As the world social climate hits cords of unrest and doubt, news media outlets are there to present the news. Students who are interested in writing should consider taking one of the journalism classes, to fine-tune real-life writing and reporting skills.
“Journalism offers several fun, hands-on classes to help prepare students for modern jobs in online and print media,” publications adviser Joanie Gill said. “I have had students go on to successful careers working for magazines like Vogue, working on the sidelines for professional sports teams like the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Cowboys and people who become reporters and editors for ABC News.”
If students want to be on a publications staff, they are encouraged to join Journalism 1. This class will teach them not only how to write journalistic stories but also the history behind journalism and where news media will go in the future.
“Journalism 1 is an introductory course that gives a broad overview of the many areas available in the media world. We cover the history of American Journalism as well as the law and legal issues as they impact high school media,” Gill said. “In addition to interviewing and writing, kids will do a cell phone photography unit, photo editing unit, and magazine computer design unit while using Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop.”
While all of the history behind journalism might sound interesting, more classes are offered to inform students about what is going on in the school. However, since it is a pathway class, students must have previous experience to become a member.
“Joining newspaper, broadcast, or yearbook is easy,” Gill said. “The preferred way to receive skills needed is to take Journalism 1 or Photojournalism. But, each year I gladly receive applications from students who have also taken Social Media or Marketing and Advertising through the business department. I also accept students with Art 2 Photography and Digital Design. Strong informational writing is also a valuable asset.”
Applications for staff positions will be available on Schoology the week after Spring Break. Once applications are received, student editors and the adviser will conduct live interviews with all applicants so they can see what skillsets the applicants bring.
“I know it’s tough to find room in your schedules for electives until students are in their junior and senior years, so that’s why I will consider allowing all students to apply,” Gill said.
Other perks of being on a publication staff includes going to camps and entering contests, chances to earn letterman jackets and graduation cords, and advanced grade points in the third course or in Independent Study of Journalism.
“Independent Study of Journalism and News 3 or Yearbook 3 can even count as an English credit for seniors interested in going to certain colleges, depending on the university’s requirements,” Gill said. “To earn that, students must have completed 1 and 2 of those courses and be willing to do some research at the colleges they are applying to.”