Murphy journalism instructor Barbara Bateman received a prestigious honor recently, as she has been awarded the Journalism Education Association’s 2017 Diversity Award.
The award is given to a scholastic journalism teacher or group or student media adviser who demonstrates a commitment to cultural awareness and encourages a multicultural approach with student media staff, media production or the community. Honorees are at the forefront of promoting diversity in the scholastic media arena and have taken steps to break down walls of misunderstanding and ignorance.
The award will be presented on April 9 at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.
Bateman has been advising student journalism at Murphy since 2010, diversifying and building the staff into a fully converged, comprehensive program. She teaches an introduction to journalism course and advises the school’s news broadcast, the Hi-Times newspaper, the Mohian yearbook, the Mosaic literary magazine and photojournalism.
“I have been trying to bring more students into the program over the years, and have worked with my editors, principal, and guidance counselors to find a place for any student that wants to be a part of journalism,” Bateman said. “We need a diverse staff to truly tell the stories of all our students. I hope this award lets students know there is a place for them on the Murphy Journalism staff.
“I truly hope that this recognition brings more light to the need for encouraging students to take journalism classes and for students to see that they can have a voice at their school. Journalism classrooms are prime examples of critical thinking and project-based learning environments.”
Bateman, a Certified Journalism Educator, is one of two 2016 Alabama Advisers of the Year, a 2013 ASNE Fellow, a 2006 national Writing Project Fellow and the 2015 Youth Journalism International Journalism Educator of the Year.
“Fighting against stereotypes, Bateman has encouraged her students to submit work to competitions and attend conventions,” Sonya Sullivan, chair of Murphy’s social studies department, wrote in recommending Bateman for the honor. “As Murphy’s students have received recognition for their work through state competition, they have grown to understand that journalism has no barriers except those that they put in place themselves.”
The nonprofit Journalism Education Association, founded in 1924, is the largest journalism education association in the nation and supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities and by promoting professionalism in student media education and advising.