Budget concerns are causing schools all over the country to cut one of the programs where students learn the most, journalism. Isn’t learning by students the primary goal of schools? Students in publication classes learn not only writing skills, they learn to work as a team to produce a publication. They learn to work with deadlines and budgets. They sell ads. They learn computer skills. These are sellable skills in anyone’s mind. Running a student controlled publication is like running a small business.
When they are given the freedom to do make the content decisions, they learn critical thinking skills that will help them no matter what career they choose.
Students who are given the opportunity to do investigative reporting on subjects of interest to their readers learn the most. Let’s face it, research for most papers in other English classes is done on the internet these days. Reporters for a publication talk to people instead because they have to localize their research. Interviewing people about subjects they may not really want to talk about is a skill taught nowhere else. Preparing good questions, taking good notes, plus thinking up new questions when answers lead to other directions, teaches students invaluable skills. Researching legalities is a whole other blog.
We need to fight to keep these valuable classes alive by reminding administrators about what students learn there. Learning the most possible is what schools should be all about.
Fern Valentine, MJEread more