We hear all the time that Journalism is disappearing. In our classes, we are told that even though we may be great writers, it is less than likely that we will have jobs upon graduation. After the past three days, however, this could not be farther from the truth.
Instead of hanging out with friends, watching movies and enjoying the snow in Boone this weekend, I am currently sitting in a conference room in downtown Raleigh with over 30 prospective journalists. These up-and-coming writers are a part of the 1,500 or so high school students that have descended on Raleigh this weekend for the 21 annual Youth and Government conference. This conference is a gathering of high school students from across the state of North Carolina in order to create a mock government complete with House of Representatives, Senate, Judicial Branch, Lobbyists and Press Corps.
They debate bills, discuss court cases and run for office. These students are the future of our government, and I don’t believe it would be too far fetched to say that we are in good hands. As for the for the field of Journalism, I’m not that worried either.
I have spent the entirety of the conference buried away in the Press Room helping put together the conference newspaper, “The Point of Information,” giving InDesign lessons and teaching our future reporters how to write a story. Eager to learn, those that chose to be in the Press Corps. have impressed me beyond belief with their professionalism and writing skills. I have been with this conference since my sophomore year in high school, and I have seen first hand how much it has grown.
My first year we had a simple four paged booklet that we printed ourselves and a broadcast section with only around 30 people between the two. Now, we have a social media team manning our Pintrest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. We have over 20 students writing for the newspaper, 15 for the broadcast team, 15 for social media and 10 for the photography. Since I have been with this conference, we have had no complaints about any of the reporters which is saying something since we have free range of the entire conference.
So if this students are the future faces of Journalism, we really shouldn’t get caught in the storm that is the supposed death of Journalism. With these students soon entering the field of reporting, we can rest easy knowing that not only will our politics be covered extensively, but also our most important issues.