The Student Journalism Program Experience – Interview with Sara Miller

Student Journalism Program Promotes Diversity, Civility, Inclusivity

Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) High School Journalism Program Promotes Diversity, Civility, Inclusivity

High school students throughout Wisconsin have an opportunity to learn about careers in news reporting while making money, building a resume and gaining hands-on experience writing stories for newspapers and radio stations.The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) High School Student Journalism Program coordinates interested students with participating news media outlets by providing stories ready to be published and broadcast. WIPPS pays the students and edits the stories before submitting them to media partners. Students coordinate story topics with WIPPS staff who can also provide technical assistance and editorial direction.Participating students have gone on to careers in journalism and public relations, often citing the experience gained by being reporters while in high school. Interviews with several former participants can be found at major benefits for high school students who participate in the journalism program include gaining an insiders’ understanding of media, developing a resume not often duplicated and earning money. Students are paid a minimum of $25 per story and as much as $40 when audio and video is included.Applications are also available on the site by clicking under “programs.”Participating media partners benefit because they receive content for newspapers and radio stations at no charge. Student journalists also bring younger demographic “circles of influence” to the newspapers and radio stations for whom they write.One of the best examples of a student journalist making a difference can be found by reviewing stories done by reporter Sara Miller. Sara’s stories are archived on the site as well as 70% of participating students have been female, including one Hispanic reporter who is in college and planning on attending law school.A major goal for the program is to attract student reporters who can give voice to Hispanic, Hmong, Black and Native communities.Students often write about non-athletic activities at their own schools as well as topics of personal interest to them. Former and current student participants cite a sense of accomplishment from knowing their stories are heard on radio stations and read in newspapers.Interviews with several participants, details, and an application form are available at Questions can be directed to Roger Utnehmer at

Author: Roger Utnehmer