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Yearbook, school newspaper teaching skills of journalism

Cohiscan and Clarion studentsposed for a photo while ona recent field trip to Franklin College to learn about journalism and partake in many activities.

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

Students at Connersville High School can’t just pick up a camera and shoot a photo or jot down a quick article if they want to be on the staffs of the Clarion or Cohiscan.

Being a part of either staff is “kind of a big deal,” says Audrey Burke, publications and photography teacher. 

The Cohiscan is the school yearbook; the Clarion is the newspaper.

“Newspaper students must take journalism and or have a C or better in their current English class. Yearbook students must take journalism/photography and have a C or better in their current English class. Otherwise, both classes require the advisor’s signature,” Burke said.

Many students have learned that yearbook and newspaper deadlines aren’t for the faint of heart. They have also learned interviewing people can be a hard task.

“The most difficult part of being in yearbook is most definitely the deadlines. Some of us have other activities going on after school so we have to make time to make sure we can take pictures,” Katelyn Blanton, grade 11, said.

Jordan Pyle joined newspaper because he is interested in journalism as a potential career. He likes the idea of having the freedom to write about things that interest him and things that matter in the world. 

“The hardest part of this class is coming up with interview questions that people will respond thoroughly to,” Pyle stated. 

Senior Sadie Hensley likes to know that she is going to be a part of something students will remember forever.

Claire Stinger joined the newspaper staff because her sister suggested it.

“She told me she thought I would really like it and that she enjoyed it a lot so I gave it a try, and I actually enjoyed it a lot and plan to continue taking this class. 

“My favorite part of this class is the laughs we have. We get things done but still manage to have a great time and it is like a little family in this class. Everyone enjoys being together and treats each other good. The hardest part of this class is having to update the story and readjust to the information. I had to do this several times with my Jeffery Epstein story and it was difficult but, I know that is what a reporter has to do.”

The two publications are very similar, Burke said.

“Newspaper students can expect to learn all parts of a newspaper, copyright and style book rules, basics of advertising and marketing, journalistic writing style, meeting deadlines and collaboration with classmates and advisor. Yearbook students can expect to take photographs, learn all parts of a yearbook publication, copyright and style book rules, basics of advertising and marketing, journalistic writing style, meeting deadlines and collaboration with classmates and advisor.”

“Students however, need to understand that the yearbook is a year long work publication, extending into early June. Newspaper is continually published online at www.connersvilleclarion.com.”

Learning is hands-on with students using cameras and classroom computer equipment.

“If a student is new to the publication, they are required to try all staff positions to determine what they feel most comfortable doing and to meet the needs of the class. If a student is a second year staff member of the publication, they have more freedom to choose their staff position.

“My favorite aspect to witness of these two classes is that when a student needs help, everyone is willing to assist them and everyone motivates each other to ensure that we are producing quality publications that meet the expectations of our target audiences,” Burke said.

The Clarion is a student publication serving as an open forum for student expression at Connersville High School, where it is distributed to all students, faculty and staff. While the staff aims to provide a balanced account of news, opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of faculty, staff, administration or school board. The Editorial Board is solely responsible for the newspaper’s content.

The Clarion is committed to providing a trustworthy news outlet to the Connersville High School Community. Prior to 2018, The Clarion was primarily a print publication, but in September of 2018, it was made digital.

Online: www.connersvilleclarion.com for the newspaper or www.yearbookforever.com.