Real journalism for a specific audience
There is no such thing as a “student journalist.” Instead, my students are real journalists who cater to a specific audience, an audience that no one else reaches in quite the same way. My students are still learning, of course, but everything they do should be as professional as what any “real-world” journalistic staff would do. My job is to provide them with the tools, skills and opportunities necessary to accomplish that goal. It is heartening to hear from outside sources (interviewees, advertisers, etc.) who say that the experiences they have with journalists from Carmel High School are as professional, if not more so, than their experiences with other “adult” journalists.
Students serve as editors and reporters and produce the nationally recognized student newspaper, the HiLite, and its counterpart, www.hilite.org. This course provides the study and practice in gathering and analyzing information, interviewing and note taking for the purpose of 1) writing, 2) editing, 3) publishing for print and Web and 4) producing the HiLite, the Carmel High School student newspaper. Students use computers for word processing and desktop publishing and learn the Carmel High School Manual of Style. Students plan, publish and market 10+ issues of the student newspaper each year. Additionally, students work to update the website daily with breaking news and photos of events that happen between print news cycles.
Students enrolled in HiLite are expected to meet all deadlines and produce high quality work based on journalism standards set forth in the newspaper’s prerequisite courses, Newspaper 1-2 and photojournalism. This course, comparable to an honors course in other departments, requires dedication and commitment.
Students who enroll in this course receive intensive instruction in advanced journalism skills in 1) news gathering, 2) reporting and writing news stories and other journalistic genres, 3) the legal and social responsibilities of publications and 4) the ethics of fair and accurate reporting. Students improve their writing abilities and learn skills necessary to make the transition from middle school to high school publications. Additionally, they will assist in writing stories and designing pages for publication in the student newspaper. This course serves as a prerequisite for enrollment in HiLite newspaper.