The stepping stone for the high school’s newspaper, the Mountaineer, is the junior high Introduction to Journalism class. The class is the bootcamp of writing for the newspaper. Students in the class learn the basics on how to write newsworthy journalism stories.
Mrs. Tara Yost, the current journalism teacher, is teaching this elective for the first time. The students this year have learned about news values, yellow journalism, and writing a school related story. Ai??They are now beginning to write opinion pieces.
ai???The most important aspect of journalism is finding a topic that is of interest to your audience and writing an article that people will want to read,ai??? said Yost.
When writing articles and stories, journalists must remain unbiased, keeping their opinions to themselves unless it is appropriate. Learning to write in the third person and writing from a point of view is just as important for the 9th graders to learn in the class.
ai???Taking journalism helps them think about remaining unbiased. Ai??Even if they have opinions, it should not show in the writing,ai??? said Yost.
Students looking to strengthen their skills with writing may find the class helpful. The writing skills learned can be applied to writing assignments in all classes. Learning how to conduct an interview can also teach students how to be comfortable with questioning and speaking to a variety of people. Ai??
ai???I’d like to think that by taking journalism it will improve their writing in other classes,” said Yost. “I have been trying to stress that it may be a different type of writing than what you would do in an English class, but the spelling, grammar, and sentence structure should be the same.”