FROM THE EDITOR: Journalism students aim high
By Ben Rodgers
Nothing makes this newspaperman more excited than talking to youth who have an interest in journalism.
Thanks to a project from journalism teacher Sarah Meyer at Bay Port High School, I had an opportunity to do that.
For someone who is accustomed to asking the questions and keeping a meticulous record of who says what, and when they say it, it’s refreshing to be on the other end of the pen.
I chatted with three students who sought me out from all the media in the Green Bay area.
We talked about my background, my interest in journalism, how I got started, what the future holds for print and a few moments I’m not proud of that shaped me as a reporter.
It’s important we continue to learn from our mistakes, regardless of the profession.
Equally important is students interested in journalism getting accustomed with one of the most vital skills the field requires, the ability to sit down and chat with anyone.
A striking change in the past 10 years for journalism is it’s no longer 100 percent about telling a compelling story, it’s about connecting with readers.
It will be hard for these students to connect with anybody if they aren’t comfortable having a conversation with a total stranger.
I also stressed how the easiest way to connect with readers is by writing stories about things readers care about.
We talked about The Portside, the Bay Port student newspaper and what some good stories would be to engage with students.
Quality journalism is a living thing. The skills used are refined over years, not weeks.
No one enters this field an expert, and only with positive mentors can someone succeed.
I’m not exaggerating when I say we learn something new every day in this industry.
With the changing landscape of print journalism, to maintain a level of quality it’s imperative we practice what we have learned to continuously improve our product.
In some ways, one never really stops being a journalism student.
The students who met with me know this, and if they continue learning the trade and honing their writing, there’s no limit to who they can inform and what they can achieve.
I have high hopes for them and The Portside, and I want to thank them for taking the time to interview me.