High School Journalism Matters

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High School Journalism Matters


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Photo by: Karolina Grabowska STAFFAGE

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Photo by: Karolina Grabowska STAFFAGE

Photo by: Karolina Grabowska STAFFAGE

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Alyssa Remme, Staff Writer

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Journalism and Composition 12 go hand-in-hand to address the same, senior-level writing standards.  Composition for Journalistic Publications provides students with a new platform to express their writing, while Composition 12 is essentially the same thing students have done every year via different prompts in a magazine format.  With journalism, students are granted the opportunity to publish their work for everyone to see.

I encourage students to take Composition for Journalistic Publications to enhance their writing abilities and better their news literacy.

With taking Composition for Journalistic Publications offered at NHS, students learn more than just how to write. According to Glendale Community College, students learning about journalism will acquire the ability to communicate better with others and work well in a group. Along with being able to communicate well, students are exposed to more career opportunities. Journalism Degree explains a few different jobs people with a journalism degree can get. The jobs include broadcast journalism, investigative journalism, public relations and more.

Jack Dvorak, the director of High School Journalism Institute, conducted a study on academic scores of students who take journalism and students who do not. His study looked at the ACT scores of students across the nation and whether or not they decided to enhance their writing through journalism. It was proven in a study published by the American Press Institute that students of journalism had an overall higher GPA, higher ACT composite scores and better grades in English classes.

Journalism and online media are closely related. Esther Wojcicki, an English and journalism teacher at Palo Alto High School, interviewed by Mind/Shift via its popular podcasts on why students should be learning journalism.

Wojcicki said: “The skills of a journalist mirror those of today’s media consumer, which is why news literacy is a critical skill for all students. Like journalists, students today are gathering information; however, unlike journalists they do not have the skills for analyzing it, or writing about it.”

She explained that schools need to push students to take journalism classes to empower them and make them more confident in their writing.

One concern may be that colleges look for a composition class during the students junior or senior year. Although journalism is writing, it is not your typical essay writing class.  Comp. 12 offers the traditional vs. journalism offers the innovation of an online platform. 

A way this issue has been resolved was by changing the name of our course to Composition for Journalistic Publications, so colleges are aware of the level of composition required. Colleges like to see students challenging themselves, so taking journalism is the perfect example of going out of the box and straying away from the average composition class.

The dean of admissions at St. Lawrence University (New York), Jeff Rickey, told The New York Times  that colleges are looking for students who challenge themselves and take classes with rigor. He said that if a harder class is offered, or a class that may benefit the student more, the student should take that class. Journalism provides students with a new challenge and looks good on a college application.

Promoting journalism in schools so students are exposed to their options is essential. Students should be aware of the benefits the class offers and how they can enhance their writing skills through it. During scheduling, teachers should inform the students on the two different classes and how they teach the same subjects just in different platforms.  Using the online format to distribute school news, NHS’s school newspaper, the Satellite,  earned a blue-ribbon status from Northeastern Wisconsin’s Scholastic Press Association in 2017; therefore writer’s are motivated to produce writing that reader’s want to read.  

Students should take journalism in high school to enhance their writing abilities. A journalism class will help them in college and empower them. This class will also build their confidence in writing, help increase their GPA, and prepare them for the future of news on media.

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