Department of Journalism College of Communication and Fine Arts
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The Teen Appeal

The Teen Appeal is a city-wide high school newspaper produced monthly by Shelby County Schools students. Funded by a generous grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the program brings students to campus to learn reporting, writing, multimedia production, and other journalism skills. The Commercial Appeal prints and distributes the monthly newspaper.

The Teen Appeal, which will celebrate its 18th year in 2014-2015, remains the only opportunity for most students to work on a high school newspaper in Memphis, especially those in majority African-American high schools. Each year, staffers attend a week-long summer camp at the University of Memphis in which they have the opportunity for intense training from professors and former staffers, and to interview top newsmakers such as congressional candidate and former mayor Dr. Willie Herenton and former school superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. The 2014 Lionel Linder Journalism Camp will take place July 21-July 25, 2014.

The Teen Appeal provides a unique opportunity to recruit minorities into the nation’s newsrooms by introducing them to journalism during high school. It helps high school students develop skills that are vital to their future success not only in journalism, but in life. Through their interaction with professionals, including many of our own alumni, Teen Appeal staffers develop role models and an appreciation for the power and importance of journalism in a democratic society.

Because many of our students come from lower-income homes in the inner city and most are the first generation to attend college, mentoring is a critical aspect of what we do. We provide a support system that does not exist for some students in the hope of keeping these young people on track, both in school and in journalism.

As of 2009, we tracked 83 former staff members who are or have majored in journalism or mass communication in colleges and universities nationwide. We think it is significant that 72 of these student journalists are minorities. Many of these staffers are still working in journalism despite upheaval throughout the industry, and even those now working in other fields have achieved important successes in a number of ways.

The Teen Appeal

Giving Truth to Memphis Youth

The Teen Appeal
3711 Veterans Ave.
316 Meeman Journalism Building
Memphis, TN 38152

Tel: 901-678-4710
Fax: 901-678-4287

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Last Updated: 4/3/15