Journalism Needs to Stay

Mia Halteman, Staff Reporter

      Digital Media and Journalism is an elective class that in past years could be recommended by your English teacher, specifically by English teacher Mr. Smith.  Sadly, this class has run its course because of an apparent decline in student interest. The district has decided to no longer offer this class, but personally, I think it should be kept as a class.

      Digital Media and Journalism is about learning how to write different types of newspaper articles  that can even be posted on the school’s website. First you pick a topic, second you do research on that topic, whether you look up articles or ask teachers and students for quotes and answers to your questions.  The topics can vary between school events, holidays, sports, students, entertainment, etc. The staff is pretty willing to give anything a try.

Students really have a large variety of things to write about. Of course the goal is to create a Shepard spin so that readers will be interested.

This type of writing skill is incredibly important if you plan on pursuing a career that involves writing.  Sadly, after this year, it won’t be a class choice anymore. Students who have had the class before should speak out about this class and start talking about the class more to get more students to pick Digital Media and Journalism as a possible English elective for their school credit.

      We are the only school in the district that still offers this class, so let’s save this awesome class.

      Newspaper adviser Smith is sad to see it go. “It is so in line with the whole child because it teaches so many real world skills,” said Smith. “Students get the opportunity to be part of a team, communicate with adults in high positions, be held accountable to their classmates and most importantly have some fun learning about Shepard things.

      “Those things have always been my selling points and that is why I have been able to fill the class for years. I think students really took ownership in this class and had the opportunity to be leaders. Those things will help them in whatever they do after graduation.”

      Smith has many fond memories including late nights trying to meet deadlines, several state qualifiers, former students who are now working in media, and even a state champion.

      “I am thankful for having had the opportunity to teach this class for so long,” stated Smith.

      Former Wall of Fame student Andrew Greska who runs a Marquette basketball blog with 2.7 million views credits the freedom 7 with helping shape his career path.

      Former editor in chief Sarah Ryan said the class helped her improve her communication skills both professionally and personally. “It taught me not to be afraid to ask questions if you want answers, ” said Ryan.

       Another former editor in chief Jessie Molloy who was also a sectional champion in news writing, credits her Shepard Journalism experience with leading her to her career choice.  “It gave me the direction for my life after high school,” said Molloy, “I realized that I wanted to major in Journalism while I was an editor on Freedom 7. I went into college pretty much already knowing the basics of Journalism 101, which helped me get internships and start freelancing as a freshman.”

All of these show the impact that Shepard journalism has had on students.