Last week, we at the Chickasaw Journal met with the Journalism class at Houston High School to discuss the possibility of getting them featured in our publication some. As such, they were incredibly excited about the prospect, and planned out what types of work they would be interested in doing.
This made us think. How often do you pay attention to student journalist and their work? Unless they are related to you, probably not a whole lot. However, they work extremely hard and put everything they have into their work. Now you may be saying well so do professional journalists, which is true. However, professionals usually do not have the added pressure of classes on them. When you account for the fact that students are required to take a certain amount of classes on top of their journalistic pursuits, it seems a little more impressive.
It can also be difficult for them especially since the writing styles differ. Where your english courses in both high school and college use MLA formatted writing, journalists use AP Style formatted writing. These are two vastly different styles of writing, and student journalists have to manage both while trying not to cross the two. Speaking from personal experience, this can be quite the challenge.
There is also the issue of other subjects that are perhaps weaker such as math or science. Some people deal better with words than numbers and formulas. However, you are required to pass both science and math courses in high school and college. So to manage what may be a weaker subject all while still committing to a journalism career.
Finally, and this is the big one, the one that personally was the hardest, time. Think about it. Journalists spend countless hours interviewing people, covering events, taking pictures and writing the stories. Couple this again with the course load, and they usually have a pretty demanding schedule with very little wiggle room so to speak.
So in short, keep in mind that student journalists put a lot of work into their work, and they deserve our recognition.