Everything You Need to Know about Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student typing in her laptop

Everything You Need to Know about Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute

Are you passionate about journalism? Eager to embark on an educational journey that blends rich history with cutting-edge training? Look no further than the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute.

In this article, we’ll delve into what this program has to offer, from its solid curriculum and dynamic learning environment to mentorship from seasoned professionals. If you’re a high school student with a thirst for journalistic knowledge, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Why Is Journalism Important Today?

In an era characterized by information overload, the significance of journalism has never been more pronounced. The digital age has brought with it an avalanche of data, voices, and perspectives, making the task of discerning the truth increasingly challenging for the average individual.

Amidst this tumultuous media landscape, journalism stands as a beacon, guiding society through the maze of misinformation and providing clarity amidst confusion.

Journalism isn’t just about relaying facts; it’s about weaving narratives that shed light on the human experience. It gives voice to the voiceless, holds the powerful accountable, and facilitates informed decision-making, be it in the voting booth or in everyday life.

Especially in tumultuous times, journalism acts as society’s compass, offering direction and ensuring the public remains informed and empowered.

a group of journalism students covering an interview

Journalism programs like the Emerson College Journalism Institute play a pivotal role in preserving and propelling the mission of journalism. They recognize that today’s media ecosystem demands journalists who are not only skilled in traditional reporting but are also adept at navigating the digital frontier.

By merging time-honored journalistic principles with cutting-edge techniques, the institute ensures the next generation of journalists are equipped to lead in both understanding and shaping the narrative. In essence, Emerson College is not just teaching journalism; it’s championing the very essence of democracy and informed citizenship.

With challenges like fake news, polarizing echo chambers, and dwindling trust in media, the importance of robust and ethical journalism has never been clearer. Institutions like Emerson College are vital in ensuring that journalism continues to evolve, innovate, and serve its fundamental role in society—to illuminate the truth.

A Brief History of Emerson College

In the bustling heart of Boston lies Emerson College, a beacon for aspiring journalists like you.

Founded in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson, the institution initially emerged as a “school of oratory.” But as the winds of change blew, Emerson soon recognized the pressing need for truthful reporting and credible storytelling. By the 1920s, the college pioneered and introduced its first course of journalism, setting a precedent for other institutions nationwide.

Emerson’s commitment to journalism goes beyond mere education. It underscores the very essence of a democratic society. From its roots, the college has emphasized the indispensable role of journalism, tracing from its historical foundations to the seismic shifts brought about by digital media.

For budding journalists like yourself, Emerson’s rich history serves as an inspiration. Here, you’re not just gaining invaluable training; you’re becoming part of a legacy that values integrity, innovation, and impact.

What Does the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute Offer?

The field of journalism is constantly evolving, and staying ahead requires intensive training and exposure to the latest trends and practices. The Summer Journalism Institute at Emerson College is designed to provide high school students with just that.

Solid Curriculum

Emerson College is known for its Arts & Communication Pre-College Programs, which provide intensive summer experiences for high school students. One of these programs is the Summer Journalism Institute, which aims to immerse students in the world of journalism, giving them a taste of what to expect should they pursue it further in college and beyond.

The Summer Journalism Institute is housed under the Department of Journalism in the School of Communication at Emerson. This department combines traditional journalistic practices with innovation, ensuring students are well-versed in both foundational skills and the latest developments in the field.

At the heart of the Emerson Summer Journalism Institute is a curriculum designed not just to impart knowledge but to nurture curiosity. The program is rooted in four key principles:

  • Discovery: This facet emphasizes the core of journalism, teaching you how to uncover stories that matter.
  • Adapt: In an ever-evolving media landscape, adapting to new tools and platforms is crucial, and this principle ensures you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Illuminate: As a journalist, your primary duty is to shed light on issues, and this element equips you with the skills to do just that.
  • Respect: Journalism is as much about ethics as it is about storytelling. This principle underscores the importance of respecting sources, subjects, and the audience.

Dynamic Learning Environment

The program offers a vibrant learning atmosphere. Unlike the conventional classroom, you’ll encounter a mix of hands-on workshops and collaborative projects. You’ll explore various facets of journalism, from reporting and editing to understanding the significance of ethical journalism.

a journalist holding a microphone whole looking at the camera

The world of journalism is vast, and the Institute doesn’t shy away from exposing you to its expanse. From print and digital media to broadcast journalism, you’ll get a taste of different journalistic formats and techniques.

Next, you’ll be surrounded by peers from different backgrounds, each with their unique stories and perspectives. This diversity is not just for show; it’s a practical tool. Collaboration is integral, and you’ll often find yourself in group discussions, brainstorming sessions, and team projects.

Mentorship from Seasoned Professionals

While the curriculum is a foundation, the faculty at Emerson serve as pillars. One of the standout features of this program is the guidance from seasoned journalists and media professionals. Their real-world insights and feedback will be instrumental in refining your skills. Be prepared for constructive criticism; it’s the bedrock for growth.

Overall, the Emerson Summer Journalism Institute is more than just a program. It’s an experience, a journey that promises to shape you into a journalist ready to take on the world. If you’re seeking a blend of robust curriculum, esteemed faculty, and invaluable hands-on experience, look no further. Your journalistic voyage starts here.

Networking Opportunities at the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute

What sets the Emerson Summer Journalism Institute apart is its emphasis on practical exposure. As a participant, you won’t just be confined to classrooms. Instead, you’ll find yourself immersed in real-world journalistic scenarios, from covering local events to working on live projects.

To further enhance this hands-on experience, there are extracurricular activities tailored for budding journalists. Whether it’s contributing to the student newspaper or volunteering your writing skills, there’s always an avenue for you to apply what you’ve learned.

