Reporter's notebook

What does it mean to be a CVU Journalist?

By: Phoebe Henderson

HINESBURG, VT– As a Junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, I wasn’t sure what to expect when joining the group of journalists for my last quarter of the year. I had little to no knowledge about what it meant to be a journalist. After completing my Creative Writing class second quarter, I learned that I have a passion for writing stories and poems. This influenced my decision to join the Journalism class taught by Amanda Terwillegar. 

My experience this year gave me the chance to dig deeper into the world of local news. I have never been one to read the newspaper or watch the news, but becoming a journalist has opened up new opportunities and experiences for me. Personally, I wouldn’t have normally chosen a writing class that involves interviewing people outside of the classroom, but doing so has taught me to speak up and become more involved with our local community.

An average day in Journalism consisted of first reading the news and sharing out amongst the class some of the top headlines from breaking news websites such as BBC, CNN, VTdigger, etc. Then we moved into editing our individual stories.

There are many different forms of journalism that we worked with, such as investigative journalism, where journalists dive deep into a certain topic, researching and interviewing different ideas (these pieces tend to be longer). A roll-in piece is a film that includes main footage of a specific topic, along with a voice over explaining what’s happening in the short video which we then sent over to the CVU Show. “Hard news” refers to breaking news and is normally a much shorter and very relevant piece. Lastly, feature articles tell you what you want to know; they take you behind the scenes and explain everything in much more depth and greater length. I worked mostly with feature and hard news pieces.   

As you know, Covid has played a major role in our education system this year. School schedules were shifted and classes were cut in half. Meaning that I was only able to experience Journalism in half a semester. Although we were cut short with time,  we made the best of it and ended up receiving a lot of consistent news regarding the pandemic that then got turned into pieces.

All of our pieces go through editing and revising once completed. Then they either get posted on the CVU Chronicle, which can be found on the CVU website, or are passed onto the CVU show!

If you are interested in writing or even just need another English credit, I highly recommend joining Journalism. It gives you a new perspective on writing and can open up new opportunities of learning filled with great experiences!