As students travel through their high school career, their teachers and mentors focus on implementing the Common Core State Standards for each class. However, one course implements a hands-on environment, providing understanding and experience. Though not considered a core class, journalism or publications instructs students on how to apply the Common Core thinking into their future careers.

In some schools, like La Costa Canyon High School, journalism classes are being cut because of a lessened interest in the course. In other places, programs are being cut due to budget cuts. Schools often chose to cut journalism programs before doing away with other “seemingly-equal” elective classes.

The Common Core Standards are established to prepare high school students for college and future career choices. As stated in the mission statement: “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”

Journalism is one of the few subjects that can fully train students for skills that are essential to the job field. Some of the most common qualities that employers look for have been split into categories below to show exactly how journalism students hold each quality. These are also qualities that the Common Core strives to equip students with.

Communicate clearly, effectively, with reason

This is the essential goal of every journalism class, to communicate clearly with their audience. By entering into a journalism class, students learn the best way to communicate. Not only through their publications, but by utilizing email, interviews, articles, multimedia and social media.

Develop educational/career plan with goals

Journalism students prepare for their career plan by learning important skills that will aid them in any job field. By frequently interviewing others, the students understand the importance of interviews. This skill assists young journalists in succeeding in any job interview, helping them gain confidence in their face-to-face communication skills.

Use technology to enhance productivity

On The Feather staff, students are encouraged to learn and master the most recent technology. Campus journalists have the ability and skills to work with cameras, computer applications like PhotoShop, FinalCutPro and GarageBand. They are also required to have working knowledge of social media, especially Twitter, while also utilizing Google Docs.

Utilize critical thinking

As one of the ESLRs on campus, students on campus learn to use critical thinking in all areas of study. In journalism, students must use critical thinking to publish breaking news. As crises come up, editors of various publications must use quick thinking and skills to finish a project in a timely manner.

Model integrity, leadership and effective management

These three things?integrity, leadership, management?are essential to any journalism student. In order to be successful on a publication staff, writers must build their audience through integrity. Integrity is essential to gain the audience’s trust as they are proving themselves as a reliable source of school and community news.

Leadership and management naturally develop students enrolled in publication classes. Class hierarchy is necessary to
run a working publication, the older students must learn how to manage an effective staff while teaching their peers the tools to be successful.

Work well in teams

When entering into a journalism class, students make a commitment to be a part of a team. Peers rally together to produce their work by operating in teams. No journalist should leave high school without having the ability to team up with their peers in an academic setting.

In support of National Journalism Week, use the hashtag #journoweek on Twitter to tell us why journalism skills are important.


Demonstrate creativity and innovation

Though staff members become experts at covering news, they also use their creativity with features, videos, photos and opinion pieces. Publication staff must utilize creativity and cooperation in designing their papers, websites or yearbooks.

Employ valuable and reliable research strategies

In order to become a reliable journalist, students must execute research to support their writing. By taking advantage of other news sources, books and interviews, students master the skills of research. Specifically on The Feather students research in order to insert links in their articles to reinforce and support the facts in their writing.

PODCAST: Applying Common Core. Tynin Fries: Oct, 7, 2013–

Journalism skills aid in high school courses

Not only do these skills prepare high schoolers for their careers, but it aids them in classes throughout their education. English teachers often require their students to present information in front of their peers. With the skills publication staffs gain, they should be able to communicate the information effectively, provide thorough research and work well with partners whether it is through Google Drive, presentations, PowerPoint, Prezi or other formats.

In addition, science courses expect students to perform labs. By using skills like critical thinking, creativity and technology students can effectively utilize the abilities they learned through publications to succeed in other core classes.

The Common Core State Standards lists multiple abilities that all teachers should strive to equip their students with. By enrolling in journalism classes, students can learn many necessary life skills to aid them in high school, college and the rest of their careers.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @TyninFries. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Oct. 2 article, Happy birthday, Hannah (VIDEO).