story by Raleigh Norris, Anna Maria Gardiner and Hayley Younginer
Interesting written and oral communication, intense research, rapid note taking, and a burning desire to let people know the truth are just a few things that will get a journalists’ heart racing with excitement.
Journalism 1, a course taught by Amy Medlock-Greene, serves as a basic journalism course in which studying the function of the newspaper is the main focus; however, media law, ethics, responsibility, and public speaking are also focused on intensely.
“[I decided to take Journalism 1 because] I like writing,” freshman Laura Shuler, a student currently taking the course, said. “I think I have grown in my public speaking and writing skills because of the presentations and writing projects we’ve had.”
Not only does Journalism 1 introduce countless journalistic lessons–it also serves as a prerequisite to the advanced journalism (school publications) courses at the school, including yearbook and newspaper.
Junior Maddie Mason, who took Journalism 1 her freshman year, has now made her way to the newspaper staff–a student driven publication that writes about topics that affect the school.
“Being on the staff really opened me up because in my freshman year I was kind of shy, but after being in newspaper, I broke out of my shell,” Maddie said. “My people skills have improved and I have more confidence. Being on a staff like this makes you open up to people.”
Medlock-Greene says that she witnesses this change in students as she sees their progression from Journalism 1 to a school publication staff, firsthand.
“Being on the newspaper staff really can change your life. You have an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of students and adults,” Medlock-Greene said. “It breaks you out of your comfort zone, and the skills that you learn on staff transcend to all of your other classes and your life in general.”
These life lessons are not only learned through participation in the newspaper staff, but are also applied on the yearbook staff as well, which is advised by English teacher Deborah Gascon.
“Being on yearbook staff has taught me responsibility and time management because not only is my grade affected, but the whole school is depending on a great yearbook,” sophomore Sam Calais said.
After completing Journalism 1 and becoming a member of a publication, some students make their way to serving as an editor of a staff–a notable and profound leadership role.
Jen Quindlen, editor of the yearbook, says that her job is very rewarding.
“Being an editor is a meticulous job of creating spread designs and editing copy, while also acting as a leader to the staff,” Jen said. “It’s become a role I’ve learned to love and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Students like Jen who have experienced what it is like being on a publications staff encourage their fellow peers to take the Journalism 1 course, and from there, consider if they have a passion for journalism and the qualities of a publications member. (QUOTE ON NEXT PAGE)
“I suggest people join a staff because we get to do a lot of fun stuff,” Maddie said. “We go on field trips and you become friends with people you never thought you would be close with. It truly feels like a family.”