11 October 2013

Intro JOU Update

The Introduction to Journalism classes have really grown this quarter. Back in August, several students were more than a little surprised by the work load before them, but they have met the challenge head on. Now, they are not only very aware and actively observant about the world around them, they are also stronger writers than when they came in.

One of the hardest aspects of Intro is the weekly Current Events Quiz (CEQ). Every Friday, students are asked ten questions about the most newsworthy events locally, across the state, nationally and internationally. At first, this quiz was probably the most dreaded part of their Friday. However, now that they know the difference between a newsworthy story--something that actually impacts citizens' lives--and a story newspapers report just to get readers (i.e. "shock" news and "infotainment"), these students are now savvy consumers of news. In fact, the 30+ students in Intro are more diligent and critical news readers than many adults I know!

The students have also grown as writers. With weekly AP style notes and quizzes, students are slowly-yet-surely gaining ground on some of the most common writing mistakes as well as the key differences between AP Style and MLA Style.

Two of the Intro students, junior Arick Ames and freshman Ashley Turner, have been featured in the Hi-Spot for their incredible review stories. This is a great achievement for a novice reporter!

I look forward to the second semester as we focus entirely on writing, photography and page design. The Intro students will submit their stories and photography to both Viking Annual and Hi-Spot, and if their material is quality, they may get published!

Journalism is a very difficult field of study. However, I have great hope for these up-and-coming journalists; someday, we may see their articles in the New York Times like Hi-Spot Alum Zachary Tegler ('10).

Photo Courtesy: Blake Tobey
Students reading current events, online and in print.

Photo Courtesy: Blake Tobey
Students Arick & Samantha editing their stories.

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