One thing that is highly regarded in Journalism is Initiative. It is doing more than the minimal assignment and taking advantage of opportunities that come up. This semester, I felt that I have demonstrated personal initiative several times.
The first example I would like to point out are the Bioscience stories that I have done. I had heard people talking about the Bioscience Olympics for weeks prior. When I noticed that my News Editor hadn't assigned anyone or really talked about it, I decided to step up. I spent an entire Saturday with the Bioscience students, interviewing them and talking to Mrs. Butler. I took several pictures as well. It was hot, but very fun and exciting.
The second Bioscience story was very spur of the moment. My Editor-In-Chief mentioned that the Bioscience Earthquake Simulation was taking place that very day. I took a camera, a folded up piece of paper and a pencil and rushed to the Mrs. Butler's classroom to do the story. I followed the students around as they covered themselves in mass amounts of fake blood and toppled chairs and desks to make the entire situation seem like a disaster had struck.
I do not think that my examples of initiative are grand by any means, I did not run through obstacle courses or escape from fires to get my story. But I did cover stories that no one had mentioned, or even tried to do. Through the course of this semester, I've signed up for as many stories as I could, not just to fulfill my deadlines, but because I know it would be right to step up and take the lead when no one else can.
In the Dragon Press, we have gone over several character traits that define success as a journalist. The Pyramid of Success is built up by traits such as Courage, Initiative and Cooperation. In order to be successful, a journalist must pride themselves upon these traits and continue to follow them.
After studying several of these character traits, I have found that the trait I use most often is Resourcefulness.
Resourcefulness is being able to put available resources to efficient or ingenious use, using materials at hand wisely.
I feel that I have been using my skills to good use this semester. I put my photography skills to good use when I am on an assignment. I always makes sure to use my camera when I feel there might be a good picture. With my camera on hand, I snap pictures quickly and usually capture strong emotions and actions in my subjects. I make sure to always have a pen in hand, and when I cannot write out an interview, I use the recorder on my phone to capture the exact quotes.
Resourcefulness is useful to success. It makes one reliable and honest. To be resourceful means that you are capable of the work ahead and I feel that by being resourceful, I am capable of the work.
I am a seventeen year old Senior at Foothill Technology High School. I enjoy reading, writing, painting, hiking and most outdoor activities. I've been involved in Journalism for two years, not including this year.
One goal that I have for Second Semester is to write bigger stories. I ahev always wanted to do an in depth story on something controversial or some really big news story. I feel that I can accomplish that if I keep volunteering for stories and taking initiative. I want to write a big story on something that affects our school or our county because I feel local news stories are important to the citizens who live here. If I write this story I would grow as a reporter and writer. I want to be able to work really hard on a story that is not only interesting but controversial. I also want to be able to do this story in multimedia that I have not really been working with. I think that by taking a video and making some sort of documentary type of story woudl be beneficial not only to the Foothill Dragon Press, but to me as well since I will learn a new skill. I hope that I can accomplish this during second semester.
According to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, Congress cannot make any law prohibiting or abridging freedom of speech. It's important for journalists to know this Amendment because they are protected by it and cannot be sued or silenced unless they've actually conducted libel. This amendment protects school newspapers as well. Student journalists have the rights to have a story written in their newspapers.
But according to Supreme Court Case, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, student run newspapers have a lower level of protection under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of protection. That does not mean that all student newspapers are limited however, student journalists have to understand that if they write a controversial story it may have limits as long as their newspaper is still part of the school curriculam rather than as a forum establishing their expression.
Another important court case involving the First Amendment is Tinker v. Des Moines School District. In this important case, two students were suspended for wearing arm bands in protest of the Vietnam War. They were protected under the First Amendment because htey did not cause a disruption or make loud protests. According to the First Amendment, the American people have a right to peaceably assemble and petition the Governenment fro a list of grievances. The court ruled that a prohibition of expression, without evidence, is not permissible under the Constitution. This is important because then students may be able to express their opinions in newspapers and the like.
Responsibilities of student journalists include accuracy, resourcefulness, loyalty, service and other important traits. Student journalists should know that in writing controversial stories they must be very accurate and perform that service to their audiences. Service is important in journalism because it gives readers knowledge about the world around them and it's supposed to be written accurately and unbiased.
It's hard to say what the single best moment of journalism is this year. I could say it was when we were awarded Best of Show at the Journalism Education Association Conference in Kansas City. I could say it was when we were awarded All American status on the review for thePacemaker Award. That moment gave us all hope and we are striving harder to make this publication amazing for the judges. I could also say that the single best moment of journalism was when Mrs. Wantz brought in donuts, because that truly made my day. I love all moments in journalism, because I really like learning about it. I've been inspired to take better pictures because of Mr. Phelps coming in to talk to us, and I have learned from him. But I also learn a lot from listening to Mrs. Wantz's lectures about the First Amendment and the Supreme court cases. She knows a lot about student journalism and I'm glad that she's teaching this class because I honestly cannot think of anyone who could do it better. She actually has the passion to teach this subject and I feel very lucky to have joined the journalism club with her in my Sophomore year. Back then I had no idea that we would be a class and that we would be given awards and that Mrs. Wantz would give us donuts.
Other than Journalism, I am part of NAHS and Foothill for Africa. Off campus I am involved with Aegis, Home for the Assisted Living.