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Shortridge High Student Media hosts Speak The Truth Town Halls with local journalists

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Shortridge High School media students participated in a World Changing 101 discussion on the role of journalists in defending the First Amendment and its impact on the American democracy. Juniors Nevaeh Smith and Alessandro Sosa were hosts of “Truth. Fake News. The First Amendment — Is It Relevant Today?” Senior Cassandre Barthelemy, junior Shawn Pyles, sophomores Josie Salinas, Victoria Hardin and Oscar Fisherkeller, and freshman Zamaria Slaughter participated in the discussion.

The Urban Media Project of Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp. sponsored the event, funded by a grant from Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Newspapers in Education Foundation. Dani’s Dreams CEO, Donna Griffin, Shortridge student media adviser, and Michelle Schantz, radio and TV teacher, coordinated World Changing 101 on Oct. 28. The event included prerecorded Zoom interviews with Oseye Boyd, editor of the Indianapolis Recorder; Victor Fernandez, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs producer; Tom Hayes, Ben Davis High School teacher and publications adviser; Jill Glavan, Fox 59 reporter; and a live question-and-answer session with Franklin College journalists Erica Irish, Taylor Wooten and Hope Shrum. 

Students lead the discussion and ask the questions during Speak the Truth town halls. Shortridge Student Media created a video report and is working on a digital/print magazine. 

Participants received free copies of the graphic novel “The Birth of the First Amendment,” which highlights the Zenger trial — a catalyst for the First Amendment. Teachers interested can receive lesson plans and resources. To host a virtual Speak the Truth event, contact donna.griffin@griffinmediaandpublishing.com.

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