What was it like being a student journalist?: A recap of our experience in Journalism I


(Photo taken by Abby Rothrock featuring Alice Kim on the left and Hannah Kim on the right)

Every Monday, we are faced with a great challenge. We sit down and wait for the editor-in-chief to begin our brainstorming session. Hands soar up high in the air, with diverse ideas ranging from the latest sports to women’s safety. Looking around, everyone is enthralled by the new cycle of articles. 

It was a journey getting to these brainstorm sessions. At the very beginning of the school year, us first-year journalism students learned about article writing and what makes a good journalist. For several weeks, we spent our time studying the different types of articles,the structure of the upside-down pyramid, credible resources and even tested our ethics as journalists through scenarios such as the Trolly Problem. 

Once we finished our lessons on the foundations of journalism, we directly transitioned to writing articles. As amatur writers, our first articles were difficult to draft, as we stumbled toward every word and sentence, hesitating on the quality of our writing. Even now and then, we struggle to write the introduction of articles.

Our favorite part, however, was writing articles together. Collaboration is a big part of journalism – sharing information and ideas. The two of us began to collaborate on articles and eventually, we became an inseparable team. Together, we generated various articles, including one on winter sports and even a video article on the best bathroom at Centennial High School.

Journalism is not only a form of writing, but of communication. Meeting deadlines and coming up with ideas pushed us to explore the world of journalism. It was mesmerizing to see how our words, our ideas, and our process became published in the public newspaper. As journalists, we have learned important lessons of teamwork, communication, writing, interviewing, and revising by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Below are some of our individual thoughts.

Alice Kim- This year was the first year that I’ve written as a journalist. Honestly, it was difficult in the very beginning of the school year because I could not get myself to write in a “journalistic” way. I could not break away from my writing habits that had been drilled in by years of  my English classes. It was frustrating when I could not think of any content to write and  I would often forget the journalistic writing structures. I had always been an avid writer since I was young, but for some reason it was extremely hard to write creatively. When people asked me if I was going to continue Journalism next year, I was set on the answer “no.” I did not think that journalistic writing was fit for me and could not see myself continuing; however, as I collaborated with friends and grew my journalistic mind, writing articles became enjoyable. One thing I loved about journalism was how I could choose the topic I wanted to write about. In standard English classes, there is usually a prompt or a set list of topics which we could write about. As a journalist, however, we were able to write about topics that interest us. My admiration for journalism grew, and it eventually encouraged me to continue writing. I look forward to writing for the Wingspan next year, and cannot wait for all the interesting articles which I will be a part of. 

Hannah (Haynie) Kim- This year of journalism was truly a different experience. I learned new perspectives and topics I never thought too much about from the simplest things, like coming up with a good title and subheading, to understanding more complex topics on what makes a good interviewer. At first, interviewing  was nerve-racking for me. I was fine with talking to people but having to do a proper interview made me nervous and having the school principal as my first didn’t make it any better. After more and more rounds of interviewing different types of people, however, I began to get the hang of it. During this year, I specifically enjoyed how much more independence this class gives, like the freedom in writing and ideas. It was additionally a lot of fun to write articles as you talked to people around you. It opened up so many opportunities and new experiences such as photography, something I’d never had the chance to try before. Again, I didn’t know much about photography but to be given a chance, it was exciting. Being able to go around the school for interviews, photos, and more was nice too. It was a great way to end my day because in that class I felt safe and happy. I’m excited for next year in Wingspan to write more articles!


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