journalism-idk-the-story-code-andrew-huynh-took-this-you-better-give-photo-credits
GOT ISSUES? Layout member Bernice Ou-Yang works on the November issue of the The Legend

By Emilie Chau

Two years ago, The Legend faced the possibility of ending because too few students showed interest in the class.  Since then, the class has grown significantly larger with currently 30 students on the 2016-2017 The Legend staff.

Students may consider Journalism unappealing due to its requirements, such as spending time after school on the newspaper or interviewing people you may have never met before.  However, the skills and experiences gained by being a part of The Legend are invaluable to any student.

A misconception many have about the class is that members must be good writers.  While editors appreciate above average writing, basic writing skills are the only requirement for producing a successful article, as well as time and effort.

“As long as you do your job and meet your deadlines, it’s really not a hard class,” explains copy editor Erica Xie.

News writing is also vastly different from the typical creative or academic writing many students are used to in their English class.  Most stories are written in the inverted pyramid format, organized so that the most important facts are stated at the very beginning instead of at the end in a conclusion.  The contents of most articles are essentially facts and quotes that the writer gathers through interviews.  This alleviates the need to come up with original content, as most articles are simply facts put together into a short 350-word story.

However, Journalism isn’t only about writing.  Students are each assigned a different job, such as being in charge of creating the centerspread or taking pictures of different events.  Although everyone in the class has to write at least one article for each issue, students have the freedom to choose which story they want to write and how they want to approach the story.

“My favorite part about this class is being able to be exposed to all the different aspects of journalism, whether it would be the graphics, layout or the different kinds of writing,” expresses artist Anthony Ta.

Unlike many other classes where students listen to their teachers lecture for one hour, Journalism is a lot more like a club since each period is run by the students and everyone has to work together for the class to function.  This makes each issue similar to a huge 30 person group project.  If people do their job well and on time, there’ll be no problems in producing a paper.  Students get to learn how to work with a large group of people with opposing ideas and work ethics, a value essential in the future.

And what have I learned from this class?  This is my second year taking Journalism and I have learned how to bravely interrupt a class to interview a complete stranger for five minutes, often without the student knowing they were going to be interviewed that day.  I’ve also learned how to take criticism from my peers in a room of 30 other students watching me.  Most of all, I’ve learned to appreciate everything the other students put in the newspaper because I know how hard everyone in this class works to make the newspaper the best it could be.

“Definitely give it a shot, it’s not going to be something too difficult for you and it is definitely a new learning experience,” exclaims Anthony.   “I’ve learned a lot more about this school and I am also more well-informed about what’s going on.”

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