New Voices of Florida got a jumpstart in St. Petersburg from the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The national media education organization’s Scholastic Journalism division made New Voices a prominent part of its 2017 midwinter conference.
Ben Mullin, managing editor of Poynter.com, gave attendees from Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, and North Dakota a brief history of Hazelwood, and Poynter’s Wendy Wallace offered New Voices the news organization’s continued support.
SPLC director Frank LoMonte and New Voices advocate Steve Listopad (yours truly) followed Poynter with a history of the movement and a strategies and tactics group session. (You can watch the full Frank and Steve session above.)
In my humble opinion, Florida has the potential to build the best state-wide coalition we’ve seen so far. With Poynter at their side, strong organizing support from the Florida Student Press Association’s Elizabeth Cardenas, legal and lobbying help from Mark Caramanica and Kevin Schwartz, and many other advocates and leaders, I fully expect to see a New Voices of Florida bill in their next session.
Cardenas and the FSPA plan to begin their campaign by organizing their steering committee and launching an initiative to get every high school paper to report on New Voices at least once in 2017.
A big thank you goes out to Jeff Browne, AEJMC Scholastic Journalism division head, and Karla Kennedy, the division’s vice head, for organizing the event and bringing New Voices advocates together around a Florida campaign.