What attracts me to journalism is the endless opportunity to connect with others using my voice. With gilmourlance.org, students can publish news writing and video that anyone can access anytime and anywhere. During my two years of hands-on experience, I have learned how to capture moments and make them last forever.
In a Peace and Justice Club meeting, Ms. Katy McKinnon told members to keep it a surprise that Gilmour would be the 20th official fair trade school in the nation. “The Lance” needed a cover story so I asked if we could break the news simultaneously with her Convocation announcement. Everything was kept secret until the day it was announced. Right after Convocation, we passed out copies of “The Lance.” Days later, a reporter from cleveland.com included a few of my lines on her news post. This was my first taste of widespread publicity, and I felt proud of my work.
In my second year of the course, the national political climate became intense. I wanted to cover the election. Over the summer, I unexpectedly met Hillary Clinton. The Associated Press actually published a photo of me taking a selfie with Clinton, which went viral. I shared my encounter with my online audience and as with my Fair Trade story being picked up by cleveland.com, my Clinton story was shared on Gilmour’s Twitter, Facebook, and main website. After writing a successful article on politics and keeping an unbiased view, I was able to start pursuing political newscasts. I co-authored and co-anchored two political commentary videos that reviewed the Presidential election.
Gilmour’s broadcast studio had always impressed me, and I wanted to experiment with film. Mr. John Overman, Instructor in English, asked Kathy Jung (`18) and me to write a letter about what we most wanted to pursue in the 2016 fall semester. Kathy and I surprisingly said the same thing: broadcasting. Within weeks, we were filming newscasts.
My favorite newscast would be “Girls Soccer: State Champs.” This was big news for the school, and we wanted to celebrate their victory with everything broadcasting could offer. We needed to write about their first championship, and we thought covering the story with video would be most powerful. Once we published our video online, it became one of our most popular stories. We had captured and published Gilmour history for years to come.
In conclusion, my curiosity drove me to study journalism and it has paid off. I have developed my leadership skills by helping run the class as Editor-in-Chief. After taking the first level of journalism, I received the James V. Coakley Award. This year, I was presented The Lance Newspaper Award. These two distinctions encourage me to use my journalism skills in the future.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Joining “The Lance” has given me a voice more powerful than the one I had before taking the class. In my view, journalism will never die because news breaks every moment, and people need to be informed. Keep writing Gilmour!