About the Washington Journalism & Media Conference
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Information  About the Washington Journalism & Media Conference
About the Conference

George Mason University, along with the Newseum, is the host of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) and each summer welcomes high school student leaders from all over the country as National Youth Correspondents. With its distinguished list of faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to the political scene of D.C., the Washington Journalism and Media conference is the place to be for aspiring journalists and student leaders. The week-long program, held on George Mason University's state of the art campus, will encourage and inspire young leaders from across the country who desire a unique experience focused on the future of this dynamic industry. National Youth Correspondents join the Mason community which includes students and faculty from all over the world. Mason is both the largest public university in Virginia and one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation.

Our Partner: The Newseum
The Newseum is Washington, D.C.'s most interactive museum with over 250,000 square-feet of news history, galleries and exhibits. Located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol the Newseum features seven levels of galleries, theaters, studio spaces and changing exhibits. The Newseum's mission is to "educate the public about the value of a free press in a free society and tells the stories of the world's important events in unique and engaging ways - [it] blends 500 years of new history, up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits for a one-of-a-kind museum experience."

July 9-14 and July 16-21, 2017

Students attending the Conference reside on the state-of-the-art campus of George Mason University, located just outside Washington, DC. Students reside in Mason's comfortable and modern dorm rooms, and enjoy meals at its exceptional dining facilities. A portion of the Conference takes place at events and activities at the National Press Club, the Newseum and on the National Mall in our nation's capital.

Outstanding sophomores and juniors from all across the U.S. are nominated by educators and specially selected by the program to attend the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC), based on strong academic performance, a demonstrated interest in journalism and media, and the ability to be exceptional representatives of their states and high schools.

Students with these qualifications who were not nominated by an educator may apply to attend by clicking here and completing an application.

National Youth Correspondents
Students attending the Washington Journalism and Media Conference serve as National Youth Correspondents and take part in hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media.

The experiential portion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the field.  These presenters range from prominent journalists to CEOs of major media outlets, and from researchers to recent college graduates already successful in the field.  Speakers will engage participants in discussions on the topics explored in the energy-charged role-playing experiences, taking the National Youth Correspondents far beyond a traditional classroom experience.  The conference will also offer a handful of opportunities to take advantage of visiting the nation’s capital, with tours of the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Museums.

During these intensive educational programs, students will be led in small groups by faculty advisers who have extensive experience in teaching journalism and media.  In addition, the program is enhanced by our resident faculty of esteemed professors in Communication. Students will have an opportunity to network with the nation’s top journalism and media professionals, as well as with their dynamic peers, throughout the week. 

Safety and Supervision
The safety of our students is at the forefront of all conference activities. Students attending the Conference will be led in small groups. The resident staff/adult faculty to student ratio will be approximately 1:10. Students will be supervised both on campus and during all excursions and off-site activities. While students have opportunities for independent time, all students will remain in small groups with adult staff at designated meeting spots. The conference faculty comprises two dedicated program directors, the Washington Scholars Program content team, and a team of trained educators at the secondary and collegiate levels. All National Youth Correspondents must reside in Mason's secure residence halls that are monitored at all times by adult faculty members. Parents and guardians can reach a member of our team at any time during the conference.

Tuition/College Credit
Tuition to attend the Washington Journalism and Media Conference includes the following:
  • One week of journalism and leadership skills development, including hands-on activities and distinguished speakers
  • A dedicated Faculty Adviser/Mentor for the week
  • On-campus residence in state-of-the-art facilities
  • Transportation to and from the Washington, DC-metro area's two main airports: Dulles International (IAD) and Ronald Reagan National (DCA).
  • Deluxe motor coach transportation between program locations
  • Breakfasts and dinners (students bring approximately $15/ day for lunch and snacks)
  • National Youth Correspondent Dinner and Gala with distinguished guests
  • All activities, admissions, and fees
  • Certificate of completion
  • Night chaperone staff to monitor dormitories during the night
  • 24-hour staff to address emergencies
  • Full-time, adult, conference counselor to assist students with sensitive issues, away from home adjustments, or private matters.
  • One college credit*

Tuition to attend the Conference is $1965. A deposit of $250 is due when students accept their nomination, and a tuition payment plan is also available.

*College credit is issued by George Mason University. Upon successful completion of WJMC, student will earn one general elective, college credit. This credit is issued on a pass/fail basis. The transferability of this credit is the determination of the college/university to be attended.

Attending the Washington Journalism and Media Conference is an amazing opportunity that requires a commitment of your time and resources. Many students, with the help of their families, fundraise as a viable way to hone leadership skills and raise funds toward tuition. To be a successful fundraiser, you will need to be resourceful, focused, dedicated and plan your strategy in advance.

Refer to the National Youth Correspondent Fundraising Guide (PDF) designed to assist students in their efforts to fundraise from sponsors in their communities.

Remember: Start early, plan ahead, and use all of your resources. Good luck and have fun!

There are a limited number of partial, need-based scholarships available for qualified National Youth Delegates. Scholarship applicants must submit a High School transcript, must demonstrate extreme financial need, and all applicants will be required to submit a copy of the most recent 1040 Federal Income Tax Form from the individual who claimed them as a dependent. Scholarship amounts are $500, $1000, and $1500, and are applied as partial tuition waivers. No full scholarships are available for the conference.

Students wishing to apply for scholarships should click here to complete the application and email wjmc@gmu.edu or fax (703) 993-2631 with:
  • A brief statement on your current financial need, what you hope to gain from participating in the program, and your interests in the field of journalism
  • An unofficial copy of your high school transcript
  • Your most recently filed Federal Income Tax Return, Form 1040
  • Federal income tax return, Form 1040, filed by the individual by whom the student was claimed as a dependent
The deadline for the 2017 Scholarship Application is December 9, 2016. Notification of scholarship awards will be sent out by December 16, 2016 via email.

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