ATU Student Journalists Conduct Community Outreach

ATU SPJ Community Outreach Fall 2021
Participants in a media literacy project at Dardanelle High School during the fall 2021 semester included (back row, from left) Megan Toland, assistant professor of journalism at Arkansas Tech University; Jance Cook and Ivy Aguero, ATU Society of Professional Journalist members; Chris Miller, DHS student; (front row, from left) Kirsten McConnell and Lisbeth Flores, DHS students; and Tara Espinoza, ATU SPJ member.

Arkansas Tech University’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) invested a portion of its fall 2021 semester in teaching the importance of media literacy to students at Dardanelle High School (DHS).

The project began in September when ATU students presented to Ashley Turney’s digital marketing and analytics class at DHS. Topics covered included definitions of common terms related to media literacy and tips on how to be an effective consumer of news and social media content.

With that foundation of knowledge established, the DHS students were invited to produce and submit a 90-second video, a 3-to-5 image photo story with captions or a two-page essay that answered the question, “What does media literacy mean to me?”

Contest winners, which were selected by ATU SPJ students, were DHS students Lisbeth Flores (first place, 90-second video), Chris Miller (second place, 90-second video), Kirsten McConnell (third place, two-page essay) and Luis Garcia (honorable mention, 90-second video).

“It has been a great experience and opportunity for all involved,” said Megan Toland, ATU assistant professor of journalism and advisor for ATU SPJ. “I am very pleased with how it turned out and most importantly, I feel like our goal was accomplished of spreading the importance of media literacy.”

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