Cass Tech students participate in MSU and Crain Communications High School Journalism Program

For over 30 years, The Detroit Free Press and Ford Motor Company sponsored the high school edition of the Detroit Free Press, giving hundreds of Detroit area students the opportunity to experience the field of Journalism. With the changes in technology and the way that the news is delivered daily, the Detroit Free Press has downsized and the program was on the verge of being nonexistent.

The High School Journalism Editor and Chief, Joy Visconti, reached out to some of her colleagues at Michigan State University College of Communications and secured a grant to continue the program in 2015. Detroit area students have been awarded several thousands in scholarships and have held summer apprenticeships with the Detroit Free Press through the program, and Visconti saw how important the program was to continue.

In 2016, Crain Communications Detroit picked up the program in partnership with MSU. Today, the High School Journalism Program has changed the format of the publication. A 14-page, all color magazine-style newspaper is distributed to 14 Detroit area high schools four times per year. Crain Communications Detroit pairs professional journalists with high school Journalism instructors, to assist student writers with story ideas, photography and editing. The MSU School of Communications complete the graphic designs and layout of the publication.

“Without Crain or MSU, this program was almost lost,” Visconti, formerly of the Wall Street Journal High School Journalism Program stated. “This new partnership is giving Detroit area students an opportunity to work as a professional journalist before high school. I hope that the Dialogue will be a media source that Detroiter’s can turn to for the news. The students have unique stories to tell.”

The new partnership is an exciting change. The Big Ten Network recognized the program through the “Live Big Campaign.” Automotive News distributed press passes for students to attend and cover the North American International Auto Show during the media previews days, and this is only the beginning!

Big Ten Network article link: BTN LiveBIG: MSU program helps Detroit high schoolers ‘find their voice’ 

Publications are available at participating Detroit area high schools. Please visit the website, at

Submitted by: Erika Jones, Advisor, Cass Technical High School Visionary Newspaper Advisor

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