The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

#SJW2024: Why I love being a student journalist

“Writing is an amazing way to express yourself and your feelings.”

Writing is an amazing way to express yourself and your feelings. Journalism consists of numerous writing assignments, taking photos, and making year book spreads. My name is Adalyn Armstrong-Cattani and I am a part of the Intro to Journalism class here at Highlands High School.

There are many reasons why I love this class. Although it is a lot of work, it helps my social skills, writing ability, and helps me learn many new things.

Social skills can be used in multiple ways in life and school. In journalism, we practice talking to new students and teachers. Interviewing is a main part of this class. Before this year I have never had a real experience with interviewing, but I have much more experience now.

I have learned when interviewing it is mandatory to record. Before asking any questions the person you are interviewing must know they are on video. Saying something like “Are you okay with this interview being recorded?” is required before recording. This can help you collect quotes and get all point captured. Although, I have noticed that when you interview someone; it is a good idea to write down all of the points made.

Writing is something that I used to struggle with in elementary school. I would have a hard time organizing my thoughts and feelings which made it very challenging for me. When I got into journalism, I thought I would struggle with this; but that was not the case.

Taking this class has helped me learn how to write very well. I started taking real journalism classes in 8th grade (last year) and ever since then, I have loved to write.

When in journalism, you get different choices of writing prompts. Having ideas already ready for you to write about makes your job 10 times easier. This class has so much freedom when it comes to the different assignments we can do. This quarter, we got the option to do two writing pieces and two photo galleries, three writing pieces and one photo gallery, or three photo galleries and one writing piece. Many people have different interests and giving us freedom can really help the students explore and learn what they enjoy doing.

When given the opportunity to choose what I wanted to do, I chose to do three writing pieces and one photo gallery. Mostly because I love writing.

Taking photos has never been something I am too good at, but with journalism I know a lot more than I did last year. The settings of the camera are super cool to learn about. Many people may think that taking photos is easy, but that is not true. There are so many different steps.

I have got to learn more things than just writing and taking pictures. We have learned how to do things like make year book pages, and use photoshop.

Earlier in the year, we were learning all about Monarch. This is a website we use to make yearbook spreads. At first, I knew nothing about it; but then after a few days I start to get the hang of this new website and it became very enjoyable as for many other students.

Using photoshop can look complicated, but it is so much fun once you get the hang of it. We did a cloning project where the goal was to clone yourself multiple times in the same picture. At first I struggled with this but the end product was so worth it. This activity helped me get experience with something new.

Joining journalism has paid off in so many great ways. If you are thinking about taking journalism, you should. You won’t regret it!

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