Meegan Ware stands with her Journalism students in the Deer Park Homelink Clayton campus library.
As the publisher of the Deer Park Gazette, I was recently invited to visit with the Journalism Class at Deer Park Homelink. We had a great conversation, including their favorite articles from our website and the journalism business.
Initially, I was asked to speak about the difference between journalism in print and online. After briefly or maybe not so briefly discussing the history of the Deer Park Gazette, one of my favorite subjects, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions. Many of the questions were about my “Mosts” as in, most favorite article, most embarrassing mistake, most popular, and so on. With half of the class also in the Home Link Drama Program, there was a lot of discussion about “Framed” Took the Stage, an article by Crystal Schut about one of their performances.
For the first semester, the journalism class had eight students who were getting their first introduction to not only covering the news but also consuming it. Surprisingly, the students’ questions covered more than just journalism; some were very interested in the industry’s business side. They asked questions about different subscription models, and many inquiries were about the future of the Deer Park Gazette.
The class is taught by Meegan Ware, who has also contributed to the Deer Park Gazette as a photographer and writer. Ware’s journalism class has just published their semester newsletter for distribution throughout Deer Park Homelink at both campuses. Due to some limitations, the students took turns working in Microsoft Publisher, a desktop publishing application, to create the document. The newsletter was printed and folded by Deer Park Printing. Meegan Ware will be teaching another journalism class this semester and is looking forward to more laptops for the class to use.
We at the Deer Park Gazette believe that teaching journalism to teens is vital for fostering critical thinking, media literacy, and effective communication skills. It helps them to navigate the information-rich digital era, instills ethical awareness, and encourages civic engagement. Journalism education also provides valuable career insights, exposes teens to diverse media formats, and promotes global awareness. Overall, it equips teens with essential skills for personal, academic, and professional success in an interconnected world. We were honored to be asked to play a small part in that education by visiting this classroom.
I look forward to seeing where these students take the skills they have learned from this class.