Work History

Work History
Sep 2010 - Present

Student Journalist

Foothill Dragon Press

I am currently contributing articles and other content to the Foothill Dragon Press, a student-run school publication at Foothill Technology High School, which I attend.

Community

  • President of the FTHS GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance)
    • Organize events
    • Communicate with other GSAs in the district
    • Hold discussions during club hours
  • Member of the VCRAYEP (Ventura County Rainbow Alliance Youth Empowerment Program)
    • Attend weekly meetings
    • Attend events/assemblies
    • Fundraise
    • Recruit future members
  • Volunteer at the Ventura Moose Lodge
    • Help organize events
    • Set-up/clean-up events
    • Sell tickets for events
    • Advertise for events

My Highlight

Though Journalism has been a surprising and informative class for me in general, the best moment for me would have to be interviewing Amanda Meherin from my article on anti-gay bullying. It might have seemed to those reading my piece that I was merely searching for a dramatic opening to the story through her interview, but it was quite simply one of the best experiences that I've had with another person. Seeing the pain on her face as she described the traumatic gay-bashing incidents that she was forced to endure was heartbreaking, and the bluntness with which she retold the violent events was both inspiring and sobering.

Goals for 2nd Semester

For second semester, I would like to experiment with writing reviews of movies and music albums. Due to the fact that I watch exceptional amounts of movies and download so much music that my iTunes gets jet lag, I think that I'm pretty qualified to give my opinion on actors, musicians, and other artsy types. My varied and colorful background in the studying, playing and analysis of music would be a great asset to the Arts and Entertainment section of the Dragon Press for however briefly I contribute to it. The great love of B-rated movies that I've cultivated would also make for reviews of some delightfully outlandish but still qualitatively sound films.

Character

As a student of journalism, I try to embody all of the traits that are characteristic of a decent journalist: courage, reputation, initiative, accuracy. However, I find that the most important of the traits that a journalist should have is concern for the people involved in their feature, as well as those that will read their work.

Concern is easy to fake, and even easier to disguise, but if this crucial piece of good journalism isn't present at all times during the writing and investigation of a story, an article might as well be as worthless as the slanted opinion that it would now bring across. A lack of concern for the people that are tied to your story indicates a lack of empathy, respect, and understanding of your subjects and audience that is detrimental to a feature.

Regardless of the fact that most of my work was centered around opinion pieces, consideration of my audience, interviewees, and others that were influenced by my writings was an issue of the utmost importance. In articles such as "Looking a gift horse in the mouth", though I was empathetic with those who were refused the right to give life-saving due to bizarre technicalities put into effect by the American Medical Association, I presented both sides of the story, allowing both sides to justify their stance out of concern for their reputations and for the sake of avoiding total bias.

Personal Initiative

Initiative being something that I usually try to portray in every day life, is made even more important in journalism because willingness to exert large amounts of effort to retrieve valid and accurate information from sometimes elusive or reluctant sources. Other times, the biggest challenge is realizing that there is even an issue to start with.

One instance of the onerous task that can be made of attaining interview is the immense convincing required in order to get quotes from gay teens for "Anti-gay bullies a threat even in tolerant communities". Attaining an interview from one of the girls in the story required multiple phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, and missed encounters so that I could get a substantial and useable recount of her experiences with social consequences and hardships that are characteristic of some cities.

Finding the story for "Children: the media's other white meat" was harder to recognize than it may have seemed, simply because objectification of celebrities and their children has become the norm, though no less disturbing because of its general acceptance. In the end, despite being hidden by bright print and layers of babbling gossip, a story was uncovered.

Rights and Responsibilities

Student journalists are often overlooked as unauthoritative and immature as compared to the seasoned veterans of the media and journalism industries, but after spending a semester in Journalism class, I've learned that we have just as much right to cover and expose news stories as those that work at other more prestigious papers.

Many fail to realize that we are journalists nonetheless, and have many the same rights as hired journalists. Shared by all citizens of the United States, we are, of course, given the freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, but few student journalists that try to utilize these vital rights get very far when they deal with adults or employees of the government. This was demonstrated in the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case when the U.S. Supreme Court made it legal for schools to limit 'individuality" in school newspapers if they're school sponsored.

However, we retain the right of free speech on campus so long as it isn't physically disruptive or unlawful speech(like libel) thanks to the Tinker v. Des Moines case.

Any journalist will tell you though that they serve the people. As long as the Dragon Press and other school continue to provide their audience with accurate, informative, and relevant information, they will be upholding their end of the bargain.

Skills

Skills

Joomla

I am only very recently acquainted with Joomla via the Foothill Dragon Press website and the instruction that I've recieved this year in class. I've only used Joomla for submitting and editing articles, and have little experience with web or text formatting, but can navigate the sites that it controls with relative ease. 

MS Word

I've used MS Word (Microsoft Word) on several occasions before in the past for multiple class assignments and projects in school as well as for personal non-academic reasons. I have about 6 years of experience with the program.

Photography

I've recieved basic instruction on how to use the camera for journalistic purposes. I've studied such techniques as the 'two-thirds" rule and the grid system, as well as others.