'Arkansas Soul' Program Hosts Summer Digital Media Challenge

The Arkansas Soul Summer Workshop program staff at the University of Arkansas wants minority high school students from around the state to share stories about the impact COVID-19 has had on their communities.

"Arkansas Soul has a massive opportunity in its hands to reach diverse audiences in the state with stories that directly affect them," said Niketa Reed, teaching assistant professor and diversity director in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media in the U of A's J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

"We look forward to contributing new narratives and perspectives for so many others to learn from and experience," Reed said. "As always, we're calling on our young folks to lead the way."

The top five winners will each earn a $100 prize. Rising freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and 2020 graduating seniors are eligible to participate. Articles considered for the prizes must focus on African Americans, Marshallese, Latinx/Latinos, Indigenous communities, or other people of color.

Need help with writing a news story? U of A professor Rob Wells will answer questions during a June 15 video call.

"We're excited to hear from students throughout the state on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting their neighbors, local businesses and their communities," Wells said. "This is a chance for young adults interested in journalism to have their voices heard and to share important stories with a statewide audience. We encourage students to email us with ideas so we can guide them to report solid stories."

Email questions to explore@argotsoul.com.

The deadline to submit stories and photos is Tuesday, June 30. Winners will be announced July 15.

Visit argotsoul.com for more details and requirements, then start writing today!

About Arkansas Soul: Under the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas, Arkansas Soul presents real-world media challenges to motivated students with the purpose to generate content and assets that resonate with diverse audiences. Every year, the Arkansas Soul program hosts a two-week summer travel writing program for minority high school students interested in journalism and strategic media. The Digital Writing Challenge is part of Arkansas Soul's Blackout COVID series, which is ongoing coverage of the pandemic and how disadvantaged Arkansas communities experience the crisis. The program launched in summer 2019.


Renette Smith McCargo, instructor
School of Journalism and Strategic Media
479-575-7047, rmccargo@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu


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