digital journalism: A student’s insight

Are you looking to improve your writing? Do you enjoy learning about news and the work of journalism? If so, ZIS’ Digital Journalism class may appeal to you. Digital Journalism is the only class offered by the ZIS Upper School that is solely focused on writing. You can select Digital Journalism as an elective no matter what grade level you are in. You will not be assigned a great deal of homework either, as the purpose of this class is to refine your writing skills, and enjoy the process. 

When I selected Digital Journalism as an elective towards the end of grade 8, it was my third choice (I would receive two of my three elective choices). I did not assume I would take Digital Journalism as I had decided I preferred two other electives. However I did not receive my second elective choice, and instead was enrolled in Digital Journalism. 

I was not aware of what the class would entail when I selected it, but no other classes appealed to me. But reflecting on the past 8-9 months, I realize how much I have enjoyed, and how much this class has benefited me. I have always been a confident writer, and I have always received good marks on my writing, but even so I have seen great improvements in my writing during Grade 9. Not only in my work in Digital Journalism assignments, but also in other classes such as English and History. As well as learning about the work of journalists, and how they present news to the public. 

At the beginning of semester one, DJ students are taught about basic writing skills, and news. Many forms of writing are covered over the year, the first being News Articles. Short (200-400 word) pieces of writing that merely present news, no opinion is included. We then move on to OP-EDs (Opinion Editorial) pieces, which are usually 600 to 800 words and are based on your own opinion. Feature articles are the longest articles we write, usually ranging from 800-1200 words. These tend to be more in depth and cover topical events or issues. The final form of writing covered is reviews (approx. 650 words). They can be based on anything, eg. books, films, television shows.

The majority of writing we do in Digital Journalism is about current news (either worldwide news, or throughout the school community). Work by DJ students is also visible in the school newspaper (Lion’s Journal web page). 

Digital Journalism allows for a lot of choice, while still developing your skill. This class is taught by Mr Peake who also teaches the AP Seminar and IB Lang. and Lit. classes, which are only available in grade 11 and 12. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Digital Journalism course, and would recommend it to anybody remotely interested in writing/journalism as I can ensure you that this class will cultivate your writing enjoyment and skill.

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