Perhaps there’s never been a more important time for free press and thoughtful journalism. Locally, the next generation of journalists is already showcasing what they can do.
Each year, students enrolled in the Journeys in Journalism program, a magnet program with students in Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High School, participate in a photojournalism exhibit at Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event was live streamed.
“Ultimately the students are in charge of the content that they cover, which is one of the fun parts about the program,” Andres Faza, journalism instructor at John Hopkins, said, “The cool thing about this exhibit is that it’s a year’s worth of photojournalism work and then we pick from that year.”
The art exhibit demonstrates students’ relationship with the ever-changing world. This year photos ranged in subject from COVID precautions, to Black Lives Matter artwork and students’ passions.
“I’m so proud of our student journalists for the work they’ve done throughout the year, especially during this year and the circumstances they’ve come up against. They’re learning to do journalism from home, socially distanced and safely,” Faza said.
Organized by Crystal Pruitt, the journalism program coordinator for Journeys in Journalism, Marcus Grayson and Joseph Parler, adjunct instructors at John Hopkins Middle School, and Faza, this year’s opening night was broadcast live Friday, January 8.
Nahshon Cooper, an eighth grader at Johns Hopkins, was selected to co-host the event along with Pruitt.
“I’ve been studying all last night,” Cooper said the day of the opening. “I stayed up until three trying to read the words so I don’t mess up for the livestream.”
Seventh grader Gloria Privis operated the sound and cameras from the control room.
“I tried to do something else, but that’s not mine. I really like this and I feel like it’s really about me. Even though you can’t see me,” Privis said.
The artwork will be at Studio@620 until January 30. Visit throughoureyes.swell.gives/photo for virtual tours and to purchase artwork. Admission to the physical gallery is free and reservations are mandatory. Reserve a visit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I always tell students when they are trying to decide what they want to do, that you can’t go wrong with a career in journalism [or] communications, because the simple foundation is writing and you need writing in just about every job,” Pruitt said.
Students interested in applying for the Journeys in Journalism program can visit pcsb.org/journalism to fill out an application.