Coming into this course I had no clue what to expect. At first I thought it was a course dedicated to working on the yearbook… but to my surprise it was something entirely different. The idea of journalism initially scared me quite a bit. I was not sure what to think, but as the course continued, I fell in love with it.
Journalism pushed me in many different ways, which allowed me to grow tremendously as a writer. I received relatively low marks on my first few assignments, but this only inspired me to work harder and harder. My general feedback was to find a unique angle and go for it, which is something I worked on throughout the semester, and which I believe I have greatly improved on.
I was also encouraged to get lots of information from various different sources before writing an article. This developed my research skills, and allowed me to write articles with stronger proof behind them. An example of this can be seen here.
However, with every course comes difficulties and chanllenges. The first challenge which I faced in journalism was collaboration. When I wrote my first article with another student I struggled quite a bit. Combining ideas and hearing what the other person has to say is extremely important, but at the time I did not realize this. I used this experience as a learning tool and did not back away from team work. The next time I worked with a partner I found it much easier, as we both listened to each others ideas and collaborated with ease.
Another issue which I faced at first was time management. I had never been in a course which had such flexible due dates, so it came as a shock to me. Having to produce articles at such a fast pace was difficult on its own, but the fact that there were no set due dates was even more difficult. It took some time to adjust to, but I soon began working at a steady and successful pace. I did this by really focusing in class. I cannot stress enough how important it was to use class time throughout the semester. I was able to finish the majority of certain stories in class, which allowed me to work at a faster pace and produce more content.
For part 2, I chose a variety of material which showcased my progress over the entire semester. I decided to use a few of my first pieces, which demonstrated just how much I have improved from the first day I began journalism. I also chose many different types of pieces to showcase the diversity of my work. I have worked on editorials, objective articles, videos, polls, and much more, and I hope that the content I chose displays this.
In terms of my personal website, I had a lot of fun experimenting and playing around with it. At first, the idea of making my own website was intimidating, mainly due to the fact that I am not very good with technology. Of course it was confusing when I began, but as I continued trying new things it was not so bad. The theme which I chose for my website was obviously an unpaid theme, which led me to more issues. This theme would not allow me to include excerpts, which is a formatting issue with my current site. If I could change this feature, I would do so in a heart beat, but unfortunately the theme just will not allow it. Besides that small issue, I think my website looks great, and I am very happy with how it turned out.
Over this course one thing has always remained the same, and that is my ethics as a writer. I find it very important to be as responsible, respectful and honest as possible, and I fell that this is reflected in my work. For example, if I am doing an objective piece I ensure that I am showing both sides of the story and not allowing my opinion to influence my writing. I also cite any work which is not my own, and correctly use quotations, this way I am giving others credit for their work and opinions. As well, when it comes to photos, I have made sure to get media forms signed to protect the privacy of my contributors. You can find more information about my ethics as a journalist here.
If I were to focus on my favourite part of the course overall, it would definitely be The Fjord. Contributing to the class website was awesome, and it was great to see the work my peers were creating. I really enjoyed the wide variety of content, and I was even able to contribute to each different aspect. Our class has so many talented individuals and The Fjord was a great outlet to showcase such talent. Whether it be video, photography or writing, there was always interesting things to check out on the website, and I think our audience would say the same.
The Fjord taught me the importance of journalism because it made me realize the importance of awareness. It created a great platform for news in our community, and allowed viewers to hear about it from the perspective of high school students. Beyond the walls of The Fjord, journalism in general is extremely important because it allows the spread of information to the public. Without it, there would not be a medium to deliver news, as newspapers and websites rely on it.
Overall I found this course to be extremely interesting and entertaining. I learned so much in terms of journalism, but what I learned can be used for much more than that. I honestly would not change a thing about this course, as I find it to be very informative, but also very fun. I cannot wait to see what journalism has in store for Viking students in the future.