10/27/20 Student Journalists Weekly Update

Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS)
Student Journalism Program Participants

Roger Utnehmer, Director
WIPPS Student Journalism Program

This last week saw two student journalists, Kate Pluta from Wauwatosa East High School and John Belton from D.C. Everest in Schofield, participate in a WIPPS-sponsored virtual press conference with former national security advisor John Bolton.

Both Kate and John asked Ambassador Bolton a question and represented the student journalism program with professionalism.  Congratulations to both of you.


The word of the week is “deadline.”  Newspaper reporters have a specific time by which stories for each edition of the paper must be submitted to editors.  Radio deadlines are determined by the time the next news report is broadcast.  To be newsworthy, stories must be timely.  Student journalists will need to self-impose deadlines on the stories they submit if their media partners to not make them clear.

I suggest that if covering an event that the story be completed and submitted within twenty-four hours.  As you consider your stories to write, please also keep in mind the importance of giving yourself a “deadline” for submission.  The sooner your story is submitted the more news value it will have.

With just one week to go before the Nov. 3rd election there is still time to write about what the election means to students.  Do high school students believe elections matter, that they are fairly conducted and that the outcomes will be accepted?  You may consider asking questions like these and getting a story submitted in time to run before the election.

This past week I listened to a speaker talk about young people today being more cynical than previous generations.  The speaker cited three factors that contribute to cynicism; lack of personal identity, lack of a sense of community and lack of purpose.  This reminded me of my own youth many years ago growing up in a small community in northern Wisconsin.  I thought of the important role scouting played.  Boys joined Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  Girls were Brownies and Girl Scouts.  Scouting gave my generation an opportunity to develop identity, community and purpose.

What is giving high school students today those three components of healthy personal development?  With participation in many social programs diminishing, what’s left?  Is it sports?  Are students still finding identity, community and purpose in scouting?

You might find it interesting to interview some students and write a story about what you find.

Feel free to reach out to your media partner and get approval on a story idea you would like to write about.  And always feel free to email or call me with questions or comments.

Thanks, and have a great week.

Roger Utnehmer, Director
Student Journalism Program
920 495 9677

Katie Schramm, Student Coordinator
Student Journalism Program
920 723 5814