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Journalists of present, future meet at Unis

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Woman gestures with her right hand while sitting with other journalists.

Suzette Hackney, center, and other Knight-Wallace fellows came to speak to the journalists at Unis Middle School.

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Unis Middle School

On Feb. 26, the Knight-Wallace Fellows visited Unis Middle School. The Knight-Wallace Fellows are journalists that have fellowships at the University of Michigan. The journalists have a study plan including courses and resources at the university. They get to experience tours to many interesting countries including Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and a family trip to Northern Michigan. The fellows are some of the brightest , mid-career journalism professionals and all have at least five years of professional experience and solid track records. They must have demonstrated leadership in journalism.

When visiting the journalists at Unis Middle School, the fellows were shown the website the young journalists create. It was a nice experience for both the young journalists and the fellows. Questions were asked from both sides of the room and helped give the young journalists an idea of what would be in their future if they pursue journalism. The Unis students asked what the journalists thought about their favorite things in the journalism world. “Getting to meet new people and visit new places,” said Shai Gal, a correspondent for Israeli Channel 2 News. Kate Brooks, a photographer who has worked in the Middle East, said “You get to understand the story more than the average readers.”

Josh Neufeld, a comics journalist, told the students trying to figure out how to inform readers about issues in his comics is difficult, but it is also a great way of informing readers.

Most of the Unis students really liked Suzette Hackney, a journalist who worked at the Detroit Free Press. She started her career writing a newspaper for her family and neighborhood to help people and be meaningful. She set out for an internship with the Detroit Free Press and was declined. Instead of giving up she worked harder and became more motivated.

Eventually, she got a job working as a journalist at the Free press. The Knight-Wallace fellows left the students in awe with their stories about how they came to where they are today and what the journalists’ world is all about.

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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