Hundreds of teens aspire to be journalists

Digital news. Graphic design. Photography. Social media. Video. Fake news.

These were the topics of discussion during a one-day high school communication conference in Boise Thursday. Nearly 450 teens from across the state got a sense of life as a journalist and learned about the media business.

“I’m looking to be creative and innovated,” said Madeline Layman, a junior at Mountain View High School. “Media is changing and I want to learn the skills now while in high school.”

Students and advisers participated in workshops and Q&A’s with Idaho journalism professors and journalists. Students heard a keynote speech about the importance of a healthy press in American society today. Students discussed the meaning of fake news.

“I get apprehension from people when I tell them I want to be a journalist because of the fake news buzz,” Madeline said. “All of this change is a challenge for me and I want to overcome the barrier around journalism. I’m not worried.”

To hone their journalism skills, 50 students participated in an all-day video, hands-on workshop to learn the fundamentals of creating an effective news package from the ground up. This included videography, sound recording, editing and story structure. Other workshops included discussions about digital-only media, Google News Lab tips and tricks, making great pictures for publication and writing for sports.

“We need journalists more than ever,” said Michelle Harmon, the president of the Idaho Student Journalism Association. “I want to grow young journalists.”


Andrew Reed

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