The lasting benefits of high school journalism

Whether you plan on being a journalist or not


St. Joseph Catholic School journalism students stop by Insomnia cookie store on the Square in Oxford on Sunday, March 31, 2019, after eating dinner at Gus’ Famous Fried Chicken.

Bianca McCarty, Co-editor

I can’t lie, I want nothing to do with journalism after high school. Not as a career, or even just a hobby. As much as I love this paper, I just couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. Sometimes I sit and think about how stressful a career in journalism must be, especially in the Internet age, and I know that’s not what I want out of my life.

Even though I have no plans to continue my journalism career, I will, without a doubt, use the lessons it taught me until I’m six feet under.
In my opinion, journalism should be a required class in every high school across the United States. The lessons and skills it teaches are invaluable for every student.

Obviously, journalism helps develop writing skills. Whether it be print or broadcast, writing is required. Writing for news is extremely beneficial in learning how to structure thoughts in a clear and concise way. No matter how many flowery metaphors and similes you throw in your writing, it’s worth nothing if it doesn’t make sense. Journalism also forces you to write about a variety of different subjects, and constantly critique your work, broadening writing skills. To put it bluntly, high school journalism produces better writers because writing so much makes the skill second nature.

In addition to strengthening writing skills, journalism broadens narrow horizons. St. Joe is a small school, and I thought I knew every thing that happened here, but through journalism I’ve gotten to know parts of it I never knew existed.

It also leads to a better understanding of the world outside of your school. As a high school journalist, it’s part of your job to keep up with the news. Knowing how the news is presented to the masses is of prime importance when it comes to understanding our world. Even reporting on a community as small as high school helps you understand how journalists use different tactics to show one story from ten different angles.

In a journalism class, you grade depends on your ability to put yourself out there and talk to the people you need to. When I was just starting to write stories, this was the absolute worst part for me. As a shy and anxious fourteen-year-old, I expected everyone I asked to interview to rudely reject me. I’m happy to say that as of two years of working on the paper, that has never happened once and the worst response I’ve ever gotten was mere reluctance. I honestly believe that taking part in journalism is half of the reason my self confidence has increased tenfold since middle school.

Surprisingly, I’ve also found that participating in journalism has helped me build friendships with my fellow students, in and outside of room 202. Dealing with the stress of school alone is enough to push people together or tear them apart, and throwing what is essentially a part-time job into the mix just intensifies the situation. Just as the old cliché goes, after the rain comes a rainbow. Once you make it through the storm with a group of people, you can’t help but become friends.

Admittedly, The Bear Facts staff is quite the hodgepodge of people, all with separate interests, friend groups, and extracurriculars. But this paper threw us all together in the summer of 2018, something I will always be grateful for.