Featured School Papers:

Know Your J-Jargon

profanity: A word or phrase contemptuously referring to the deity or to beings regarded as divine; a sacrilegious expression. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

Learn more J-Jargon »

HSJ Headline News

Mr. Murray, journalism camp, and a future in the news business

Angelica LaVito
The Chicago Tribune

August 8, 2011

ED's note: Over the summer, many students go to camps and explore specialty interests. We're pleased to report that some Chicago area high school students are thinking about studying journalism in college and are among those testing the waters. We learned about the experiences of one student, Angelica LaVito, whose application to a journalism program we supported. And we asked her to take a bow on Trib Nation and write a post for us.

And we'd like to hear from other students who participated in summer journalism programs, so let us know if you have stories to share. -- Margaret Holt, standards editor (and Mizzou graduate)]

Angelica LaVito: This summer, my goal was to refine my writing skills and gain more journalism experience to apply to my high school's newspaper in Lake Zurich. I worked on the goals by attending the University of Missouri's Summer Media Workshop.

Learning to approach strangers

At the camp, I took the Sports Reporting class taught by Oklahoma State professor Ray Murray. For three days we learned about sports writing, with an emphasis on interviewing. He had us interview Missouri students on their best and also most embarrassing sports moments. We wrote articles, Mr. Murray gave us feedback.

I was forced to break out of my comfort zone and talk to complete strangers -- we were asked to interview about seven different people about their stories -- and by the end of the week I felt fearless about asking anyone for an interview.

Early Success

I learned to refuse to accept "no" as an answer, and can report I was only rejected one-and-a-half times my first day. (Another student had 27 rejections.) For my persistence, I was given the award for "most aggressive interviewer."

Back in Lake Zurich

I'll bring what I learned to Bear Facts, Lake Zurich High School’s student newspaper.  This year, my junior year, I'll be the sports editor. The section covers everything from sports medicine news to Lake Zurich High School athletes moving up in the sports world. I hope our whole staff will benefit from my experience at the Summer Media Workshop.        

Looking ahead

Not only did I improve my writing and reporting skills, but I also learned about university life. The camp sparked an interest in the University of Missouri and reaffirmed my desire to become a professional journalist. It was a great learning experience.

-- Angelica LaVito, Lake Zurich Bear Facts

Copyright 2011, The Chicago Tribune. Reprinted with permission

Return to HSJ Headline News Home »