High school students become journalists in a week


Maggie Pund

The group photograph shot on the first day of camp remained in the center of the cake at the end of the final day.

After three days of instruction, 15 students walked out onto NKU’s campus on Thursday in search of a photo that will tell an interesting story.


Andrew Clark, a sophomore at Starkville High School in Mississippi used the iPad the workshop provided to take a close-up shot of the pendulum in the Natural Science Building. Sara Wagner, a senior at Walnut Hills High School crouched down low to get an artistic photo of the tunnel underneath NKU. Olivia Krauth, a graduate of Scott High School entered the campus morgue, filled with both excitement and a little fear.


These students, and the rest of the talented teens who attended this workshop, entered our doors as high school students and left as journalists.


Throughout this week, they have had several opportunities to learn the valuable skills needed to have a successful journalism career, but also a successful life.  They talked to new people, did interviews, found the story and then wrote about it.  In addition to that, they learned how to shoot and edit video and the fact that one good photo really can say a thousand words.


“Journalism is a lot more work than just writing a story,” Krauth said about the workshop.


She also said and the campus morgue was “exciting…but a little creepy.”


Not only did the students learn all the basic techniques of good writing, photography and video, but they also learned all the new technological tools journalists use today.


Leila Jaafari, a junior at Holy Cross High School really liked learning about Vine and Instagram and said, “I used to think of [journalism] as just pen and paper stuff.  Now it’s more technology savvy.”


Dean Hume, adviser for Lakota East High School, spoke with the students on Thursday about the secrets of journalism which included being observant and aggressive.


“The key is, are you gutsy enough to ask the story, find the story and chase the story down? That’s the number one secret,” Hume said.


Mary Wurtz, a sophomore at Villa Madonna Academy, told Hume, “Maybe we’re not all going to be journalism majors but whatever we do, we can use what we learn here in whatever we do with our lives.”


Judith Seaman, a sophomore at St. Ursula Academy agreed with Wurtz and said, “[The workshop is] a great way to improve your writing and photography skills even if you aren’t going to go into journalism.”


“Skills are always useful,” she said.


Natalie Neace, a sophomore at Highlands High School, said the workshop helped her become a better writer and that she learned the techniques behind taking a valuable photo that will enhance a story.


“There are a lot of things in photographs that can’t be captured by words so just the photograph itself really helps you understand what’s going on,” Neace said.


Josh White, a senior at Sycamore High School said the highlight of his week was getting a chance to talk with the basketball players at the press conference held earlier in the week and that the workshop was “a great experience for a lot of people that I will never forget.”


So how did these students become journalists in a week?  They asked questions, were observant and followed Hume’s advice when he said, “Every single person has a story…find it.”