The Patriot


Journalism and Communication is an elective class offered at Mendham High School. In a student’s first year on staff, they will be taking “Journalism and Communication 1” , during their second year 2, and then 3. The description of each level can be read below. We also staff writers from our Journalism club which meets once a month. Finally, writers can contribute by freelance writing. If you are interested in joining The Patriot, please contact Mrs. Shannon at [email protected], contact our e-mail at [email protected], or e-mail our Editor-in-Chief: Annie Shafran – [email protected]

Journalism & Communication 1 is devoted to the further development of good student writers.  Able students will be instructed in the basic areas of article writing skills for print and web based publications, as well as other digital news outlets.  Students will learn the format of straight news writing, feature writing (historical, human interest, personality, explanatory, analytical) and editorials.  Students will apply their writing skills in news reporting and in contributing to school publications.  Students will also explore the fundamentals of photojournalism.  They are expected to use events in and around the school as a basis for stories, articles, features, and opinion pieces aimed at a specific audience.  Since a course goal is to write and take photographs for publication, some time outside of class is needed for researching, interviewing, editing, and related tasks. Students use newspapers, yearbooks and magazines from the library and other sources to develop sophistication in evaluating journalistic quality. Students also will use Google Docs to share and edit articles.  Although there are provisions for formal teacher-directed activity, the class for the most part is a workshop.

Journalism & Communication 2 is devoted to the student who wishes to pursue journalism on a higher level. Competence will have been shown in Journalism 1, and the student will show an interest to further develop personal journalistic style.  The second year journalism student will work toward a crisper style, will investigate additional resources, will further develop sidebars and continuing stories, and will assume positions of leadership on the school paper.  Additionally, the student will submit columns and photographs to local papers, investigate outside sources for publications, and assist first year students on a one-to-one basis. Editing, publication design, layout and graphics will also be a focus for the second year student.

Journalism & Communication 3 is devoted to the student who wishes to pursue a career in journalism and will continue his studies into college.  The student will assume an editorial position and work with first and second year students.  In Journalism 3 it is expected that the student will work independently and be self-motivated. In his position as editor, he will be responsible for assignments for his staff, deadlines, and editing.  The third year student will use his expertise to investigate additional avenues for journalism students (radio/TV broadcasting, corporate newsletters, yearbook, etc.)  A concentration in specialized areas such as photojournalism, layout or design, research, etc. may be pursued by the third year student.

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