The Yearn For Journ(alism)


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Journalism is a class that teaches students to use investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic writing techniques. At the beginning of this year I had chosen this class very last minute because I had heard of what an amazing teacher Meghann Peterson is. I had never expected to have enjoyed journalism as much as I have already. This class is unlike any class I have ever experienced. It has taught me how many different types of writing there are and how they are used. Besides having an amazing teacher like Ms. Peterson, this class has inspired me to be more creative with writing and to pursue whatever I put my mind to.  

“It will give students the chance to learn more about journalistic writing all year long than just a semester class where you don’t get to learn as much,” Mikayla Talley (12) said. You get to learn to write in a way you don’t learn in other classes because journalistic writing is really specific kind of type of writing. Talley said she feels she didn’t get enough time to do more things so she could have explored more into the different types of journalism. Talley then tells that she isn’t personally looking into this as a career, but she knows a lot of kids are looking into this as a career and thinks this class would really benefit them. “I would have really liked to have had a year long journalism class instead of just a semester to see how deep we could dive into what journalism is,” Talley said.

“I feel one semester isn’t enough, we don’t get to touch up on all the topics and different ways of writing. We should be able to  do news stories, editorials, a video, and there’s just so many other types of writing that we should be working on. I think a full year would be a lot better for that,” Annamaria Crespo (9) said. It’s really interesting learning new types of writing, like English, I feel it is more about the logistics of writing and with this class you get to be more hands on and more personal with people. “It’s really cool seeing your stories online and knowing you’re not just getting a grade but, can see that it’s going somewhere that means something to you and other people,” Crespo said with a smile. If we had more time we could maybe become faster at producing our articles because journalism is a really fast-paced career. “I am definitely looking into journalism as a career and it’s kind of sad that I can only take a semester of a class that I might want to pursue later in life. There’s no other classes that I can go on from here I will have to find other things, or maybe take the class over again… Sad I know right,” Crespo said with a laugh.

Peterson said she feels a year-long journalism program would be beneficial. “I think that a year -long journalism class would allow students especially students who are new to journalism, to learn some of the basic skills in the beginning, but then be able to apply them in the second half of the year and actually form a staff of students to run The Storm Siren. Then it would be a truly student run publication as opposed to a teacher being the main editor for that,” Peterson said.

Peterson said that journalism teaches so many skills that can be helpful regardless if the students decide to choose it as a career later in life. She said it teaches students to go out and talk to people outside of your comfort zone, because students typically go into this class wanting to interview friends, family members, or people they know from classes. Peterson said she tries to tell them that that’s not allowed, that they have to go out and talk to people which she thinks is one of the most important aspects of journalism, talking to them and hearing their stories helps students recognize and being able to manage their bias. “I think learning how to write is very important, writing concisely, writing in an engaging way, writing accurately, is a very important benefit,” Peterson said. She said it’s important learning about media and knowing what is and isn’t fake news. Peterson then goes on saying she hadn’t been able to get The Storm Siren to the place where it is a student run publication. It mostly puts a lot of pressure on her having to read then publish every article. She wished she could have had more time to have the students write more stories, profiles, reviews, and a feature. “There are so many things I had in mind but we only scratched the surface in this one semester class,” says Peterson. She explains how she wants students to be able to gain an appreciation for journalism and to learn and also apply it. When you contribute to The Storm Siren. “You are the journalists,” Peterson said with a smile.

So what happens next? After one semester, students have the option to take Media Productions or wait until next year to take Yearbook. Without having journalism a whole year it makes students wonder where to go next. In media productions students produce school based videos and present them.

Journalism has shaped me and helped me learn more about writing skills that I never knew I could use. This class has inspired me to be more creative with writing and to pursue whatever I put my mind to.

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The Yearn For Journ(alism)