According to The American Press Institute, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel said that “the principles and purpose of journalism are defined by something more basic: the function news plays in the lives of people.”
Students enrolled in Multimedia Journalism learn how to deliver unbiased information that contributes to the lives of people. While writing for The Lance throughout the semester, student journalists hone their writing skills by reporting on various newsworthy stories occurring within the Gilmour community.
Meredith Mallon-Jeffrey (`20) said that she knew absolutely nothing about journalism when she first enrolled in the class. To her, taking the journalism course was “an impulsive decision” made based upon her desire to take as many writing classes as possible to enrich her writing skills. In addition to Multimedia Journalism, in the Fall of 2017 Mallon-Jeffrey took the elective Creative Writing as well.
Throughout the semester, Mallon-Jeffrey gained many skills related to journalism. “I learned the ins and outs of different writing styles and how to convey ideas with more brevity,” she said.
“I learned the ins and outs of different writing styles and how to convey ideas with more brevity.”
Mallon-Jeffrey’s first published article featured Mr. Brian Horgan’s second time as the Director of the Upper School as of the 2017-2018 school year. She summarized Mr. Horgan’s career at Gilmour Academy into a short and concise report. Basically, Mallon-Jeffrey sharpened her substantive content by condensing her coverage.
In addition, Mallon-Jeffrey said that she learned the importance of journalism. “[The journalism course at The Academy] teaches us what happens behind the scenes and the value of news to the community,” she said.
During the process of writing the Mr. Horgan article, Mallon-Jeffrey said that she realized journalism does not necessarily have to be about breaking news. There are other types of news as well, including feature stories. Feature articles highlight specific groups or individuals within communities. This allows the people covered to feel “more real” to both the journalist and the readers, making the community bond.
News sources allow the community’s concerns, opinions, and everything in between to be brought to public attention. As a journalist, Mallon-Jeffrey is able to contribute to the lives of her readers.
Mrs. Linda Wheeler, Manager of the Upper School Office, is an avid reader of The Lance. Every time Mr. John Overman, who teaches journalism, sends out an article-notification email to the students and faculty, she always reads the most current news reported by students.
Being at Gilmour for the last 16 years, Wheeler finds that The Lance is a “reflection of lived experience[s] of [the] community.” She said that the newspaper highlights occasions, talents, accomplishments, and service that may not necessarily be announced to the whole community otherwise.
Through The Lance’s impact on The Academy’s community, Wheeler found that journalism is able to bring people closer together and that it positively impacts relationships.
Wheeler found that journalism is able to bring people closer together and that it positively impacts relationships.
Just like Gilmour is impacted by The Lance, the rest of the country is impacted by journalism as well. Mr. James Scully, Instructor in English, said that he has been heavily impacted by newspapers all his life, beginning in his childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, he reads multiple news sources daily, including The New York Times and The Plain Dealer.
Scully said that he has a “great faith in journalists” because they have the ability to impact readers and encourage them to become more open-minded. Trustworthy journalism raises awareness of prominent issues. Scully values above all the perspective that journalism is able to provide in recounting people’s experiences.
“[Journalism] is writing with purpose to inform, specifically the general audience, [and] to share the truth,” Mallon-Jeffrey said. Her writing, as well as those done by the other writers of The Lance, has the opportunity to influence students and help them make informed decisions in their daily lives.
“[As readers,] it’s almost a responsibility [for us] to know what’s going on [in the community],” Scully said. Journalism provides the source of this information.