advisers with Dvorak
High school publications advisers served as panelists to discuss their work overseeing student journalists. From left are Greg Mosley, Kathleen Mills, Joel Sanders and BPC member Jack Dvorak. (Photo by Jim Bright)

–by Jim Bright, BPC president

Three area high School journalism teachers say their students are as passionate as ever about working on their schools’ newspapers and yearbooks, and they’re taking away lessons that will serve them in the years to come.

The teachers, Kathleen Mills of Bloomington High School South, Greg Mosley of Brown County High School and Joel Sanders of Edgewood High School, were part of a panel discussion at the Bloomington Press Club meeting July 25. Member Jack Dvorak, IU School of Journalism professor and former head of IU’s High School Journalism Institute, led the discussion.

While most area high schools offer online editions of their school newspapers, students still love to see their stories and their bylines in print.

“Our students love to see the paper with their bylines in their hands,” said Sanders. “They feel a tremendous sense of ownership and pride in the newspaper, and they pick up lessons that apply to life in so many ways.”

The students also are learning skills as journalists.

“I love watching students gain confidence as reporters. They learn to ask tough questions – and to overcome the negative reaction they sometimes get from their sources,” Mills said.

Ison and Bright
The club presented National High School Journalist of the Year and Bloomington High School North graduate Victoria Ison with a mug and certificate. With her is Bloomington Press Club president Jim Bright. (Courtesy photo)

And they also are paying attention to the media’s larger role, advisers said.

“They learn about the media’s role in transferring information and in agenda-setting, and how the news media shape public opinion. They become smarter, more critical consumers of news,” said Mosley.

The club also recognized some young journalists during the meeting, including Victoria Ison, a 2011 Bloomington North graduate and National High School Journalist of the Year; Brooke Lillard, summer editor-in-chief at the Indiana Daily Student; and Kayleen Cohen, editor of IU’s yearbook, the Arbutus.