Why You Should Write for the Lance

Luke O'Connell, Sports Editor

     One of the many reasons I took Introduction to Journalism last year, and write for the Lance this year, is because of how crucial journalism is in today’s world. After the 2016 election, and a plethora of “fake news” pages around the internet, I thought it was important to learn more about the industry that has such influence in our society.

     In the 21st century, it seems like journalism is changing overall. Many credible newspapers were forced to shut down because of their reluctance to move to the internet, and said move to the internet allowed for sources that weren’t credible to pop up all over the place. Websites like these, or “fake news” websites, have been very influential in recent events, especially the 2016 elections.

     It’s for that reason that having credible journalists at all levels is more important than ever before. Another reason I took Lance is so that I could become a better writer. Looking back at articles I wrote in Intro to Journalism freshman year, I can see clear improvement. Even between issues, I find myself pointing out grammatical errors I hadn’t seen before.

     It’s also helped in my other classes as well. Along with that, it’s really gratifying to see my work published. Having an audience, even one as small as we do at the Lance, can be really beneficial. If you feel like there’s something wrong in the school, it gives you an outlet to voice your concerns and possibly make change. It also allows you to educate people about things you care about.

     This year, Lance is a seventh period class. Over the first semester of school, it’s been a good way to destress and spend time in a positive environment learning about what I want to. The only time I feel stressed out in Lance is when it’s the week before an issue comes out and we realize there aren’t enough articles to fill a 24-page paper.  

    Other than that, the class is easy, and stress free. After joining Lance, I realized that being on a newspaper staff involves so much more than just writing. There’s graphic design, photography, art, and lots more that goes into making a newspaper. One of our main goals for second semester, and for the future overall, is having more graphics in the paper. This means that more photographers would be needed, and writers would be taking photos and creating graphics as well. Journalism is a very flexible industry, with many components involved.  

     Another benefit I found after joining the Lance was the opportunities I’ve been presented with. Conferences such as Journalism Day, or J-Day, at the University of Montana, have allowed us to meet other journalists around Montana, and better our abilities. I’ve created positive relationships with members of administration, which will surely impact my experience with higher education. I haven’t really found a downside to Hellgate’s journalism program, and suggest that everyone take Intro to Journalism at the least. So when you’re filling out your class form this year, think about Journalism and Lance.