Summer Journalism Excursion

After a five hour car ride, an impromptu lunch at Mt. Horeb, a walk down a red brick road, making their way through a line of student out the door, getting their keys, and finding their rooms, six members of the newspaper and their advisor, Mr. Lazarski, packed into a crowded auditorium for their introduction to the camp.
The camp they attended was the University of Iowa Summer Journalism Workshop in Iowa City, Iowa. There they went to the class for the part of journalism they were interested in. At Wauwatosa West there is a journalism class offered, but there aren’t normally enough people interested in it to actually hold the class, so the journalists at ‘Tosa West often have to learn as they go. They look to each other’s experience and outside sources, such as that camp, to learn what they have to do to create a quality story.
After an explanation of the camp and introducing the instructors, they split the students into their classes. Students Waj Ali and Stephanie Eberle were in the Advanced News Writers course. The Advanced News Writers’ instructor, Reggie Ragland, said, “Observe your surroundings. It is a very important part of journalism, and there may be a quiz on it later.” Sure enough there was. After giving the students many handouts and an overview of the class, he told them to write directions to get from the auditorium to their current building. Most of the students found this an extremely difficult task and Ragland said he would give them another chance later on. Throughout the week their instructor taught them how to take an effective interview, make their article more relatable, and about the different types of news writing amongst other topics. They received mentors online to give feedback on the articles they wrote at camp. They also to got to see newspapers from other schools all over the country and get feedback from other students on how to improve their own paper.
Ella Nelson went for photography. She said, “It taught me how to go to the next level and really go for the pictures.” The photography class spent much of their time out in the intense heat lugging around equipment and learning how to get the shot they need.
Junior DJ Perkins, stated that although the class took a lot of time and effort it was definitely worth going. The graphic design class DJ took taught the students all about indesign, photo design, and illustrator. They made fake front pages to practice their new found skills.
Kylie Hogrefe and Dylan Jenkins attended the Broadcast workshop. They got to work together to create a video on Whities, an ice cream shop in town. The video won an award at camp and was shown at the ceremony on the last day. Kylie said, “I did not think going into that that I would learn as much as I did.” They have begun to teach what they learned to the other students interested in broadcast since broadcast is totally new to West.
The week ended with a minor trip to the emergency room by Mr. Lazarski, the newspaper advisor, and another long and stormy car trip. With their new knowledge the students came back ready to improve their journalism program at school.