each year, whether online or in person. The media organizations you rely on — including The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, National Geographic, the Associated Press, Google, Facebook and hundreds of local newspapers and TV stations — work directly with Poynter to stay relevant, develop leaders, grapple with ethics issues and more. Poynter is also the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters and senior citizens.

The High School Journalism Program is one of the longest-running programs at Poynter. Founded along with the Institute in 1975, its goal is to give young people the chance to learn about writing and develop a passion for the values and craft of journalism.

It was formerly open only to high school students near our St. Petersburg, Florida campus, but we completely redesigned the program in 2020 and made it available online to high school students across the U.S.


If you need assistance, email us at [email protected].

Who should apply

Students who are in 8th through 12th grades who are interested in journalism, writing, photography or storytelling with video should apply. This workshop is great for students who work in student media or are considering majoring in journalism, mass communications or integrated marketing communications. Class size is limited to allow for more personalized instruction.

The deadline to apply is Monday, May 17, 2021.

Application process

The application asks you to write a short essay, 50 to 100 words, telling us about your interest in this program and why you’d like to participate. This is the most important component of your application, so please spend some time on it. Tell us about your involvement (if any) in student media, your interest in journalism and storytelling and how you hope this workshop will help you.


Tuition for the two-week training is $395 per student.

Scholarships are available, including a limited number that will make the program tuition-free for selected participants.

Students applying for financial aid may request it in the online application as part of their “essay of interest.” Tell us whether you qualify for free or reduced school lunch and any special circumstances you want us to consider.

In order to complete your application, we require authorization of payment. Your card will not be charged until you are accepted into the program. Upon acceptance to the program you will receive an email notification and your credit card payment will be processed.

Technology requirements

You will need access to a smartphone, tablet or digital camera so you can take journalistic photos to share with the group. You will also need high-speed Internet access for a desktop computer, laptop or tablet. Minimum software requirements are specified below:


  • 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent)
  • Windows 10, 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or later, Windows Edge browser, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome

Mac OS

  • 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X 10.11, 10.12 and 10.13
  • Browser: Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Google Chrome