Extracurricular Activities

Dive into the vibrant campus life of Emerson with an array of activities and student organizations. From student-run newspapers to broadcasting clubs, there’s something for everyone.

You can explore platforms like Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) & EmConnect to channel your passions and skills outside the academic realm, thus honing your craft from multiple angles.

The Power of Networking

In the fast-paced world of journalism, who you know is almost as crucial as what you know. Connecting with peers, mentors, and industry professionals can pave the way for internships, job opportunities, and collaborations.


Engage with guest speakers, attend workshops, and participate in alumni meets to foster relationships that can last a lifetime.

Emerson’s Media Ties

One of the distinguishing features of the Emerson Summer Journalism Institute is its strong connections within the media industry. As a student, you’ll get the chance to interact with professionals from renowned media houses and publications.

This not only provides an insider’s perspective but can also be instrumental in landing internships and job placements. The Institute’s reputation and its emphasis on real-world assignments, such as conducting interviews and producing feature stories, further solidify its standing in the media world.

In essence, Emerson College’s Summer Journalism Institute provides a comprehensive experience that blends rigorous academic training with invaluable industry exposure. As you embark on this journey, remember to seize every opportunity, be it in the classroom or outside. It’s these experiences, combined with the relationships you forge, that will shape your future in journalism.

How to Apply to the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute

Ready to apply to the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute? Keep the following in mind:


  • Grade Level: Students entering grades 10, 11, or 12.
  • Age Criteria: Must be between 15 to 18 years old.
  • Passion for Journalism: Ideal for students with a keen interest in reporting, whether you’re aiming to join, start, or elevate your school’s newspaper, TV station, or online platform.

Application Requirements

  1. Online Application: Ensure to complete the form and be aware of the $60 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Statement of Purpose: Draft a one or two-page document detailing your aspirations for the Institute and significant events that readied you for this journey.
  3. Essay: Reflect on your strengths and growth areas in journalism. Highlight your comfort levels across different media platforms.
  4. Teacher Recommendation: Secure a recommendation from a teacher, ideally one acquainted with your journalistic endeavors.
  5. Work Samples: Offer up to two pieces that showcase your talent—from web articles to social media posts or school publications.
  6. Journalism Resume: List out your experiences, roles, and notable achievements in the realm of journalism.

Credit Option

For those eyeing the Journalism Institute Credit Option:

  • Transcripts: You’ll need to provide your official secondary school transcripts.
  • Test Scores: Submitting your PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores is optional but can be beneficial.

Preparatory Tips

  1. Brush Up on Current Affairs: Familiarize yourself with current events. A journalist is always in the know, and this will also give you a head start in class discussions.
  2. Practice Writing: Before the program starts, make it a habit to write regularly. It could be daily journaling, blogging, or even short articles on topics of interest.
  3. Stay Open-Minded: Journalism thrives on multiple perspectives. Be ready to listen, understand, and respect viewpoints different from yours.

a female student reading a letter

In conclusion, your time at the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute promises to be enriching and intense. By knowing what to expect and preparing adequately, you can ensure that this experience is not just educational but also pivotal for your journalistic aspirations.

How to Maximize Your Emerson College Summer Journalism Experience

Embarking on the journey at the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute is both exhilarating and transformative. To help you fully embrace this opportunity and maximize your learning, here are some tips tailored for you.

  1. Engage Actively in Workshops: These sessions aren’t just lectures; they’re immersive experiences. Ask questions, participate in discussions, and share your perspectives. Your active involvement will deepen your understanding and enrich the overall group dynamic.
  2. Build Relationships: Connect with your peers, mentors, and instructors. Not only will these connections enrich your experience during the program, but they can also become valuable professional contacts in the future.
  3. Stay Curious: Journalism is about asking the right questions. Whether you’re in a classroom or out in the field, always be curious. Dive deep, explore various angles, and seek the truth.
  4. Utilize Resources: The program offers a plethora of resources, from industry-specific guides to internship boards. Take advantage of these to enhance your skills and knowledge.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice: The best way to hone your journalistic skills is through practice. Write daily, even if it’s just a brief reflection on your day. The more you write, the better you’ll become.
  6. Seek Feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on your work. Constructive criticism is a growth tool. Use it to refine your skills and improve.
  7. Stay Updated with Current Events: A journalist needs to be informed. Regularly catch up on news and current events. This will not only keep you updated but will also provide real-world contexts to what you learn.
  8. Embrace Technology: Journalism today is as much about technology as it is about storytelling. Familiarize yourself with the latest digital tools and platforms that journalists use today.
  9. Manage Your Time Wisely: The program can be intensive. Good time management ensures that you stay on top of assignments, get adequate rest, and still have time for networking and socializing.
  10. Enjoy the Experience: Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the process. Embrace the learning, the challenges, and the joys of discovering the world of journalism.

In summary, the Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute is more than just a program; it’s a stepping stone to a promising journalistic career. By staying engaged, being proactive, and fully immersing yourself, you can extract the maximum value from this experience.


In today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, the essence of journalism remains steadfast: to illuminate truths and foster understanding. Yet, the tools and techniques of the trade are ever-changing. Emerson College stands at the forefront of this evolution, committed not only to preserving the core of journalism but also to navigating its transformative waves.

Emerson’s curriculum ensures that students are not just passive observers but active participants in the journalistic renaissance. By blending traditional practices with innovative methods, the institution crafts ethical journalists capable of producing compelling and original news stories in this digital age.

If you’re aspiring to not just join but lead the next generation of journalists, consider Emerson’s Journalism program. It’s more than just a degree; it’s a launchpad for a rewarding journalism career, providing the knowledge, skills, and network you need to thrive in this dynamic industry. As the future of journalism unfolds, be part of the narrative that shapes it.

a female student smiling in front of the camera and carrying her stuff

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