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August 27, 2019

Matriculaters, Maestros in Schools

Harry M. Covert

Great opportunities face today’s school students at all levels from kindergarten to college. Pick a topic and the sky – meaning the universe – is the limit. Exciting, most definitely.


Classrooms will be opening and ambitions enthusiastic. How technology has advanced so superbly. The matriculaters and their teacher maestros are in store for many thrills.


Rather than dwell on the negative sides of modern educational methods and obstacles, it’s important to consider all the positives.


In many ways, fun and games in past school years will be missed. This thinking, quite naturally, is from a scribbler who hasn’t been in academia as a student for many a day. And sometimes hearing about modern day antics is fretful, often scary and disturbing.


Today this bureau would like to promote the teaching of writing and communications for journalism, of the newspaper kind. Certainly there is the lure for broadcast opportunities, and they are now legion. Guidance counselors, please take notice. 


Television broadcasting, podcasts and others venues are beguiling for the pretty and handsome types. It must not be forgotten that broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, magazines and book writing still rank above all. Obviously some prejudice here.


It’s rather pleasant to appear on teevee. But, reading all the news about local communities, their citizens and events of all kinds is powerful only in the printed daily, weekly and monthly papers. Video outlets aren’t able to zero in on neighborhoods with news and advertising except in 30-second or less sound bites.


So, it’s with the above preamble that schools must prepare youngsters for “newspaper days.” Most people take for granted their local news coverage.

Most jump to local headlines, editorials, then obituaries, sports pages, comics and the crossword. It is fun jumping to obits to make sure our name isn’t listed, then working on that puzzle with a fountain pen. Show off, for sure.


Every school, grammar (old lingo) and elementary, junior and senior high schools, colleges and universities usually have their newspapers. If they don’t, they should.


There are so many wonderful stories in cities and communities. Few make national stature. That’s better than good, and locals are better off. Hometown reporters are vital.


In school papers, students learn quickly the importance of journalism jargon, the Five “Ws and an H.” Lots of media types today never use the alphabets. The Five? Who, What, When, Where, Why and The H? How?


After students learn the above, they can get into editorial page work with commentating, opinionating, and generally raising all kinds of uproars, turbulences and ruckuses.


So, please, school teachers and professors have fun in those classrooms. Keep the printing presses going.


As one reader wrote to a Virginia paper years ago: “Here is my check to renew my prescription.” The circulation director wrote a thank you note and cashed the check.


That’s music to the ears of publishers everywhere and good for communities, especially today.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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