21st Century Journalism students host interviews, gain reporting experience


Caitlin Leiker

Grace McCord types her manuscript for her interview assignment before school.

In order to help the 21st Century Journalism students develop their reporting skills, Student Publications adviser Jessica Augustine assigned an interview project in which the students had to set up interviews with each other and with the official Student Publications staff members.

To start the project, each student drew a random name from a hat. After that, they had to formulate 10 questions to ask their interviewee. These could range from involvement in clubs to their individual jobs on the official staff.

Sophomore Grace McCord said the assignment was a way to “get our foot in the door of journalism.”

“We had to go through the process all other journalists do: finding an angle, setting up a meeting, and then following through and seeing our finished product,” McCord said. “It was a ton of fun. Being able to come up with the questions gave me a way to see how the whole process really worked.”

Sophomores Maysyn Tippy and Meg Taggart said that their favorite part of 21st Century Journalism is the interactive assignments the class has to offer, such as the interview projects.

They said that after the awkward stage of their interviews passed, they enjoyed getting to know their interviewees and what they like to do.

McCord said the journalism courses are among the most important classes offered at the school because it involves the entire student body. She said she took the class because she thought it would be a good way to get into the network of the school while improving her writing skills.

“Even if you don’t wish to pursue a career in journalism, I highly recommend it,” McCord said.

Augustine said the school’s journalism programs do more than teach students how to present fair, balanced news.

“Even though some of them aren’t going on to become professional journalists, I think having the skills that you learn– not just the hard skills of interviewing, reporting and writing, but also the skills of thinking critically, problem solving and time management –are all good things they need to have, no matter what profession they’re going into,” Augustine said.