Joliet West High School journalism students will gain hands-on multi-media and journalistic skills thanks to the Public Broadcast System (PBS). Joliet West High School was recently selected by PBS to participate in the highly selective and prestigious NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program. The educational program connects high school and middle school students with local PBS stations and journalists to produce their own unique video reports on important news topics.
Journalism teacher Jennifer Galloy applied for the program on behalf of the high school because she knew the students would gain real-world experience with industry professionals. “The NewsHour project puts students in the shoes of professional journalists who cultivate stories from real social, political, and economic issues,” said Galloy. “Students will research their topic and conduct interviews to produce a video that is posted online. The project allows students to participate in a new form of learning and inquiry in a collaborative environment that helps engage students who may be more interested in projects outside of traditional academics. It helps provide students with a sense of civic pride and connection to the real world community.”
Galloy will be professionally trained over the summer by PBS. Students are required to create a complete video assignment by May to earn a stipend to purchase equipment and will also be paired up with a local journalist as a mentor.
“An added benefit of the Student Reporting Labs program is that is helps implement state and Common Core Literary standards, while teaching students how to evaluate sources and information, deconstruct and demonstrate non-fiction narratives, as well as storytelling techniques,” said Galloy.
The NewsHour project encompasses the vision of the high school’s Arts and Communications Academy. In the JTHS Career Academies, students receive an individualized education relevant to their career interests. JTHS academies increase student achievement by offering a small learning environment within a large school setting.