ASNE’s Youth Journalism Initiative, launched in 2000, is committed to helping students learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st-century citizens. The Initiative invests in the future of journalism and democracy by providing resources and training in youth journalism; news, information and media literacy; and the First Amendment and civic education.

This go-to education site for students and teachers provides hundreds of lesson plans and resources related to journalism, news literacy and civic education. Whether you want to learn, teach or create news and information using digital media tools or increase your understanding of the First Amendment and democracy, this site can both inspire and instruct!

ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute

The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, an intensive journalism workshop for secondary-school teachers, completed its final year in 2015. The 2015 Institute featured online pre- and post-Institute training materials which are now available for any teacher to use.

Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 2,340 secondary school teachers have completed the program. The program is administered by the American Society of News Editors Youth Journalism Initiative and in 2015 was held at Arizona State University, University of Texas at Austin, Kent State University and the University of Missouri. Teachers learned how to help students:

  • gain stronger reporting, writing, editing, multimedia, graphics and entrepreneurial skills needed to start or improve student media organizations.
  • understand the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment and their rights and ethical responsibilities as student journalists and citizens.
  • develop news literacy skills, including the ability to differentiate between fact, opinion and infotainment; understand bias, balance and fairness in news coverage; and appreciate the importance of credible and verifiable news sources.

ASNE/Tribune News Service

In an exclusive arrangement with ASNE, the Tribune Content Agency wire service is offered to school news organizations (Grades 5-12). Content may be utilized in school newspapers, news magazines, journalism classes and broadcast programs. This arrangement enhances storytelling and expands news coverage by student media programs.

Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

ASNE and the ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative sponsored publication of the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism. The publication provides invaluable guidance to school principals and administrators working with student media organizations.

Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board helps young people to learn, connect and be heard and offers them educational opportunities and interaction with journalism professionals. All students are welcome to apply and may join at any time. Members interact in a closed Facebook group where discussions are moderated by professionals with experience in student media and journalism. Members also participate in Twitter chats with guest moderators and enjoy other special opportunities. In 2014, members participated in a press call with officials at the White House regarding the First Lady’s visit to China. Members also had the opportunity to be panelists in a live chat about journalism ethics during an online screening of the documentary “A Fragile Trust,” hosted by PBS.

News literacy

The Youth Journalism Initiative supports several ASNE news literacy efforts, including the development of a model news literacy curriculum for social studies, language arts, science and math. Teachers can use the lessons as a springboard to incorporate news literacy skills into every academic discipline and help students learn critical-thinking skills for analyzing and judging the reliability of news and information in everyday problem-solving and real-life experiences. Each lesson addresses a guiding news literacy question and aligns with Common Core State Standards. A Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License allows teachers to adapt the lessons for educational purposes. The project was developed in partnership with the Journalism Education Association and funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

ASNE’s newly launched National Community and News Literacy Roundtables Project features an educational partner, as well as a community partner and media partner, as communities explore hot-button issues and learn how to parse fact from fiction in a media-saturated world. For more information on partnering with ASNE to host a roundtable in your community, click here.

1 for All First Amendment Challenge

The 1 for All First Amendment Challenge honored 40 teachers and schools for innovative education about the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Winning teachers received $1,000, and winning schools received recognition plaques. The Challenge was sponsored by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. 1 for All is a national nonpartisan program designed to build understanding and support for First Amendment freedoms. ASNE is a founding partner in the 1 for All initiative.

These groundbreaking youth journalism initiatives are generously funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

For more information, contact Le Anne Wiseman at or 573-884-2689.

Is your company, organization or foundation interested in partnering with ASNE’s Youth Journalism Initiative? If you have collaborative-project ideas or would like to help monetarily support our grant-funded youth journalism, news and information literacy, or civic education programs, then contact Le Anne Wiseman at or 573-884-2689.

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