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Why You Should Take Journalism

Hannah Cupp
Memories of Journalism, featuring Shelby Bennet, Mrs. Chernow’s craft drawer, first week pictures, Thanksgiving cookies, my article on someone’s chromebook, Shelby and Cecillia Cline, and Thanksgiving turkeys

Most people take Journalism for an easy elective credit. Something to fill their schedule and bring up their GPA with an easy A. But there are many more reasons to take this class, as it has the most potential, not only for students, but also the school, of most elective courses. As a class and fully functioning newspaper, our reach can go beyond writing articles. We make change through the Dukes Dispatch, whether it is through friendship or the power of words. 

At the beginning of the year, we were all asked why we took Journalism. I told our then-teacher, Mrs. Chernow, that I was taking the Advanced Journalism class in order to complete my sequential elective credit, not realizing that I would actually enjoy the class much more than I had the previous semester. Students’ responses ranged from “because they were just put in the class” to “I love writing and I want to see if this can help me go further in that field.” I remember looking around to see only a few people that I knew from the year before, wondering why so many people had decided not to take Journalism again. I realize now that it is because, much like I did last year, they completely undervalued the class. 

Savannah Balduf has taken Journalism and Advanced Journalism every chance she has had since her freshman year. In her Staff Profile, she writes “ I want to make a difference by writing about different topics that will affect the majority of people. I’m taking this class because it helps me improve my writing and opens up many opportunities for everyone.” As a Sections Editor, she gets a different perspective on what the class means to different people. Some of her section has never had a published article, while others have few to no articles unpublished or unwritten. Even students who do not have articles in the Dukes Dispatch have ways to help the newspaper, especially through social media. Our TikTok account currently has 468 followers and we upload a Man on the Street video or create new content for them daily. Growing our platform through TikTok especially has gotten the word out about the paper and will definitely continue to grow as we continue to upload. Everyone has a place in our newspaper, whether you are filming Man on the Street, writing and editing, or conducting interviews. We truly are a democracy and there is no one person who does not have a role, not only on the paper but in the class. 

My favorite reason to take Journalism or Advanced Journalism is because of the honestly wonderful people you will meet in the class. Personally, I started the year only knowing five other people, none of whom I was close with. Now, near the end of the semester, I have made some of the best friends I have ever had, and I believe that can be said for so many others taking this course, too. There is a strong social aspect that goes along with having a newspaper. We figure out what people want to read, what we want to write, and what would be helpful in any way to students and staff. With this, there is a respect and a kindness that is always flowing through our classroom. As a class, talking to others is a vital part of running the Dukes Dispatch, whether you offer an AirPod to the person sitting next to you or you are a Co-Editor asking people how their articles are going. I believe that every person in our class can say that they have made a friend through Journalism. 

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey, not only our staff, but people who have been interviewed, for continuing to grow with us. I want to thank Mr. Poitras, because despite coming to Gloucester High School unexpectedly and never having taught a Journalism class. He has done a great job and is definitely a driving factor for us to get articles in. Thank you most to those who have eaten cheese and those who read about it. And with that, maybe Journalism was the friends we made along the way.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Cupp
Hannah Cupp, Co-Editor
My name is Hannah Cupp. I’m sixteen and I am a junior this year. My dream is to either write for the New Yorker or teach high school English. This is my second semester of journalism and I plan to take two more next year. The newspaper means a lot to me, not only as a journalist but as a student. I think it is beyond important for students to be informed about things going on in the world. I am a huge believer in freedom of the press, as it gives everyone a voice.

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