(Note from Debra: We are delighted to add Jack Panyard to our Aim Academy faculty. Jack is a homeschool graduate and a New York City-based journalist working for one of the top podcasters (founder of Planet Money) in the industry. I convinced Jack the best place to mentor up-and-coming young journalists as he once was, was right here at Aim Academy.)
This is a live, online introductory course to journalistic writing, technique, and thinking. This class is appropriate for all high school level students and will focus on familiarizing young writers and thinkers with the discipline and process of journalism. The students will be assigned writing prompts, quizzes, and projects to help them hone their skills.
The course will have weekly one-hour long meetings on Zoom, with lively discussion and participation. This course will guide students on how to write news, sports, opinion, and feature pieces as well as introduce them to digital media, such as script writing for television and podcasts. We will also cover how to better understand the news through guided curation and news quizzes. We will also have regular Associated Press style quizzes, a crucial resource for journalists. The course is open to all levels of knowledge and ability.
The world needs good journalists, now more than ever. With threats of fake news, lopsided coverage, and caged thought, writers need to be prepared to write and think well. Journalism isn’t easy or always safe, but it is a rewarding practice that can give a voice to the voiceless and promote truth and justice in dark places. As a journalist, you’re an advocate for those you write about and an arbiter of truth.
This course seeks to achieve the following goals through the study and practice of journalism at a high school level:
- Familiarize students with effective and ethical interviewing techniques.
- Walk students through a variety of news and feature writing styles.
- Prepare students to report live situations.
- Help students process information and prepare the writing process.
- Walk through the technical aspects of reporting, including recording, transcriptions, and visual content.
- Synthesize news from a broad spectrum of sources.
- Familiarize students with AP style through news and grammatical quizzes.
- Work on digital media, including social, visual, audio, and web.
As the journalism teacher, I want to give students an authentic and practical introductory experience to journalism, including real life reporting and media creation. This will include pitches, story revisions, and individual editing. I am eager to work with students to help them find their journalistic voice and hone their reporting and observational abilities.
Weekly class work may include:
- A weekly 60-minute discussion, lecture, or practice
- Weekly quizzes, whether on AP style or current events
- Reading/viewing assignments from our text, handouts, or various sources
- Writing, audio, or broadcast assignments (usually over more than 1 week spent on these)
- Tests covering material from class and text
Who should enroll?
Students in 9th—12th grade should enroll in this class. This class will be the foundational class for all further and more advanced Aim Academy Journalism.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- A device with the ability to record audio
Evaluation and Feedback
- All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas.
- I will provide a grading rubric detailing how each project and assignment will be evaluated.
- I will provide individual assessments, critique, and feedback for any written projects or assignments.
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parents and student questions via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.