What should I expect?
The Journalism Workshop will be a process of learning through doing according to the Montessori approach. This workshop will give students a sense of independence, authorship, self-reliance and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.
Who is this course for?
Journalism is for writers at any level interested in doing original reporting on topics they find interesting and newsworthy. They will enhance their writing skills and learn how to determine what facts are most important for their story. They will also edit each other’s work, checking all aspects of grammar, and story structure, using the style that real Associated Press reporters use. This will be real journalism, about real subjects, using real reporting techniques.
What will be covered?
The workshop will introduce young ‘Journalists-in-Training’ (JTs) to the methods and practices of hard-news writing, research, interviewing and finding actual news stories in the area. Students will explore what 'news' means and learn to identify a credible expert or source to be able to distinguish fake news. They will learn how to tell if a story is newsworthy and how to build a story from the ground up. Starting with audience discovery, they will continue the story-building process, discussing different types and parts of newspapers, differentiating 'hard news' from 'feature news' and conducting background research, including interviews. Journalistic ethics, plagiarism and history will also be addressed throughout the workshop.
This process will allow JTs to develop crucial skills like organizing information, doing research, developing their grammar, sentence-structure, paragraphs and vocabulary. They will also discover the excitement and drama of news, covering topics like science, politics, law, fashion, and the arts. No matter what they choose to do later as a career, these basic journalism skills will give them the ability to thinking critically, analyze conflicting information, and write quickly and accurately.
If there is a common theme to John’s varied background it is to teach. For most of his careers he was always helping the public understand science, history and human events. He has a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 20 years experience as a reporter and producer for both print and broadcast mediums. His interest in science led him to environmental writing, reporting from the field in Southeast Asia and Central America for Conservation International. John has taught English composition, business writing, journalism and academic writing for more than a decade to college and high school students. Recently certified to teach high school English in Pennsylvania, he was particularly attracted to the Montessori approach because of its dynamic, experiential and project-based education. John believes this process to be an effective path to authentic, long-term learning, in all its exciting, adventurous forms.