The first semester of Intro to Journalism dealt a lot with the theory and concept of journalism. Why is journalism a necessity to a healthy, functioning democratic society? What makes a story truly newsworthy? What impact does journalism have on a society?
While these concepts are vital to any good journalist, they are not easy, nor are the most exciting ideas to grapple with.
The second semester of Intro to Journalism is focused on equipping students with the basic skills they need to successfully navigate the day-to-day life of a staffer for either the Hi-Spot newspaper staff or Viking Annual. Students are interviewing sources, writing news stories, features, sports stories, movie reviews and will soon start learning about and practicing photography, page design and publication.
For most students, these concepts are why they signed up for Intro to Journalism in the first place.
The last two weeks, students have worked on writing feature stories--a longer, more creative version of news writing. Hi-Spot writes several features a semester, and Viking Annual only writes feature stories, so this particular style is very important for each student.
The two sections have come up with great feature story ideas, ranging from background stories on local youth group events, to observing teachers, to visiting other schools for special events, to researching historical events. The junior staffers have gone above and beyond to get great story ideas, and they are working very hard to write quality stories.
As the class progresses through the last quarter of Intro, we are really focusing on getting students prepared for the next step. Intro JOU is a feeder class into Waverly’s two publication classes, Hi-Spot and Annual. The stories students write, the pictures they take and the pages they design will all go into a portfolio they create for their application to one of the two publication classes. Students have less than two months to create a professional, compelling and competitive portfolio of work to help them stand out from their peers.
Some Intro JOU students are getting the opportunity to get their work published on the Hi-Spot’s online publication. While this counts as extra credit for class, it is an invaluable asset to the students seeking admittance to Waverly’s journalism programs.
With less than two months to go, Intro students are racing to beat an impending deadline to get the best work out there, which is fitting, considering both Hi-Spot and Viking Annual spend all year racing against the very same deadlines.
Both programs are set to grow and become even more successful with these up-and-coming journalists.