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Two Teen Appeal-sponsored Events Will Mark Scholastic Journalism Week, February 17-23

For release: February 8, 2013
For press information, contact Elle Perry, 901-678-4710

The Teen Appeal, a city-wide student-produced newspaper, will sponsor two community events in observance of Scholastic Journalism Week, Feb. 17-23.  One event is a panel discussion by members of the local media; the other is a social media scavenger hunt with an iPad as the grand prize.

The panel discussion will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue. The public is invited to attend.

Panelists will include two Commercial Appeal staff members, sports writer Jason Smith and columnist Wendi Thomas; Louis Goggans, reporter for The Memphis Flyer; Brooke Thomas, news anchor and reporter for Fox 13 Memphis; Richard Thompson, creator of Mediaverse, an online publication that analyzes the Memphis media; and Michelle Diament, Teen Appeal alumna and co-creator of Disability Scoop, an online publication covering developmental disabilities.

The panel will be moderated by Otis Sanford, who holds the Hardin Chair of Excellence in the Department of Journalism at the University of Memphis.

“This event will allow student journalists from across the city, county, and surrounding areas to network with their peers in similar position, as well as learn from professional journalists,” said Elle Perry, interim coordinator of The Teen Appeal.

The social media scavenger hunt will run from midnight February 17 through midnight February 23.  Students and adults in the Memphis-area are invited to participate. Information about the scavenger hunt can be found online at  

The hunt includes prompts involving journalism and the city of Memphis. Some include options for uploading photos and videos. In another instance, a clue may ask participants to share their favorite First Amendment freedom. Participants will use the hashtags #sjw2013 (developed by the Journalism Education Association for Scholastic Journalism Week) and #ta (designating The Teen Appeal).

On Monday, Feb. 25, a panel consisting of The Teen Appeal coordinator and University of Memphis journalism professors will select the most creative scavenger hunt participant and award the winner an Apple iPad.

The 20-item scavenger hunt was developed by Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith, a journalism and new media professor at the University of Memphis, and Dr. Erin Willis, a public relations professor at the University of Memphis. Brown-Smith has previously had her college classes participate in social media scavenger hunts involving more than 20 countries around the world.

The Teen Appeal, created in 1997, aims to help diversify the nation’s newsrooms by introducing high school students to journalism. The newspaper is one of the few opportunities for most students in Memphis to work on a high school newspaper staff. Partners in The Teen Appeal project are the Scripps Howard Foundation, the University of Memphis Department of Journalism, Memphis City Schools, and The Commercial Appeal. For more information, visit

Through participation in events during Scholastic Journalism Week, The Teen Appeal hopes to engage the community and increase its knowledge of journalism, youth journalism, and The Teen Appeal, a unique program that calls Memphis home.

Scholastic Journalism Week is sponsored by The Journalism Education Association, a national nonprofit organization devoted to journalism teachers and advisers.

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