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HSJ Headline News

Ogden column: Time to plan for high school sports … and journalists

J.R. Ogden
The Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

August 6, 2012

So it’s August.


I know you’ve heard it too many times before, but what the heck happened to our summer break?

Honestly, this is a great time of year — if the heat and humidity stay at bay.

The 2012-13 high school athletics season officially starts anew Monday with the opening of practice in all fall sports — football, volleyball, cross country, girls’ swimming and boys’ golf.

We are 11 days from the first prep football game in the Metro, when Cedar Valley Christian opens at home — well, at LaSalle — against Gilbertville Don Bosco.

The following week is the official “Week 1” with four games in town and tons of others across Eastern Iowa.

This can be one of the busiest times of the year in the media business, but those nine weeks go by in a blur.

While we plan our coverage of high school and college sports, it’s also time to plan for our high school journalism program.

I’ve written about this many times, but as a reminder we started this program in November as a way to get more content from area school — from Sigourney to Decorah, from Tama to Epworth. We ended up visiting around 30 schools and getting more than 200 stories and photos from high school students across our corner of the state.

I want to visit your school — again or for the first time — and the sooner the better. My goal this year is to talk to students at 80 high schools, encouraging them that journalism is not dead, good writing is important in whatever you do and covering your high school for us can be rewarding for you and your classmates, not to mention the folks in your town.

We offer a variety of ways to showcase your talent with our community — write a story, take a picture (or three) or shoot some video, host or be a guest on The Sports Desk, work a high school event for KCRG 9.2.

I want to be your editor, help your teachers in any way possible and, hopefully, keep journalism alive in high schools.

Most of all I want to share your talent with a bigger audience.

While we continue to look for more and more high school journalists, we also want members of the Eastern Iowa community to report scores during and after games. So if you’re a regular at your town’s Friday night football games (Thursday, too) send me an email (address below) and join our “game spotters” network.

And if you’re a high school journalism teacher or student wanting to gain a little more experience and exposure, let me know.

Copyright 2012, The Gazette. Reprinted with permission

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