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Why is journalism important?

Locations: News Published

By Sopris Sun youth journalists

Maeve Murray

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After joining The Sopris Sun’s new youth journalism program, we were asked one question: why is journalism important? We responded with various ways of saying: “getting information out to the public” and “connecting the community.” 

However important these things are, throughout this program, I’ve realized something that has made me love journalism even more. Through learning about others in the community, you often learn more about yourself. Self-discovery is something that we often speak highly of as a culture but rarely get the chance to explore. As a high school student, I’m often told that college is the time to “find yourself.” I’ve always found this to be frustrating because, simply put, I want to find myself now! 

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After working with Raleigh, James, Jeanne and Myki for the past few months, I’ve noticed that I have started to find myself. Being respected as an adult makes you act like an adult, and that is why I loved this program. Oftentimes, as a 16-year-old, if I walk into a room ready to work, most people still look down on me. However, love was radiating from The Sopris Sun when I walked in, and I could feel it. Because of that, I was motivated to work even harder. 

Having mentors who truly care about your writing and are proud to see you get published is extremely important — and rare. Through exploring journalism, I’ve explored what it means to affect a community. The work done at The Sopris Sun — not trying to toot my own horn — is exceptional and important. The environment established in the workspace at The Sopris Sun is warm and welcoming and I am thrilled to be a part of this team.

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Sofie Koski

I’ve always thought that newspapers are interesting, but a bit old-fashioned. I had probably never read The Sopris Sun before September, when the class started. I’d never dreamed I’d be a part of it! Even when I started this journalism class, I did not think I would actually contribute content. But here I am, getting published regularly. 

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As I write this, I have had three things in the paper, two drawings and an article, with more to come. I’m only 14, and I hope to be a paid writer and artist for a newspaper. This class has opened a whole new realm of possibilities for me, and I have learned so much about all the different aspects of journalism. I really enjoy learning about the ethics of writing, about being accurate and also about the workings of photography. 

It was also interesting meeting all these different people, working together for the community! I’ve even been graded both an A+ and an F, all in one class (thank you, Klaus), while also eating free pizza, sandwiches and burritos (thank you, New York Pizza, Bonfire and Dos Gringos). I’m so thankful to Raleigh, James, Myki, Jeanne and all my fellow students for helping me thus far. I am also excited to continue on this journalist’s journey!

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Jaris Elliott

The Sopris Sun youth program is great! Our first semester was an exciting and educational experience. 

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I was able to explore my love for photography by taking pictures of unique art at the Carbondale Clay Center and the beautiful Sunlight Ski Resort! When I first started the youth program, I was not expecting to be so involved with the actual newspaper! By the third class, I already had pictures published in the paper. 

The teachers are always supportive of our story ideas and projects we want to work on. They are also willing to offer assistance and suggestions. 

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The program has already taught me more about photography, art and all that goes into creating a weekly newspaper. For example, editing the stories, interviewing the people for information and even the financial aspects are some of things I’ve learned. I can see how the program could lead to a full and rewarding future. I am excited to continue to be a part of The Sopris Sun and to add what I can to the newspaper. 

Lastly, it’s been a pleasure working with my fellow classmates who are all so talented in writing, art and so many other things. I look forward to continuing to be impressed by them!

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Marlo Bowman

The moment I found out about The Sopris Sun’s youth journalism program, my heart knew that I had to participate in it. I was thrilled that not only would my school, Basalt High School, finally have access to a journalism class, but there was an actual newspaper that wanted to include high school students. I finally felt that I had an opportunity to learn more about the world of journalism. 

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Getting to meet my instructors, Raleigh, James, Myki and Jeanne, and my peers, Sofie, Maeve and Jaris, has given me the opportunity to build friendships that are helping me grow, both as a journalist and a person. Collaborating with these amazing people has been an opportunity that I will most certainly never forget. 

On day one, I recall being extremely nervous to be in a room with people that I had never met before. I have never really been a social butterfly, but being with this group has allowed me to feel more comfortable sharing any and all of my thoughts and ideas. Each week has offered me a new perspective on what goes on behind the scenes of a newspaper, and this has led me to consider majoring in journalism in college next year. This program has most definitely opened a new door for my future, and The Sopris Sun will always be a second family to me.

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Tags: #Jaris Elliott #journalism #Maeve Murray #Marlo Bowman #Sofie Koski #The Sopris Sun #The Sopris Sun Youth Journalism Program #Youth
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