I spend the majority of my day with students who work on school publications. Recently, Angela Washeck, a journalist, spent some time in a high school publications class, and she reflected on her experience. She wasn’t impressed. Wascheck contends that high school journalism isn’t preparing students for a digital world. PBS’s Adam Macksl then posted a rebuttal to Washeck’s observations. Macksl argues that high school journalism is more about developing a process and learning how to work within a team.
I agree with both of them.
I assume that my students will not become journalists. It’s a noble career, but I have never encouraged a student to pursue journalism. Some have, but they did so on their own accord. I use my publications classes as a way for students to learn about themselves and their world. I make connections between the skills they’re learning and other career areas. I also recognize that we live in a digital world, and regardless of whether my students are going to be engineers or nurses, I hope that they develop the ability to adapt to different technologies while in my class.
Perhaps the best thing that came from this exchange between Washeck and Macksl is that people were actually talking about high school publications and their worth.