NIXA, Mo. — High school students in Nixa are gaining real journalism experience before they even apply to college.
Student journalists for news magazine Wingspan hold similar responsibilities to full-time reporters. They pitch story ideas, take photographs, design pages and advertisements all while meeting deadlines.
“I used to work in newspapers, and so I try to set up the classroom as close to a real newsroom as I can,” said journalism adviser Beth Eggleston. Wingspan is worked on during the school day, so students have blocked off time in their schedule that would not be as accessible if the magazine was completed in a club format.
Eggleston teaches students the fundamentals of news, while preparing them for their entrance into the current state of journalism.
“It is a difficult time right now for journalists who are doing a great job because they’re sort of in this whole ball of wax with everybody else,” said Eggleston. “Some news outlets are being attacked, some of them are not doing as good a job as they ought to, but I’m hoping that my students can say ‘I know how to find facts, I know how to sniff out suspicious things.'”
“A lot of hard work and dedication, and making sure that we keep up with everything,” are the keys to success according to Wingspan Editor-in-Chief Riley Harris. Many of the students enrolled in journalism classes at Nixa HS hope to pursue careers in the field in the future.
“I’m writing the truth, the people in this classroom are writing the truth,” explained senior design editor Macie Clark. “I don’t think [journalism] is dying, I think it’s ever-changing. I mean– it goes on just like we go on.”
No matter what the future has in store for these storytelling students, their hard work is being recognized on the national level– recently ranking in Quill & Scroll’s top 15 high school news publications.
Learn more about Nixa’s journalism program here.