The Longmont Leader editorial team met with classes at New Meridian High School on Tuesday for a Q&A session, in which students asked many thoughtful questions about local news and the media industry at large.
Longmont Leader Editor Macie May started off the session describing what it’s like to build a news organization from the ground up, and emphasized the importance of being engaged with the local community.
Leader Reporter Amy Golden spoke of her passion for journalism and how it can make a difference in the world, and I, Amber Fisher, assistant editor, agreed — reporters have the chance to make their local community a better place.
Amy Rogers, one of the New Meridian High School students who attended the session, said she’s exploring journalism as a career option.
“I really like writing, and I think a possible way to get into that is either journalism or creative storytelling,” Rogers said. “The ability to express myself and to kind of pose views that people might not see otherwise.”
Rogers said she thinks it’s unfair for people to label all media as biased.
“Just because a lot of news sources are biased, it doesn’t mean that all of them are. A lot of sources are neutral and take multiple perspectives,” she said. “And there’s so much research that goes into it, that even if it is biased, it’s still based mostly on facts.”
New Meridian High School Teacher Amanda Cronin helped to organize the Q&A session, and said it’s important to connect students with employees in local industries.
“It's critically important to expose students to adult professionals working in various careers, such as journalism,” Cronin said. “Careers can feel abstract to high schoolers and when students get to talk to professionals and learn, first-hand, about their experiences in the field, it can make a career come to life.”
Some students find their careers of choice early, but more often, people “take a circuitous route,” Cronin said.
“It's important for students to understand there are multiple pathways to arrive at a career,” she explained.
Cronin said students are always curious about how their high school courses can prepare them for careers.
“At New Meridian we offer photography, photojournalism, and yearbook classes which give students experience with interviewing, writing, editing, layout, and photography, all of which help students explore journalism as a career,” she said.
New Meridian High School, at 1200 S Sunset St., is St. Vrain Valley School District’s alternative high school, and offers courses such as College Writing, Advanced Placement Psychology, Physics, Philosophy and Pathways to Teaching.