Prime Movers Media
at George Washington University is the nation’s first intensive journalism mentorship program targeting urban schools. We send veteran journalists and university interns to help Washington and Philadelphia high school students produce media projects.
Voice: As students produce school newspapers, online publications and radio/television news and documentaries, they learn writing, public speaking, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills.
Values: High school journalism also builds a professional work ethic, teamwork and collaboration skills plus knowledge of ethics and social responsibility.
Vision: While we encourage high school students to consider careers in the news media, their Prime Movers Media training will give all students the 21st century skills to succeed in college and careers and to one day give back to their communities.
Mission of Prime Movers Media
Prime Movers Media creates pathways for staff diversity and the next generation of journalists in the new media era. We empower professional journalists and George Washington University journalism students to help high school teachers and students create and revitalize television, radio, newspaper and online media, and improve student writing, speaking, critical thinking, team building, and 21st century technology skills.
School Without Walls student and intern Keegan Bales.
Ballou student works a studio camera.
The Prime Movers Media Program at George Washington University is the nation’s first journalism mentorship program targeting urban schools. We send veteran journalists and university interns to mentor high school students with major media projects in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
While we encourage high school students to consider careers in the news media, even if they don’t become journalists, our intergenerational program helps them become knowledgeable consumers of news and information.
Our professional mentors come from radio, television, newspapers and online media companies and dedicate time to develop and mentor students in mass media programs. Interns from George Washington’s School of Media and Public Affairs and Temple University’s Department of Journalism assist throughout a full semester. They help teachers deliver 21st century cutting-edge communications technology projects for high school students.
Our history: restoring journalism literacy in urban high schools
Prime Movers Media was established by Dorothy Gilliam, an award-winning journalist and former longtime columnist for The Washington Post.
Its genesis dates back to 1997, when she learned that none of Washington D.C.’s public high schools had produced student newspapers. Believing that students should have opportunities to communicate and develop journalistic skills, she obtained Washington Post support to launch a project called the Young Journalists Development Program through which journalists from the newspaper served as mentors and coaches to help urban high school students learn about journalism and produce newspapers for their schools.
In 2004, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Gilliam started Prime Movers at The George Washington University, where it is part of the School of Media and Public Affairs. The program was updated to include the university’s journalism and mass media students, who gain internship experience through a series of visits to assigned D.C. Public Schools. Interns assist teachers and work with students for a semester. Professional journalists from outlets including The Washington Post, WJLA-TV, NPR, USA Today National Public Radio and major news wire services provide expert advice and leadership to specific student projects such as producing TV documentaries about their schools, and revitalizing student newspapers, radio broadcasts and websites. Most journalists serve for periods of two weeks to two months.
Prime Movers Philadelphia was launched with Knight Foundation funding in 2007. Media students from Temple University provide instructional support to journalism programs at the city’s high schools. Started by Gilliam and Acel Moore, a former award-winning columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the program gives students an after-school journalism experiences and training in print, broadcast and online media.
Read more about Prime Movers Media's recent activities.
Prime Movers Media Advisory Board
VP/News, WJLA-TV (ABC/7 Washington)
Director of Journalism Recruiting
NPR (National Public Radio)
Professor of Media & Public Affairs
Executive Director, GW Global Media Institute
George Washington University
Director, NAA Foundation & Diversity
Newspaper Association of America
Associate Editor, Emeritus
Prime Movers Media Staff
To contact PMM staff. (Click Here)
(2012-2013 academic year)
Participating Journalists (2012-2013 academic year)
- Victor Blandburg, VRB Photography
- Sam Ford, WJLA-TV
- David Francis, Christian Science Monitor
- Pege Gilgannon, WJLA-TV
- Hamil Harris, Washington Post reporter
- David Michaels, The Dallas Morning News
- Sylvia Moreno, freelance Writer
- Ron Nessen, Brookings Institution
- White House Correspondents Association members
- Yolanda Woodlee, former Washington Post reporter