An Ode to High School Journalism
By: Carlin H.
Journalism was easily the most formative class I took in high school. While it was frustrating at times, it was the most rewarding and fun class I could have possibly taken. I was fortunate to have great co-editors, co-writers, and amazing advisors, and I am so thankful for everything journalism has taught me. Below are some of the most important lessons the class taught me.
1.) The importance of teamwork
Journalism may seem like something you do as an individual. At least, that’s what I thought as a sophomore choosing my classes for my junior year. I thought that I would be able to pick stories that had meaning to me and write them and get a grade for my work. That could not be further from the truth, and that’s a great thing. Journalism was very collaborative and I was constantly bouncing ideas off of others and getting feedback from editors. We also had to all come together to really envision what we wanted the paper to look like, and that was really fun for everyone involved.
2.) The importance of listening to different opinions
On the first day of class during my junior year, we discussed interview requirements as part of the rubric. From day 1, we all understood that when writing a news piece, it was important to have the input of the administration, teachers, students, and any other staff members that could be involved. That taught me (and everyone else) how important it is to cover all sides of a news story.
3.) Objectivity is key
Objectivity is defined as, “being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination.” Especially in our current world, where stories are constantly referred to as “fake news”, it is important to be able to spot any kinds of bias. As a news reporter, you cannot share your own personal opinion in a story. You must solely report facts. That has taught me to evaluate my news sources and make sure that I am getting purely news when I read about what’s going on in the world around me.
4.) Time management is vital in any class or job, especially if you’re on deadline.
Journalism is one of the only classes that has truly taught me time management. As a full time writer in my junior year, I learned that the paper relies on people being ready to publish on their day. If my story wasn’t ready, especially because we had a small staff, there was no new content on the website, and not only did I let my whole staff down, but I also let viewers down. So, I learned how to budget my time and have a great article written in a short amount of time, and that skill translated to many of my other classes.
5.) Positivity is crucial if you are going to work in a big group successfully
Large groups, especially a group that is full of people with differing, creative opinions, can cause stress. Everyone is going in a different direction, there are different levels of commitment, and sometimes, it everyone motivated to grow the paper to its full potential. This really taught me to be positive about the small things that went well in the class. It taught me to be more appreciative of every story that went up on the website, and every post we made on social media, and for the overall effort that everyone put into trying to make the DHS Dragon Flyer the best we could possibly make it.
There are so many other things that I could say about the class, but I’ll end with this: if you are looking for a class that challenges you and allows you to be creative, take a chance and sign up for journalism. I can’t promise you that you’ll love it as much as I did, or that you won’t get frustrated with certain stories or members of the team, or that you’ll always produce amazing content because none of those are guarantees, but I can promise that you will not regret taking this class.
Thank you to high school journalism, and thank you to Mr. Madanjian and Mr. Brown, and all of the amazing writers and editors and staff members that I have been able to work with. I wish all of the future DHS Dragon Flyer writers the best of luck- keep on making the paper the best it can be and I cannot wait to see what’s next for this amazing class!