With the business of journalism in transition, you’re seeing cutbacks across the country and new media popping up all over.
On top of that, the Presidential election spurred on a growing distrust in some organizations.
Despite all the negativity, we caught up with some future journalists and a growing high school newspaper to show you there’s a still a passion for reporting the facts.
Students Gage Gramlick and Lucy Dekkenga share a love of writing. Both work for The Statesman and are planning future careers in journalism. Dekkenga, a junior, serves as a co-editor.
“It’s super important that we continue to use our freedom of speech because if there’s something wrong that’s happening, we need to show that,” Dekkenga said.
The Statesman has a long tradition. It’s been around since the first month of Lincoln High School. This is actually Volume No. 1 printed on Oct. 22, 1965.
Along with producing a monthly publication for decades, a staff of 24 students now offers daily updates on The Statesman’s new website and twitter account.
“We’re trying to progress as far as we can with technology and maintaining a solid persona on social media that’s non-biased,” Gramlick said.
The Statesman is run by advisor Katie Kroeze. She hand picks her writers from applicants who are required to take a semester-long journalism course first.
“It’s a group of students that love to write which you don’t always get every day in every class. They love to write. They are very passionate about getting the news out. Giving out factual information. Keeping our school and the community in check and making sure they know what’s going on,” Kroeze said.
You won’t find any fake news here. A new addition to Kroeze’s curriculum covers fake websites and looks into biased media.
“In journalism, I actually have a unit now that’s on social media and online journalism. We talk about fake news because some students don’t even know The Onion is. They think it’s real,” Kroeze said.
While he loves covering breaking news and contributing to The Statesman’s YouTube account, Gramlick, a sophomore and first-year staff writer, really has a passion for editorial pieces.
“When you’re forced to say something really fast, you may just come up with a bull crap answer. But when you have to write something down, you really have to think about what you believe. I enjoy discovering myself through my writing,” Gramlick said.
More people will be able to discover his writing as well. The Statesman is currently developing an app to try and reach its readers on mobile devices.
“Paper stories are becoming less popular and we are progressing with the website. However, being a student-run newspaper, students are the people that we cater to. So we therefore need to progress even further, which is the app we believe. We want to make sure the people are getting the right information in a way they enjoy it and will read it. Otherwise, there’s no point,” Gramlick said.
A real-life strategy that’s getting these students prepped for the future.
“Students have to go out of their comfort zone sometime and talk to people that may not want to be interviewed. So it’s a great skill to have in any kind of career that they might want to pursue in the future,” Kroeze said.
“This will be really helpful because, especially with the leadership position, that will help me a lot, but also I want to go into a career in journalism. This is just my first step to that career,” Dekkenga said.
The Statesman recently received a grant to purchase an Apple computer. It will allow students to learn how to edit videos that can be posted to its website and social media.