The Media Academy is a California State Partnership academy. State Partnership academies are a collaborative effort between the California State Department of Education which provides basic program funding and guidelines, a local school district which provides instructors, a site, necessary instructional materials, and a specific industry which provides mentors, summer jobs for students, site tours, an advisory board, and other assistance. For example, Media Academy students work at media sites during the summer, meet with professional journalist in a variety of situations, have professional mentors, visit media sites, and take part professional journalism events, such as the Freedom Forum sponsors, as invited guests.
Oakland Unified School District began three Academies on its own 12 years ago. At Fremont High School the principal approached journalism instructor Steve O’Donoghue with a proposal to build the academy at Fremont around the journalism program. They named the new program The Media Academy, intending to start with print journalism but add broadcast journalism later. O’Donoghue and current director Michael Jackson were the original instructors; today there are the equivalent of five full team teachers in the program and it produces a newspaper, a magazine, television and radio programming.
Today the Media Academy radio students broadcast live over the internet as well as Kdol on the weekends. Also we also are starting a studio where students can mix their own sounds and put it together andburn them on a disk.