Take Journalism?

Why should I apply to be a part of VISTAj?

  • Read this testimonial from a former VISTAj editor who is now attending the University of Colorado:

“Just wanted to send a little update/thank you message for all that I learned in high school journalism. While I have gone in more of a business direction than journalism in college, I am finding more and more that many of the skills I learned in newspaper class and the various workshops I attended are extremely useful in the world of marketing. After landing a gig as a marketing intern for a local boulder company this summer I have been in charge of blogpost writing, designing sales sheets and advertising, social media and newsletter management and PR announcements. All of this requires refined writing skills and an ability to create visually appealing pieces for my company. I have received very little mentoring from my boss as this is a small company with no marketing department or experience. I am constantly utilizing my skills from journalism and am both surprised and thrilled that I have the opportunity to continue doing what I enjoyed so much in your class. Thank you for instilling that joy in me and those skills! I hope you are continuing to inspire students like this.”

  • High School Journalism Matters | New research conducted for the Newspaper Association of America Foundation provides clear evidence that student journalists earn better high school grades, perform at higher levels on college entrance exams and receive higher grades in college writing and grammar courses than students who lack that experience. The “High School Journalism Matters” study builds on previous NAA Foundation research showing that students who work on their high school newspapers or student-oriented sections of their hometown papers and who use newspapers in class or for homework are more engaged in civic activities, better educated and more involved citizens as they grow older.
  • Why Every Student Should Learn the Skills of a Journalist — Esther Wojcicki, a teacher of English and journalism at Palo Alto High School in California’s Silicon Valley, launched  21STcenturylit.org, which aims to (1) teach students how to be intelligent consumers of digital media; (2) teach students how to be skillful creators of digital media; and (3) teach students how to search intelligently.  ”We are living in an age when digital media and new digital tools are revolutionizing the world,” she says. “Schools need to help student learn these skills, not block and censor the Internet.”
  • Twenty-First Century Skills | In order to thrive in a digital economy and to be prepared for the world beyond the classroom, students will need digital age proficiencies. Scholastic media understand and embraces the 21st century skills within the context of rigorous academic standards.
  • 21st Century Skills | How does journalism stack-up against ten other programs for delivering 21st century learning?
  • 21st Century Student Outcomes and Journalism | When you compare journalism education to any number of lists compiled by experts on what our students need in a new, challenging century, it becomes clear that Journalism really is the new English.
  • Journalism is the New English | Use whatever terms you wish – Media Literacy, Writing for Audience, Technical Communications, Mass Communications – but the evidence from the latest English Language Arts standards from Colorado and from the Common Core Standards is clear: journalism, and all the skills surrounding this broad area, is the ideal curricular vehicle to help our students gain 21stcentury skills and demonstrate them to a variety of audiences.
  • MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers | Looking at what it means to be prepared, teachers, parents, and executives believe that writing skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, self-motivation, and team skills are more important than math and science. However, executives placed greater emphasis than others on the capacity for teamwork. Nearly all English (99 percent) and math (92 percent) teachers rate the ability to write clearly and persuasively as absolutely essential or very important. Just 45 percent of English teachers and 50 percent of math teachers viewed ability in higher-level mathematics, such as trigonometry and calculus, as absolutely essential or very important. About 31 percent of executives surveyed said advanced science courses are absolutely essential or very important for college- and career-readiness, and 40 percent said advanced math knowledge and skills are that critical. What is most important to businesses? Executives rated critical thinking (99 percent), problem-solving (99 percent), and strong writing skills (97 percent) as absolutely essential or very important.
  • “Benefits of High School Activities” | A four-page handout from the Iowa High School Athletic Association,with excerpts taken from “The Case for High School Activities” published by the National Federation of State High School Associations, details why you should be involved in co-curricular activities like student media.
  • “Dear Students: Even if you Don’t Read a Newspaper, You Should Still Work at One” | This article from the Huffington Post, written by a media adviser at Florida Atlantic University, details numerous reasons why and how working on student media prepares students for a job in almost any industry.
  • Why Journalism is Important from “10,000 Words,” a blog where journalism and technology meet.
  • Resolution on the Importance of Journalism Courses and Programs in English Curricula | A National Council of Teachers of English resolution on the importance of journalism courses and programs in English curricula approved by the NCTE Board of Directors or the NCTE Executive Committee adopted at the 2004 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also includes a comprehensive works cited bibliography.
  • ASJMC Statement on the Value of Scholastic Media | The Association of Schools of Journalism 
and Mass Communication
Secondary Education Committee
adopted position statement on the value of scholastic media. In 2008, ASJMC sent this to high school principals across the country, as well as to state scholastic press associations and other organizations concerned about scholastic media.
  • 30 Skills | A Jostens yearbook company handout explains how taking one class — like yearbook or news magazine — is a unique way to demonstrate 30 life, journalism, business and technology skills.
  • You’ll get every one of the top ten skills valued by employers in today’s job market (National Association of College and Employers Job Outlook 2009): (1) Communication Skills; (2) Strong Work Ethic; (3) Teamwork Skills; (4) Initiative; (5) Analytical Skills; (6) Computer Skills; (7) Flexibility/Adaptability; (8) Interpersonal Skills; (9) Problem Solving Skills; and (10) Technical Skills. Also, check out how Journalism is the perfect fit for What Do Employers Look for in Candidates? Journalism does it all!
  • Journalism just might be the answer to a parent’s prayers | Newspaper editor Ken Robertson of the Tri-City Herald in Washington says parents should consider journalism as the best way to boost a students’ grades and chances of succeeding in college.
  • Looking for Next Semester’s Elective? Think Journalism | Former teacher Deborah Ross says classes like Introduction to Journalism, Newspaper, Yearbook or Video Production, courses that get your teenager involved in the art of interviewing and writing under deadline — like a regular Barbara Walters or Anderson Cooper – are sure to nurture invaluable skills. And, by being on a media production staff, your teen might even find that ever-so-needed niche in the swirl of a big campus.
  • Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade | The contemporary American classroom, with its grades and deference to the clock, is an inheritance from the late 19th century. The new classroom should teach the huge array of complex skills that come under the heading of digital literacy.
  • There has never been a better time to be a journalism major | The explosive growth of digital technologies brings with it an ever-growing demand for contents, and content production is at the core of journalism training. At a time when everyone can reach out to a mass audience, people need journalistic skills to produce quality contents that engage target audiences.

How do I apply to be part of VISTAj?

Talk with your counselor and register for one of the beginning journalism courses being offered this semester.

Come by U328 and see Mr. Newton. He’ll help you figure out a plan.

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