Journalism: New Challenge Class with Perks
April 14, 2011
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Everybody knows AP classes are hard. Everybody knows honors courses are challenging. What else can a student take to challenge themselves and strive for greatness?
Give Journalism a shot. Journalism is an extremely independent class which builds not only a student’s writing ability, but the ability to work with people. The core of the class is journalistic article writing, which is harder than it seems.
To write an article starts with an angle. An angle is simply a different way to look at something. For example, many news sources are reporting on the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear issues in Japan. Another angle could be the health impacts on a certain area of japan.
Then you interview people, and to ensure accuracy, you should not know the person you are interviewing, and gather all of your information on them from their own quotes. The ability to make a conversation out of nothing is a great skill here.
Finally, you can write. You compile all of your notes, quotes, and graphics and crank out an article, following all 370 pages of the AP Press Stylebook (Journalism Rulebook) very strictly, of course.
Sure sounds like fun, right? Alright, maybe not for everyone. In our class, at least, we have a “coping” mechanism. Being that Mr. Hosford, The Growl’s adviser, has a wicked sense of humor, and the type of student that seems takes the class is quick and witty, humor is abundant.
There have been times where most of the class cannot move, Mr. Hosford is literally rolling on the floor laughing, and the hard work suddenly doesn’t seem quite so hard anymore. Comedy has a tendency to grow and multiply in this class, and it takes off almost all of the bite of writing with literally hundreds of rules.
Even now, as I sit at my desk and type, behind me, several reporters are telling jokes while awaiting their articles to be edited. 3 or 4 minutes ago, I had to stop typing, because I lost the ability to keep my head up and slammed into my keyboard. Dylan Eekhoff, a reporter, taped his face up, stretching out his eyes and flipping his nose upwards making himself look like a flat-faced piglet.
The laughing was excruciating.
So, if you want a challenge, you can strike up a conversation with anyone, and you can think on your feet or even tell a witty joke or two, Journalism is for you.