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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Marines partner with the National Association of Black Journalists

By Sgt. Bryan McDonnell | Marine Corps Recruiting Command | July 03, 2012

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Major John Caldwell, national director, public affairs, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, goes over information on Marine Corps scholarships with an attendee of the National Association of Black Journalists convention.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n::

Major John Caldwell, national director, public affairs, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, goes over information on Marine Corps scholarships with an attendee of the National Association of Black Journalists convention.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n:: (Photo by Sgt. Bryan McDonnell)


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Attendees of the journalism workshop put together by the National Association of Black Journalists pictured with their Marine mentors, Maj. Carl Redding Jr., left, and Capt. Kenneth Kuze, right.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n::

Attendees of the journalism workshop put together by the National Association of Black Journalists pictured with their Marine mentors, Maj. Carl Redding Jr., left, and Capt. Kenneth Kuze, right.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n:: (Photo by Sgt. Bryan McDonnell)


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Major Carl Redding Jr. discusses his values with Attendees of the National Association of Black Journalists JShop, a journalism workshop for high school students held June 17-21.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n::

Major Carl Redding Jr. discusses his values with Attendees of the National Association of Black Journalists JShop, a journalism workshop for high school students held June 17-21.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n:: (Photo by Sgt. Bryan McDonnell)


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Major Michael Armistead (right) leads a group of journalists during their warm-up lap. Attendees of the National Association of Black Journalists convention got a chance to work out with the Marines June 21 and 22.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n::

Major Michael Armistead (right) leads a group of journalists during their warm-up lap. Attendees of the National Association of Black Journalists convention got a chance to work out with the Marines June 21 and 22.::r::::n::::r::::n::::r::::n:: (Photo by Sgt. Bryan McDonnell)


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NEW ORLEANS -- Journalism is a challenging profession that requires a level of technical

polish, which can take years to attain. An early start in those technical

aspects can separate the good journalists from the great ones. Alongside

academe and industry professionals, the United States Marine Corps helped a

group of New Orleans youth achieve that early start June 17-21 in

conjunction with the National Association of Black Journalists annual

convention June 20-24.

This was the first year the Marines had an official partnership with the

NABJ, and they were asked to come to the convention in New Orleans a few

days early to work with staff from Xavier University and the NABJ at the

NABJ High School Journalism Lab, or JShop, for high school students.

The JShop provided an opportunity for the mostly local high school students

to participate in a hands-on journalism workshop to develop their reporting

skills and have their work showcased at the annual convention and career

fair.  Major Carl Redding Jr., Capt. Kenneth Kunze and Master Sgt.

Christopher Cox, all Public Affairs Marines, worked with journalism

professors and active journalists from around the nation to help guide the

group of 20 students through the basics of journalism.

"It was an honor and privilege to work with these aspiring young

journalists," said Kunze. "With amazing NABJ media professionals showing

these kids everything there is to know about journalism, how can we not

expect them to be excited about the field? JSHOP is an amazing program that

Public Affairs Marines are lucky to be a part of."

Reginald Wayne Ragland, a co-director of the JShop, retired Army lieutenant

colonel and Defense Information School graduate, was thrilled the Marines

were able to attend as mentors.

"The Marines were essential to providing a mentor-rich environment -

especially because they are DINFOS trained media professionals, Ragland

said. "They were able to step right in and provide the exact same level of

journalistic expertise that I expect of working civilian journalists."

JShop also provided the Marines with an opportunity to highlight the role

journalism and public affairs plays in the Marine Corps and gave them a

chance to teach the students about the Marine Corps leadership traits and

principles.

The NABJ High School Journalism Lab was established in 1976 and until

recently, was sponsored by a local chapter of the NABJ and was held

independently of the national convention. In the last three years, the

workshop evolved into the "JShop" and moved to the national level, occurring

in the same city as the annual NABJ convention and drawing stronger support.

Aaron Ladd, who will be a junior at Parkview High School in the Fall, came

away from JShop with more than he was expecting.

"Coming into the workshop, I felt as if I knew everything there was to know

about journalism," said Ladd. "I didn't know that I had barely scratched the

surface of what a journalism career had to offer. The workshop was great and

I learned a lot."

The students for the 2012 JShop were recruited by Xavier University staff

and came to the program with differing levels of journalism experience.

Mia Williams, a recent graduate from Ursuline High School, discovered

journalism is more than a fancy way to present information.

"I learned that what I say matters just as much as how I say it," Williams

said. "I can bring different issues to light based on what I turn my focus

toward."

The workshop culminated with a luncheon attended by parents of the students.

At the luncheon, the products the JShop students produced were presented.

Williams was recognized by the Marine mentors during the luncheon for

showcasing many of the leadership qualities that are hallmarks of Marine

Corps leadership traits and principles over the course of the workshop, and

was presented the Excellence in Leadership award by Col. Thomas V. Johnson.

"I was surprised when I received the Excellence in Leadership award from the

Marines," Williams said. "I believe all of the students showed leadership

skills, but I am thankful that the Marine Corps chose me as the recipient."

In addition to the JShop, the Marines ran two physical training sessions for

NABJ members and set up a booth in the convention center, which gave them a

chance to educate the members of the organization about the opportunities

the Marine Corps can provide both inside and outside the Corps - including

the Fredrick C. Branch scholarships, Diamond Flight Football Camp

scholarships, Leadership Workshops, Educators Workshops, and careers as

Marine Officers.

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