Gonzalez: What ADM News Journalism Has Taught Me


ADM News students, last day of the 2020-2021 school year. Picture: Paige Jansen, Sean Whitson, Callie Hazel, Lauren Brady, Brookelyn Evans, Christine Aukes.

I came into News Journalism fully expecting it to be like any other class. Basic assignments, light work, being bored, and not liking my teacher. Boy, was I wrong.

I joined for three reasons. The DMACC credit, of course. Not only is this a free college credit, but it is college level, so I was expecting a massive difference in curriculum. Next, my friend was also taking this course. Why would I not follow her around like a puppy? I’ve heard News had projects dissimilar to any other class and there was a lot of collaboration so I was excited. And finally, the Toilet Paper. For those confused, the Toilet Paper is a weekly Newsletter that is published by our staff which upcoming events and social stories within the school. It is hung on the back of restroom stalls, hence the name, for students to read when handling their “business.” Since freshman year I have read these postings and taken notice on how convenient they are, as well as usually funny. The “dad jokes” in me really appreciate the play on words for each “tissue.”

While all of these reasons for joining are wonderful, and I am grateful for them, I am proud to say they are not the reason I am staying in News. “Staying in News” could very well sound like an uncommitted thing. You might be thinking, “Haley, keeping News on your schedule is not hard, it’s not a life sentence, it is just a class. It’s not that deep.” Although it comes across as surface level, I will have you know that my schedule for senior year is a big, fat mess. So it took a lot of sacrificing of other important classes to maintain this one. Regardless, I am continuing this course next year because it is so worth it. Allow me to explain myself.

The friendships that I went into News with were limited, but the ones I have made are not. I never would have thought that the people sitting in that classroom would grow to become some of the most important individuals in my life. I have learned so much from each staff member, but I would also like to think that I taught them something as well.

I might not be the best influence on people, sometimes my words are a bit crass, but I would like to think that I know right from wrong and that my fellow classmates respect my thoughts. My personality is loud, and I usually have a lot to say, but they listen. My voice has never felt more heard within this school building then when I am in News class. I cannot help but say thank you to each and every student.

There is one more person that deserves gratitude, my teacher Mrs. Basinger. Beth Basinger is one of the most understanding teachers I have ever had, but don’t get it twisted, you need to do your schoolwork. Although there are deadlines, there is also remorse. I do not believe Mr. Basinger went easy on us, and I don’t think she intends to, but I am glad for this. When I say goodbye to her for the summer, I hope she knows that I walked out of the classroom a different person from when I walked in. Not only have I gained so much knowledge in regards to good journalism from her, but I have learned how to be a better person.

It was a school year of firsts for all of us. The first year I have been thoughtfully engaged in the Presidential Election and the first year I have ever attended school during a pandemic. Whenever I want to jump to conclusions and create inferences on situations, Mrs. Basinger is singing the tune of logic in my ear. Though I am sure she carries her own opinions, it never ceases to amaze me how good she can play devil’s advocate. Telling and hearing two sides to every story is the most impactful thing I have taken away from this course, and it is not due to the curriculum. I have Mrs. Basinger to thank for that.

By now I am sure you are probably wondering if I took anything educational away from News Journalism this year and I can safely say, yes. Of course I have learned things, from writing formats, photography skills, video editing, interview skills, and a bit of law and ethics knowledge regarding the rights of our staff. None of this goes dismissed or without recognition, but I know that the important information that I need to retain was the communication skills I was taught. Of course this is embedded into the classwork, but it is also developed over time. My time was best spent during fourth period in room 105. Thank you classmates, and thank you Mrs. Basinger.